[whatwg] Mathematics in HTML5

White Lynx whitelynx at operamail.com
Thu Jun 22 04:48:55 PDT 2006

James Graham wrote:

> Also, as far as I know (and maybe I am just ignorant), there is no way to deal 
> with wrapping of mathematics e.g.
> f(x) = ax^4 + bx^3 + cx^2 + dx + e
> should wrap to the right of the equals sign as far as possible (i.e. up until 
> the point the screen is too narrow) like:
> f(x) = ax^4 + bx^3
>         + cx^2 + dx
>         + e

This reminds me hyphenation issues in text (especially in German and Scandinavian
languages where words are sometimes as long as math formulae)

formula {white-space:nowrap;}

<formula>f(x) = ax^4 + bx^3 + cx^2 + dx + e</formula>

works fine on screen. On handheld devices this could be a problem
however. It is hard to imagine person reading math article on mobile,
but in any case there is possibility to reintroduce wbr element: 

f(x) = ax^4 + bx^3 <wbr/>+ cx^2 + dx + e
f(x) <wbr/>= ax^4 <wbr/>+ bx^3 <wbr/>+ cx^2 <wbr/>+ dx <wbr/>+ e

Automated line breaking would be nice, but even in LaTeX community 
such a things are mostly done manually.

> I'm also not sure there exists a simple mechanism to get multiple lines of 
> mathematics to line up on a specified point like:

> He + He <-> Be + gamma
> Be + He <-> C*
>       C*  -> C + gamma

> - clearly one could hand tweak this on a case by case basis but it's not ideal

At the moment secondary alignment mechanism does not exist (apart of tabular layouts of course).

> In addition to those, I'm pretty sure there are also significant character 
> spacing issues if you're looking for TeX-quality rendering.

At the moment issue is left up to authors.
They can write 2 + 2, 2+2 or insert disirable width space (many are available in Unicode).
Even in LaTeX fine tuning is often done by authors  using spaces like \; \! \, 
Those who care much about spacing issues can fine tune spacing during authoring
process (either manually or by using  XSLT or scripting).

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