way to implement msqrt

In my endeavors to create a JS-written MathML proc, I ran into the
problem of how to represent an msqrt element.  Because of the "perverse"
notation common to the element, I've been forced to concede that a table
works best for layout purposes.  (Wouldn't the world have been simpler
if everyone used 1/x exponents instead of x roots???)

Despite my adverse reaction I still wish to implement the element.
After a few hours of testing, I came to the example following this
message.  I used CSS and HTML-tables.  The colors & classes are purely
for diagnostics, so they will eventually be taken out/changed.  I used a
trick that I saw in the XSLT style sheet to get the "radical" part of
the square root.  Is there a better way; what possible problems could I
encounter using this approach?

Example file:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"
	<title>raw-html square root test: Do or do not; there is no
	<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html;
	<style type="text/css">
	div.test {background: #99F; margin: 1em; padding: 1em;
font-size: 100%;}

	.l1, .l2, .l3, .l4, .l6, .l7, .l8 {margin: 0; padding: 0;}
	.l1 {background: #F00;}
	.l2 {background: #FF0;}
	.l3 {background: #F0F; vertical-align: bottom;}
	.l4 {
		display: block;
		position: relative;
		top:  .18em;
		left: .14em;
		font-family: monospace;
		vertical-align: bottom;
		font-size: 120%;
	.l6 {background: #FF9;}
	.l7 {background: #F9F;}
	.l8 {background: #F9F;}
	.l9 {
		background: #F66;
		border-top: .04em solid black;
		border-left: .04em solid black;
		margin: 0;
		padding: .1em .2em .1em .2em;
<div class="test">
<table cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" class="l1">
	<tr class="l2">
		<td class="l3"><span class="l4">\</span></td>
		<td class="l6">
			<table cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"
				<tr class="l8">

Jimmy Cerra

Received on Friday, 12 April 2002 23:45:29 UTC