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

Re: Exploring new vocabularies for HTML

From: Bruce Miller <bruce.miller@nist.gov>
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2008 12:56:23 -0400
To: Justin James <j_james@mindspring.com>
Cc: 'Henri Sivonen' <hsivonen@iki.fi>, 'David Carlisle' <davidc@nag.co.uk>, ian@hixie.ch, public-html@w3.org, www-math@w3.org
Message-id: <47F117B7.9080501@nist.gov>

Justin James wrote:
>> Can someone please fill in some of the gaps, here?
>> I get the feeling there's a stage(s) where "Magic Happens"...
> 
> I could not agree more. Right now, we are only accounting for MathML. Even
> when we discuss this issue as not MathML-specific, we are thinking only in
> that context. What's to happen if I come up with my own DOM and want to
> embed it? Do I also have to account for, in my DOM, these kinds of issues?
> Do I submit it to the W3C and hope that the handling rules make it into HTML
> 6?

Hmmm.... On the one hand, I very much sympathize with your
point of view.  However, one can already do some of that now,
modulo interoperability (or lack thereof) of <object>, etal.

On the other hand, I've seen that this provides exactly the
escape hatch that allows "It's optional, small market, ignore it".
Sorry, but Math _is_ special....

No, I take that back, rather,
   Math is _NOT_ special;  it's totally normal!!
Acting like it's special gives us a generation of
kids capable of pushing a Hamburger picture button
on a cash register, but can't calculate 5% tax on $1.00.

[Sorry for the rant :> ]

Pandering to our SVG allies: Drawing is normal too!!! :>


> I propose a much simpler solution that is properly within the spirit of
> HTML.
> 
> Allow the HTML author to embed an OBJECT reference to a parser that handles
> their format. Problem solved. Just because MathML (or *ML) happens to use
> the XML syntax, what right do their authors have to expect that an *HTML
> renderer* will be able to handle it? Why should everyone who writes an HTML
> consuming library or application have to account for every DOM that we
> either hardwire in at this time, or allow to be dynamically used? Why not
> treat non-HTML DOMs the same way we would treat any other non-HTML file
> format, as either something that can be embedded with OBJECT, or something
> that the user agent can download and let the OS handle?
> 
> In other words, what makes MathML (or *ML) so special that we feel the need
> to cater to it in HTML 5? It is *impossible* to properly handle this without
> a "magic happens" style spec, or creating some giant kludge of an embedded
> *ML handling system that allows the authors of "foreign" DOMs to use some
> standardized scripting to control the HTML user agent. In other words, we
> would need to re-create something like ActiveX, Silverlight, Java applets,
> Flash, etc. to allow DOM authors to provide the full handling implementation
> to an HTML user agent in a standardized way. Or we can just use the
> existing, working, and standardized plugin system. I vote for the latter.
> 
> J.Ja
> 
> 
> 


-- 
bruce.miller@nist.gov
http://math.nist.gov/~BMiller/
Received on Monday, 31 March 2008 16:57:39 GMT

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