[whatwg] Mathematics in HTML5
jg307 at cam.ac.uk
Sat Jun 17 10:35:14 PDT 2006
Stefan Gössner wrote:
> Anne van Kesteren wrote:
>>> "The core features of an XML vocabulary should require the use of
>>> from ONLY ONE NAMESPACE."
>> Is math really a core feature?
> Yes, absolutely .. the upcoming microlearning / nanolearning units
> inevitably need math.
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.
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