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Re: FYI: a nice interactive... Digital Document

From: Peter Krautzberger <peter.krautzberger@mathjax.org>
Date: Tue, 15 Sep 2015 12:43:36 +0200
Message-ID: <CABqxo83Xk+2c7giuqdkK=Thy8uKN2DRZF75NO187r1OkqigtLw@mail.gmail.com>
To: Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org>
Cc: W3C Digital Publishing IG <public-digipub-ig@w3.org>
> But that is also a matter of the authors/publishers.

Yes, but making this a little easier might be worthwhile.

> I wonder: what would be the favourite syntax for authors to encode maths
when they author HTML? I am not sure MathML would win on that front…

That depends on which authors you have in mind. If you already know
TeX/LaTeX, then writing such TeX-like input is obviously easier for you.
But most people don't know LaTeX (then again: this piece by Kathi Fletcher
<http://kefletcher.blogspot.de/2012/09/creating-and-editing-math-can-we-get.html>
).

The causal Word user will be using MS Equation Editor or
MathMagic/MathType/etc. The tablet user might prefer Microsoft's Math Input
Panel or MyScript apps for handwriting recognition. For students, I'd
always suggest Peter Jipsen's asciimath notation. I've never seen a wysiwyg
editor be really productive but clearly people keep buying them. I hear
MathML editors shine in situations where non-experts have to deal with the
expert content, e.g., it's easier for a copy-editor to work with MathML
than a complex (macro-infested) TeX string.

Once you do even simple webby things like styling, you quickly run into
limitations with TeX or asciimath because it gets cumbersome and sometimes
incompatible (e.g., reflow). And then we're not even close to those nice
animations and visualizations.

Of course, you can write MathML by hand (I frequently do) but that's like
people saying they write HTML or CSS by hand all the time. Sure, some
people do. But the majority uses CMSs, frameworks, HTML templating, CSS
processors etc. So I would agree that the developer tool chain for MathML
could greatly improve (i.e., these HTML/CSS workflows rarely work for
 MathML).

But I think the problem always comes down to MathML support in browsers.

We already have a gazillion tools to convert any kind of math input to
MathML (and often back).  If MathML was usable on the web, people would
convert to it and be done with it. If they can't use client-side JS
solutions, they look for other solutions. That's why people still end up
using binary images (I"m looking at you, ebooks), or, if they're fancy,
things like mathjax-node, KaTeX, mathquill, jqmath etc. People are
re-inventing the wheel that MathML was supposed to be -- and they keep
getting better at it as HTML, CSS, and SVG implementations improve.

Peter.



On Tue, Sep 15, 2015 at 10:37 AM, Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org> wrote:

>
> On 15 Sep 2015, at 09:37 , Peter Krautzberger <
> peter.krautzberger@mathjax.org> wrote:
>
> Thanks for sharing it -- great example of web document!
>
> Enabling portability of this kind of document would be fantastic.
>
>
> Yes. But that is also a matter of the authors/publishers. Very clearly,
> this *should* be possible, "just" by collecting all the resources in one
> place (whatever that means)
>
> B.t.w., all the sources use LaTeX for mathematics. I remembered your
> comparison of Markdown vs. HTML yesterday but, seeing this, I wonder: what
> would be the favourite syntax for authors to encode maths when they author
> HTML? I am not sure MathML would win on that front…
>
> Cheers
>
> I.
>
>
> Peter.
>
> On Tue, Sep 15, 2015 at 7:13 AM, Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org> wrote:
>
>> I do not know whether it is a Portable Digital Document, though… But a
>> great example for things that can be done. Lots of MathJax, Peter:-)
>>
>>
>>
>> Here is another example:
>> *immersive linear algebra*
>> by J. Ström, K. Åström, and T. Akenine-Möller
>> ISBN: 978-91-637-9354-7
>>
>> http://immersivemath.com/ila/index.html
>>
>>
>> Ivan
>>
>> ----
>> Ivan Herman, W3C
>> Digital Publishing Lead
>> Home: http://www.w3.org/People/Ivan/
>> mobile: +31-641044153
>> ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0782-2704
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>
>
> ----
> Ivan Herman, W3C
> Digital Publishing Lead
> Home: http://www.w3.org/People/Ivan/
> mobile: +31-641044153
> ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0782-2704
>
>
>
>
>
Received on Tuesday, 15 September 2015 10:44:05 UTC

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