From: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>

Date: Fri, 19 Sep 2008 18:24:32 -0500

Message-ID: <dd0fbad0809191624k7a509c3p8985da4bab36e802@mail.gmail.com>

Date: Fri, 19 Sep 2008 18:24:32 -0500

Message-ID: <dd0fbad0809191624k7a509c3p8985da4bab36e802@mail.gmail.com>

To list. ---------- Forwarded message ---------- From: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com> Date: Fri, Sep 19, 2008 at 6:23 PM Subject: Re: [whatwg] Can <var> possibly work? To: Ozob the Great <ozob1337 at gmail.com> On Fri, Sep 19, 2008 at 5:41 PM, Ozob the Great <ozob1337 at gmail.com> wrote: > I am concerned about the existence of HTML5's <var>. This was brought to my > attention during a technical debate on Wikipedia which amounted to: Where is > use of <var> appropriate? The problem is that while <var> can be used to > distinguish variables from non-variables, there are many other mathematical > constructs which cannot properly be called variables. If variables are going > to be distinguished by the markup, then these other constructs ought be > distinguished by the markup. But they can't be put inside <var> because > they're not variables, and furthermore, they can't always said to be > constants, functions, spaces or any short list of allowable objects; the > number of different types of objects occurring in mathematics is tremendous, > and specifying all the allowable objects in HTML markup is undesirable. > Your error is in assuming that HTML5 wants to be very specific about math markup. <var> *can* be used to mark up variables in a mathematical expression. It's primary use, though, is to mark up variables in things like, say, computer code, because these are often styled differently than the rest of text. Frex, a <code> block may be generally just white-space:pre, but the vars will be bold as well. In simple math expressions (the kind that can be expressed in vanilla html5), there is usually also a special convention for marking up variables. Oftentimes they are simply italicized. If you are wanting to mark up complex mathematical text with explicit semantics, one should indeed use MathML. <var> is not meant to replace it; it's meant to provide a simple bit of semantics for a relatively common use-case. ~TJ -------------- next part -------------- An HTML attachment was scrubbed... URL: <http://lists.whatwg.org/pipermail/whatwg-whatwg.org/attachments/20080919/93205ef3/attachment.htm>Received on Friday, 19 September 2008 16:24:32 UTC

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