[whatwg] Mathematics in HTML5

Michel Fortin michel.fortin at michelf.com
Wed Jun 7 09:09:57 PDT 2006

Le 5 juin 2006 à 9:51, White Lynx a écrit :

> Sketch of the proposal is available, comments are welcome.
> At this stage prose is far from being polished, but I hope it is  
> readable.

Ok, so let's comment. First I'd say I like the path you've taken. I  
like the fact that you make it easy to author formulas directly in HTML.

One thing I dislike however is the distinction you makes between the  
<formula> and the <dformula> elements, which I'd think is confusing.  
Sometimes, formulas are alone on their line but still in the middle  
of a sentence. That formula should have "display: block" with CSS but  
still be considered as an inline element form the HTML point of view  
(so it can be put in a paragraph). At other times, formulas are  
inserted outside paragraphs, as an HTML block. I think it would be  
better to have only one <formula> element which would be a structured  
inline-level element[1].

  [1]: http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/#structured

I would also use <f> instead of <formula> (as Juan used in one of his  
example), because it's shorter and fits well with many other wildly  
used container elements: <p>, <h1>-<h6>, <ol>, <ul>, <li>, <dl>,  
<dt>, and <dd>.

And I'm somewhat skeptical of the usage you plan for the formula  
group element. Is there a case where placing formulas one after the  
other would be inappropriate?

Fractions: seems all fine to me. Maybe we could use <frac> instead of  
<fraction> (just like we have <div>, <ins>, <del>, <em>), but it's  
not all that important.

Nothing to say about radicals: it's well put.

Under scripts and under braces, over scripts and over braces: Is it  
useful to have distinct <ubase> and <obase>? And the whole concept  
reminds of the Ruby Annotation module of XHTML 1.1 [2] and Ruby in  
CSS 3 [3]. Maybe some parts of that model could be reused. Maybe we  
could even add Ruby (or a derivative of it) to HTML 5 and use it in  
formulas and elsewhere.

  [2]: http://www.w3.org/TR/ruby/
  [3]: http://www.w3.org/TR/css3-ruby/

More comments to come...

Michel Fortin
michel.fortin at michelf.com

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