W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-math@w3.org > October 2002

Re: HOWTO implement cross-browser-compatible MathML

From: David Carlisle <davidc@nag.co.uk>
Date: Fri, 18 Oct 2002 17:58:26 +0100
Message-Id: <200210181658.RAA29249@penguin.nag.co.uk>
To: ping@zesty.ca
CC: www-math@w3.org

> You have forgotten that MINSE expressions are medium-independent
> (it's right there in the first two letters of the acronym "MINSE").
> Although images are one target, they are not the only possible target.

but the point is that if the server desides to send you an image then
that is what you get on the client and so the structure is hidden.
and so minse in this respect is no different from any other server side
generation of the mathematics images from other sources (such as tex

> And that's rather sad.  It's just depressing to see people like Eugene
> suffering with complicated workarounds (and needing "miracles" bestowed
> by wizards like David) when there's a much easier way.

I'm not sure it's easier, also the end result is undoubtably worse. that
isn't a fault of your minse system as such it is just a feature of using
images in a browser: alignment with the rest of the text will be worse,
printing is usually pretty bad (depends on the resolution of the images)
etc etc. The formatting of the native mathml renders in browsers is
getting really quite good and the important thing is that it is
integrated into the document in a natural way, just simple things like
selecting a larger text size from the menu just works, the mathematics
gets bigger as well as the text. That doesn't happen if you are served
a set of images.

If you look down the list of problems and issues with cross browser
support in this thread you'll see many of them are unrelated to mathml.
Really they are just general xml (and xhtml) issues. In order to get XMl
(served as xml mime type) to render in IE you need to supply some kind
of stylesheet, this is true even if you are just using xhtml and haven't
any mathematics at all.  So any "complicated workarounds" are to the
user, no different to teh workarounds needed for xhtml.  The stylesheet
needs a few extra things to handle mathml, but that isn't the users


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Received on Friday, 18 October 2002 12:58:39 UTC

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