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RE: MathML is dead, long live MathML

From: Paul Topping <pault@dessci.com>
Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2016 18:18:18 +0000
To: Moritz Schubotz <schubotz@tu-berlin.de>, Daniel Kinzler <daniel@brightbyte.de>, "www-math@w3.org" <www-math@w3.org>, "Peter Krautzberger" <peter.krautzberger@mathjax.org>
CC: Wikimedia developers <wikitech-l@lists.wikimedia.org>, wikidata-tech <wikidata-tech@lists.wikimedia.org>
Message-ID: <B6C5B1ABA88AF446821B281774E6DB71B717B5AE@FERMAT.corp.dessci>
Yes, let's discuss. I wrote a response to Peter's post here: http://bit.ly/1ZLfCF8. Probably some on this list are aware of it but perhaps not all.

I believe it is important to separate out the different aspects of MathML as a standard. Peter scoped his post by saying that it had failed as a WEB standard right in the title. However, many will ignore that key word and see it as saying that MathML is a total failure which is clearly not the case. On Hacker News, they even discussed how TeX was a better language than MathML to type math. Peter's title is a provocative one and subject to much misinterpretation. This is one of the main reasons I wrote my response. I actually agree with a lot of Peter's observations but not their tone and the fact that they are presented in a manner that invites misinterpretation by the many that do not really understand MathML.

Paul Topping

Design Science, Inc.
"How Science Communicates"
Makers of MathType, MathFlow, MathPlayer, Equation Editor
http://www.dessci.com



> -----Original Message-----
> From: Moritz Schubotz [mailto:schubotz@tu-berlin.de]
> Sent: Thursday, April 07, 2016 11:01 AM
> 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>
> Subject: Re: MathML is dead, long live MathML
> 
> 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
> another.
> 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.
> 
> Best
> Moritz
> 
> 
> 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
> Germany
> 
> Tel.: +49 30 314 22784
> Mobil.: +49 1578 047 1397
> Fax:  +49 30 314 21601
> E-Mail: schubotz@tu-berlin.de
> Skype: Schubi87
> ICQ: 200302764
> Msn: Moritz@Schubotz.de

Received on Thursday, 7 April 2016 18:18:49 UTC

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