W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-math@w3.org > April 2016

Re: MathML is dead, long live MathML

From: Moritz Schubotz <schubotz@tu-berlin.de>
Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2016 14:00:32 -0400
Message-ID: <CA+fbXr0=jKhcakzfga+vVwk8uTRCFoA=KhfOjeo0ZSWhid=Baw@mail.gmail.com>
To: Daniel Kinzler <daniel@brightbyte.de>, www-math@w3.org, Peter Krautzberger <peter.krautzberger@mathjax.org>
Cc: Wikimedia developers <wikitech-l@lists.wikimedia.org>, "Schubotz, Moritz" <schubotz@tu-berlin.de>, wikidata-tech <wikidata-tech@lists.wikimedia.org>
Hi Daniel,

Ok. Let's discuss!

Most interesting for me is Peters statements
> Content MathML is just not relevant.
Since I'm currently investigating how content MathML is used, and
whats needs to be done to get mathematical content from one system to
Currently, I have the impression that the latter question is
completely solved in theory, but completely unsolved in practise.

Disclaimer: While I really appreciate drinking beer with Peter, we
have slightly different approaches for de facto standards to share
mathematics in information systems.


On Thu, Apr 7, 2016 at 1:24 PM, Daniel Kinzler <daniel@brightbyte.de> wrote:
> Peter Krautzberger, maintainer of MathJax, apparently thinks that MathML has
> failed as a web standard (even though it succeeded as an XML standard), and
> should be removed from HTML5. Here's the link:
> https://www.peterkrautzberger.org/0186/
> It's quite a rant. Here's a quick TL;DR:
>> It doesn’t matter whether or not MathML is a good XML language. Personally, I
>> think it’s quite alright. It’s also clearly a success in the XML publishing
>> world, serving an important role in standards such as JATS and BITS.
>> The problem is: MathML has failed on the web.
>> Not a single browser vendor has stated an intent to work on the code, not a
>> single browser developer has been seen on the MathWG. After 18 years, not a
>> single browser vendor is willing to dedicate even a small percentage of a
>> developer to MathML.
>> Math layout can and should be done in CSS and SVG. Let’s improve them
>> incrementally to make it simpler.
>> It’s possible to generate HTML+CSS or SVG that renders any MathML content –
>> on the server, mind you, no client-side JS required (but of course possible).
>> Since layout is practically solved (or at least achievable), we really need
>> to solve the semantics. Presentation MathML is not sufficient, Content MathML
>> is just not relevant.
>> We need to look where the web handles semantics today – that’s ARIA and HTML
>> but also microdata, rdfa etc.
> I think both, the rendering as well as the semantics, are well worth thinking
> about. Perhaps Wikimedia should reach out to Peter Krautzberger, and discuss
> some ideas of how math (and physics, and chemistry) content should be handled by
> Wikipedia, Wikidata, and friends. This seems like a cross roads, and we should
> have a hand in where things are going from here.
> -- daniel (not a MathML expert all all)

Moritz Schubotz
TU Berlin, Fakultät IV
DIMA - Sekr. EN7
Raum EN742
Einsteinufer 17
D-10587 Berlin

Tel.: +49 30 314 22784
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Fax:  +49 30 314 21601
E-Mail: schubotz@tu-berlin.de
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Msn: Moritz@Schubotz.de
Received on Thursday, 7 April 2016 18:01:04 UTC

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