[whatwg] Mathematics on HTML5

Håkon Wium Lie howcome at opera.com
Wed Jun 7 11:28:32 PDT 2006

Also sprach Martin Atkins:

 > > I would say MathML is not widely used because MathML doesn't work in 
 > > HTML, personally. If we made MathML work in HTML, possibly with rules 
 > > that make the syntax easier (by implying tags as I suggested earlier), 
 > > then that might well change, especially given that one UA already has 
 > > extensive and high-quality support for MathML.
 > It seems to me that a good path would be to fix up CSS's shortcomings 
 > (which have been discussed at length in this thread) so that it is 
 > possible to specify math rendering with CSS.

It takes years and years to produce new presentational features, write
test suites and make them work interoperably. At this stage, any
effort that relies on new CSS properties is a decade away from full
deployment. By contrast, changing markup on the author side is very
easy. So, I'd rather make the markup language CSS-friendly (and
author-friendly) than the other way around.

Historically, it's a common mistake to develop markup systems without
giving much thought to presentation. For example, only when SGML was
done did one start efforts to create a style sheet language for it
(FOSI/DSSSL). Likewise with HTML. Given that CSS existed when MathML
was created, I think the developers made a mistake by not creating a
markup language that could be presented using existing CSS properties.


              Håkon Wium Lie                          CTO °þe®ª
howcome at opera.com                  http://people.opera.com/howcome

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