[whatwg] Mathematics in HTML5

Alexey Feldgendler alexey at feldgendler.ru
Thu Jun 8 03:59:32 PDT 2006

On Thu, 08 Jun 2006 14:24:36 +0700, White Lynx <whitelynx at operamail.com> wrote:

>> Why have <f> at all? When I'm writing about <var>x</var>, why should I
>> write <f><var>x</var></f>? What would be the difference? I think a
>> <formula> element is only needed for what is called "display equations" --
>> they are rendered out of line, usually centered, and sometimes numbered.
>> That way, inline math would require no special element at all -- just
>> write math in the middle of a sentence, and it should work.  On the other
>> hand, when math is put inside a <formula>, it's displayed on a line by
>> itself, centered, numbered etc. And, by the way, one can actually have
>> just plain text inside a formula, such as some statement in prose that
>> needs to be centered and numbered like other formulae.

> It matters from both structural (marks formula explicitly) and presentational
> point of view (consider line breaks inside formulae, text justification algorithms that
> should not affect math formulae, different fonts that user may want to use for text
> and maths, possible CSS extensions like text-transformation:math-italic; etc.).

What exactly is a formula?

For example, I write that 2+2=4 means that the expression 2+2 equals to 4.

What is a formula in the paragraph above, and what is not? One would most certainly agree that "2+2=4" is a formula (it's a complete equation). Likewise, most people will tell you that "4" is not a formula and needs not be marked as such -- or else any number inside prose should have been marked up. What about 2+2? Where exactly lies the separation between a formula and non-formula?

I admit that the same problem exists in TeX: one could write 4 or $4$.

Alexey Feldgendler <alexey at feldgendler.ru>
[ICQ: 115226275] http://feldgendler.livejournal.com

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