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

RE: Exploring new vocabularies for HTML

From: Justin James <j_james@mindspring.com>
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2008 17:05:21 -0400
To: "'Neil Soiffer'" <Neils@dessci.com>
Cc: "'Bruce Miller'" <bruce.miller@nist.gov>, "'Henri Sivonen'" <hsivonen@iki.fi>, "'David Carlisle'" <davidc@nag.co.uk>, <ian@hixie.ch>, <public-html@w3.org>, <www-math@w3.org>
Message-ID: <03a201c89372$eea31880$cbe94980$@com>

> The statement that "math is for the scientific community" occurs so
often... and is so
> wrong.  Think back to your days in school.  Everyday, in every school,
every child is
> taught math.  Math on the web is only special because it and diagrams are
the only
> formats that show up every day in documents used classrooms that aren't
supported by
> HTML, except as inaccessible and poorly integrated images.

This is actually exactly why I switched stances earlier. The simple ability
to display numbers, even without the full semantic context that MathML
provides, is part and parcel of a complete document format. The Web browser
doesn’t need to know that it is displaying a series, but it needs to be able
to put the sigma and all of the “decorations” in their proper places.

I think that if MathML does indeed have a “presentation specification” which
allows math and numbers to be displayed, without the complicated overhead of
the semantics/meaning of the math, we have a winner for inclusion in the
HTML spec. I would like to extend the proposal by suggesting that the
“wrapper” tag contain an optional attribute pointing to a full and complete
MathML document for user agents that are fully MathML capable, and/or allow
a CDATA element with the full MathML. This way, more “uplevel” user agents
(such as Gecko) can continue to provide (or be extended to provide) full
MathML functionality, while at the same time, “downlevel” user agents
(screen scrapers, for example) don’t break due to lacking the full MathML

Received on Monday, 31 March 2008 21:06:11 UTC

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