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RE: MathML won't display (or: what triggers mathplayer behaviour?)

From: Waters, Michael, Springer US <Mike.Waters@springer.com>
Date: Tue, 29 May 2007 14:59:37 -0400
To: Robert Miner <robertm@dessci.com>, Jacques Distler <distler@golem.ph.utexas.edu>
Cc: R.W.Kaye@bham.ac.uk, www-math@w3.org, "William F. Hammond" <hammond@math.albany.edu>
Message-id: <F9A426730B49D8489A32B966BBF03D570882A514@NY-EX001.springer-sbm.com>

Hi Robert,

Recent tests on serving static .xhtml files led me to agree with Richard's assessment: the problem with MathPlayer not being triggered "is due to the presence of "; charset=utf-8" or something in the server's Content-Type header".

Just now I confirmed that observation by alternately adding and removing a "AddCharset UTF-8" directive to Apache's httpd.conf file. By adding that 1 directive, stopping/starting the server, >>AND<< removing the local browser cache, not just refreshing the page, I was able to prevent the triggering of MathPlayer on the simplest MathML demo page, thereby showing the XML tree. To re-enable the correct MathPlayer behavior, I removed the directive, stoppped/started the server, >>AND<< removed the local browser cache, going back to the default application/xhtml+xml MIME type for .xhtml and .xht files.

I haven't looked closely at various registry settings and I'm no web server expert, but these quick tests indicate to me that "application/xhtml+xml" works in IE6+MathPlayer, but "application/xhtml+xml; charset=utf-8" is problematic. (I haven't yet tested IE7.)

Mike Waters
Process and Content Management
233 Spring St. | New York, NY 10013 | USA
Tel: +1 212 620-8457
Fax: +1 212 647-1898

> -----Original Message-----
> From: www-math-request@w3.org 
> [mailto:www-math-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Robert Miner
> Sent: Tuesday, May 29, 2007 11:49 AM
> To: Jacques Distler
> Cc: R.W.Kaye@bham.ac.uk; www-math@w3.org; William F. Hammond
> Subject: RE: MathML won't display (or: what triggers 
> mathplayer behaviour?)
> Hi Jacques,
> There isn't a direct connection between the charset and the XML tree.
> But just as IE doesn't seem to always follow the rules for determining
> the encoding, it also does not play by the rules for determining the
> MIME type (as I'm sure you know).  
> The XML tree shows up when IE doesn't believe the http header's
> declaration that the MIME type is application/xhtml+xml and doesn't
> start up MathPlayer.  Somewhere later on, it must realize the document
> is XML at least, since it displays the tree.  But at the point it is
> supposed to invoke MathPlayer if the MIME type is 
> application/xhtml+xml,
> the call never comes, at least as far as I can determine by setting a
> breakpoint in the relevant routine in the debugger.
> We had been experimenting with the charset parameter, on the 
> hypothesis
> that somehow that might be preventing IE from recognizing the MIME
> declaration in the http header. But it doesn't seem to.  
> Mostly it seems
> like if the document is dynamically generated, so there isn't a file
> name in the http header, IE just sniffs the content and get's it wrong
> for purposes of firing off MathPlayer.  At least that is what the
> experimental evidence seems to suggest to me.
> I thought perhaps Richard's comment about the BOM meant that if there
> was a BOM, suddenly IE's sniffer did the right thing and 
> recognized the
> content as application/xhtml+xml and fired up MathPlayer.  But I guess
> not.
> --Robert
> Robert Miner
> Director, New Product Development
> Design Science, Inc.
> 140 Pine Avenue, 4th Floor
> Long Beach, California  90802
> Tel:  (651) 223-2883
> Fax:  (651) 292-0014
> robertm@dessci.com
> www.dessci.com
> ~ Makers of MathType, MathFlow, MathPlayer, WebEQ, Equation Editor,
> TexAide ~
Received on Tuesday, 29 May 2007 18:59:52 UTC

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