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Re: minor suggestions on Public Editor's draft of MathML

From: Joe Java <cop3252@yahoo.com>
Date: Thu, 17 May 2012 08:24:46 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <1337268286.22980.YahooMailNeo@web160302.mail.bf1.yahoo.com>
To: David Carlisle <davidc@nag.co.uk>
Cc: "www-math@w3.org" <www-math@w3.org>
Hello David,

> > but perhaps the defining document of MathML should use the correct
> > character defined as the minus sign.

>Perhaps or perhaps not. I could be persuaded either way but I'm inclined
>to stick with - but this reply is a personal response the WG might
>agree. It would be simple enough to change the sources. Perhaps we
>should change some of them...

Realistically, the vast majority of people will use the hypen-minus character, 
but the defining document for MathML should be pedantic and use the 
defined minus character.  Most people do not even know that the hypen-minus 
character is not the same size as the minus character.  To see this, place text on 
both sides of a plus character then toggle the plus character with a minus sign.  
If you use the hypen-minus character the text around the minus will move, but
if you use the minus character, it will not move.  The hypen-minus character is 
smaller than the minus character.  The minus character is defined to be the same 
width as the plus character.

> > 2. The examples use the Unicode number followed by a commented out
> > long Unicode name for non-ASCII characters. Now that the "XML Entity
> > Definitions for Characters" is out and the latest HTML5 draft has a
> > table of all the character entity names, it might be better to only
> > have the entity names used rather than the Unicode number of the
> > non-ASCII characters/entities.

> I wondered about that in the html version but....
> For older browsers (including current Opera unless you have a test
> version I think) that do not pre-define the full html5 entity set the
> characters would be mis-parsed if I used entity references.

Latest Opera seems to have all the pre-defined HTML5 entities.

> Also it's technically easier for me to use the expanded form (although
> that's no excuse really and I could change this if necessary) but new
> html5 version is actually a post-processed version of the xhtml version
> and that has to have the numeric references rather than entity
> references, so the entity names (which are used in the source) are no
> longer available. I could of course change the pipeline to preserve the
> names or I could just pick one of the entity names for that character.
> But it may still be a bit early given browser support for html5 parsing.

Browser support of HTML5 is actually pretty good.  

I am assuming most new MathML on the web will be in HTML5 documents.
Most people wanting to add some MathML to their webpage will just
find a formula similar to what they want to use and cut and past the 
code.  Smart people will go the the MathML defining document and copy
the examples found there.  Others will then copy the code found on these
people's webpages, etc.   It is important that the MathML examples be the
best code possible.  

The HTML5 defining document has a nice named character references chart
that shows entity name, Unicode number, and a sample glyph of the character.  

I am assuming most people will simply look at the chart for the character they 
want and use the entity name to add it.   To make life easier for these people
the MathML examples should use these entity names.  

> Thanks for your comments, I'll see what I can do about the formatting.

The formatting changes make reading the HTML source code much easier.

> David

Received on Thursday, 17 May 2012 15:25:19 UTC

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