W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > March 2008

Re: Exploring new vocabularies for HTML

From: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>
Date: Sun, 30 Mar 2008 01:11:49 +0200
Cc: ian@hixie.ch, public-html@w3.org, www-math@w3.org
Message-Id: <C35681C8-D746-4416-8095-35525F5E357A@iki.fi>
To: David Carlisle <davidc@nag.co.uk>

On Mar 30, 2008, at 00:23, David Carlisle wrote:
>> Is OpenMath actually used on the Web?
> No because widespread support for mathml anoated with other xml  
> formats
> isn't exactly widely available. Actually I expect to see less OM than
> ever after OM3/MathML3 as basically we are aiming to bring these two
> into such close alignment that they are simply different serialisatins
> of the same thing, so in a web cotext you may as well use the mathml
> form.

This is good to know in terms of setting priorities for Validator.nu.  
Thank you.

> But as I just replied to Ian, annotation-xml for anotation
> presentation mathml with content is used a lot, and anotation is often
> used to anotate mathematics with alterative (ofetn original source)
> forms suct as openofiiceorg syntax, or maple, or TeX...

I think annotation and annotation-xml are harmful when used as  
alternative representations of a MathML subtree as opposed to a  
validator-pleasing escape hatch to SVG.

Why would anyone include an alternative format for a MathML subtree  
unless they expected a human or a piece of software to process the  
alternative format instead of MathML? That leads to a situation where  
different consumers use different alternatives that might not be  
equally expressive and in sync. It lessens the incentive for  
developers to polish MathML import as they can use MathML as a  
standards-compliance trompe-l'il while continuing to round-trip  
annotations in a product-specific format (like OpenOffice.org prefers  
to do). Therefore, annotation-xml could become a vehicle of product  
lock-in if important stuff goes only into the annotation instead of  
MathML. Being able to put important stuff in the annotation lessens  
the pressure for vendors to standardize what their products need to  
round-trip as part of MathML proper.

>> So far it looks like it would make  more sense to assume that
>> browser-targeting authors use annotation-xml  for SVG or XHTML, so we
>> might as well open a new <body>-like HTML parsing scope in there  
>> (with
>> <svg> in turn establishing an SVG scope straight away).
> details can certainly be discussed, and at that level might best be
> discussed with people who are better aware of the implementation
> consequences of the varius options than I am.

After discussing this with Hixie on IRC and testing a bit with Gecko,  
I'd like revise my position. Since SVG in MathML works fine in the #1  
SVG-in-MathML browser engine implementation (Gecko in Firefox 3), I  
think requiring the <semantics><annotation-xml encoding="SVG1.1">  
cruft around <svg> is just silly and it would be better to make <svg>  
subtrees conforming directly inside Presentation MathML.

>> Do those cases allow the elements from the different vocabularies to
>> intermingle without an annotation-xml scope?
> as far as I know they leave it unspecified.

Not going to fly for HTML5. :-)

Henri Sivonen
Received on Saturday, 29 March 2008 23:12:36 UTC

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