[whatwg] HTML5-Math

juanrgonzaleza at canonicalscience.com juanrgonzaleza at canonicalscience.com
Tue Jul 4 02:56:48 PDT 2006

I have updated a post on Canonical Science Today with screenshoots of
mathematical formulae rendered with a Firefox 1.0 browser without the
special fonts over Windows XP.


Apparently some people at the list was unable to differentiate CSS
rendering from the usage of a default CSS stylesheet (designed to be
*lighweight*). I believe that the experiment proves that CSS rendering can
be so good as native presentational MathML 2.0 but without the limitations
asociated to the latter; see further comments about web, structure and
first class rendering on the above source.

Of course there are some limitations for a CSS rendering (also in the
MathML side), but limitations are due to i) current CSS specification ii)
browsers support.

There is a number of ways to improve rendering, for instance using SVG
(maybe canvas?) content, GIFs (i disacourage this method but is used in
jsMath approach) and future CSS graphics improvements.

Of course, more complex formulae could be also rendered with CSS. For
example nested fractions are not limited to 2 levels. I have limited the
complexity of formulae simply because i am very busy those days.

In future postings, I will present examples of formulae are correctly
rendered with CSS thecnique but fail with MathML native browser (i.e. some
of links i submitted to this list) and, also, examples of MathML formulae
(extracted from real world: blogs, academic journals, databases) that in
theory would be correctly rendered but in practice -due to limitations on
current implementations and tools- are best rendered via CSS.

The source code (MathML and HTML+CSS) generating the screenshoots will be
posted after finished the experiment.

Juan R.


More information about the whatwg mailing list