[whatwg] Mathematics in HTML5

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Sat Jun 17 23:52:34 PDT 2006

On Sat, 17 Jun 2006, James Graham wrote:
> That's a really particular use case which is hardly representative of 
> the web as a whole. As sad as it is, 99.9% of authors have no use for 
> maths (otherwise all these problems would have been solved long ago). 
> Maths is certainly less of a core feature for most authors than vector 
> graphics and WHATWG aren't trying to re-implement SVG despite the fact 
> that it too has no obvious IE6 compatibility story, poor CSS integration 
> and various other problems.
> Nowhere in the WHATWG document does it say that they're going to try and 
> fix everything. You have to choose your battles and, personally, I agree 
> with the idea that, if the proponents of CSS-based maths want to work in 
> the structure of the WHATWG, they should demonstrate the feasibility of 
> their approach using a microformat. Given the constraints under which 
> they have chosen to operate it should be possible to do this without any 
> difficulties. The microformat based approach has several advantages too, 
> e.g. instant implementation in existing HTML4 UAs (a new markup language 
> would require changes to the parser). This should allow the language to 
> evolve as it encounters real-world needs so, if and when it is formally 
> standardized, it will be a better product than typically results from an 
> standardization-before-implementation approach.

As usual, James has managed to express himself much better than I can. I 
completely agree with what he writes above.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

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