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Re: Math Working Group Charter

From: Frédéric WANG <fred.wang@free.fr>
Date: Wed, 19 Feb 2014 18:02:32 +0100
Message-ID: <5304E3A8.3080803@free.fr>
To: www-math@w3.org
@Paul: Well, I think I just didn't understand what you say :-) You 
started by mentioning improvements to Web fonts for math (but this just 
a format to allow fonts to be downloaded and used as system font, so I 
don't see why it should be different for math) ; then I understood you 
wanted to expose font features like math kerning to perform low-level 
math layout in Javascript (but apparently you now say you didn't mean to 
do low-level layout) ; and finally you now state a general and abstract 
statement from which I can hardly say anything. So I believe I agree 
with you about the Web Platform replacing the traditional OS (that's 
what for example FirefoxOS and others are doing) but if you meant 
reimplementing low-level browser layout (HTML, MathML or anything else) 
in Javascript then I disagree on that point.

Le 19/02/2014 17:37, Paul Topping a écrit :
> @Fred: I think you are taking what I said to the extreme and then countering it. All I am suggesting is that it is possible to view this activity from a different perspective. The more people see the Web Platform as a platform for delivering apps of all kinds, the more the Web Platform will become like a traditional OS. Of course, the details will be different as the technologies have changed. I am definitely not arguing for implementing low-level text layout in JS. However, it is usually a bad idea for any one group to define what facilities the OS needs. It has to fulfill the needs of a variety of imaginative parties and not narrow things down to some small set of preconceived app types.
> Paul
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Frédéric WANG [mailto:fred.wang@free.fr]
>> Sent: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 10:22 PM
>> To: www-math@w3.org
>> Subject: Re: Math Working Group Charter
>> @Paul: I think the idea behind the Web platform is to extend the Web
>> with higher-level functionalities using Javascript and other HTML5
>> technologies (including MathML) not to reinvent the wheel by
>> implementing all the low-level browser features (although I won't be
>> surprised that some JS extremists want that). So since you moved the
>> discussion to text rendering, note that it is one of the most complex
>> part of browser layout and I don't believe anyone is crazy enough to try
>> to reimplement it in Javascript by positioning individual glyphs with
>> <span>'s etc. By extension, this is true for math rendering which can be
>> seen as some complex text layout. Even if the lack of interest of some
>> browser vendors has lead people to rely on polyfills to fill the gap
>> here, this is not justified from a purely technical point of view.
>> So concretely to come back to the case of science, I believe the idea
>> behind the Web platform is to rely on native HTML5 features like MathML,
>> SVG or WebGL in order to create higher level features to easily do
>> TeX-to-MathML conversion, graph drawings, 3D schemas etc and not to do
>> low level math layout, which is one thing MathML was designed for. IIUC,
>> that's the aspect the MathJax project would like to progressively focus
>> on once the native MathML issue is fixed. This is also the kind of
>> higher level API that I'm sometimes missing for my EPUB samples.
>> --
>> Frédéric Wang
>> MathML Crowdfunding: ulule.com/mathematics-ebooks

Frédéric Wang
MathML Crowdfunding: ulule.com/mathematics-ebooks
Received on Wednesday, 19 February 2014 17:03:02 UTC

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