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

Re: Exploring new vocabularies for HTML

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Sun, 30 Mar 2008 22:11:34 +0000 (UTC)
To: David Carlisle <davidc@nag.co.uk>
Cc: public-html@w3.org, www-math@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.62.0803302142310.12640@hixie.dreamhostps.com>

On Sun, 30 Mar 2008, David Carlisle wrote:
> If a system uses a non validating parser, then it is up to that system 
> to report the error in whatever way is natural. (Mozilla for example 
> deals with that, and other errors in a way it finds natural which is to 
> say it silently just lets the text fall through, but without any 
> typographic fix up.)

So there is no normative conformance requirement applicable to error 
handling in MathML? That's unfortunate.

> Unlike the html case where you can try to specify full application 
> behaviour even in error situations, mathml is intended primarily to be 
> hosted by some other language (most mathematical expressions live in 
> some wider context) and the application behaviour of xyz+mathml has to 
> be mainly influenced by the application behaviour of the host language 
> xyz.

Oh, wow. That makes the job of integrating MathML into HTML orders of 
magnitude more complicated. Isn't this something we can get MathML3 to 
define? What are the error handling rules for standalone MathML? Wouldn't 
they want to be the same as for MathML in HTML? How do you get 
interoperability in error conditions if you don't have rules for them?

> In an HTML5 context you are not going to want (the equivalent of) a 
> validity error on parsing which kills the entire document, that is 
> clear. But the fixup should only be, that an implied merror (or mtext, 
> perhaps) is inserted
> <math>1+2</math>
> couuld perhaps parse as (preferably)
> <math><merror><mtext>1+2</mtext></merror></math>
> rendering typically as 1+2 in a red border
> or perhaps we could consider whether it should parse as
> <math><mtext>1+2</mtext></math>
> redering as 1+2 with no mathematical spacing refinements.

That doesn't seem to provide the optimum use for authors.

> But html5 should definitely not try to turn math into some kind of 
> private html microformat that implies character-by-character 
> tokenization and parsing of the character data resulting in
> <math><mn>1</mn><mo>+</mo><mn>2</mn></math>
> As Neil said, if you go that route why not add wiki syntax to html so 
> that authors don't need to use <h*> markup for headings but can just use 
> some ascii punctuation syntax?

Well to some extent we are, e.g. with making <h1> the generic header 
element and using <section> instead, and with making the outline algorithm 
automatically infer "anonymous" sections based on header hierarchy, and so 

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Sunday, 30 March 2008 22:12:14 UTC

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