W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-math@w3.org > March 2008

Re: Exploring new vocabularies for HTML

From: William F Hammond <hammond@csc.albany.edu>
Date: Sat, 29 Mar 2008 17:54:13 -0400
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Cc: public-html@w3.org, www-math@w3.org
Message-ID: <i7abkh6vsq.fsf@hilbert.math.albany.edu>

Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch> writes:

> On Sat, 29 Mar 2008, David Carlisle wrote:
>> > 
>> > I'm investigating possible options for addressing the problem of 
>> > "Putting an equation in a Web page". One of the options is doing 
>> > something with MathML.
>> Given the existing implementation and experience in this area surely 
>> MathML should not simply be "one of the options" it should be the main 
>> option.
> I don't understand the distinction.


1.  Presentation MathML is works well in at least Firefox, IE +
MathPlayer, and Amaya.  None of the other math languages you mention
are known (at least to me) to have support in any web browser.

2.  Except for ISO 12083 introducing any of the others would result
in hybrid markup, thereby increasing the complexity of parsing.  (In this
list I don't recall more than one person suggesting ISO 12083; how many
have spoken for it at whatwg?)

3.  It seems reasonably clear that user agents now supporting XHTML+MathML
would be quickly able to add support for MathML in html5.

> Sure, but there are definitely orders of magnitude of difference between 
> the verbosity of the different formats. (I hand-wrote all the MathML in my 
> MathML+XHTML paper at University seven years ago, also in Emacs.)

*** Might I be able to see this paper you wrote? ***

> ...
> For example, it seems like this:
>    <math> 3 + n = 6 </math>

as in the March 1995 draft of HTML 3.0 ??

>> One thing we could do to make this easier for you is, in mathml3, more 
>> formally separate the grammars of presentation and content mathml so 
>> they are usable separately.
> That would be really useful.

I think that some existing tools could be quickly re-configured to
generate html5 with math.

For example, tex4ht, as commonly configured for MathML output, writes
purely presentational markup.  This is also the case with "regular"

>> The MathML2 spec said basically that if you nested other elements it 
>> wasn't mathml, but that if you did it anyway a system might not generate 
>> an error and might render it.
> That kind of wishy-washy rule isn't going to fly for HTML5. :-)

It wasn't so much wishy-washy as it was a test of the idea of mixing
and matching namespaces, e.g., xlink or xhtml inside <mtext>, in a
single XML document.

                                    -- Bill
Received on Saturday, 29 March 2008 21:54:57 UTC

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