[whatwg] Mathematics in HTML5
stefan at goessner.net
Mon Jun 19 09:12:23 PDT 2006
James Graham wrote:
>>> 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).
I wouldn't reduce the people from all schools and universities worldwide
to only 0.1%. But obviously I have to accept the view -- or better the
fact -- that today's web is much more commercial than scientific or
> 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.
I wish, that WHATWG would have a similar motivation to offer lightweight
math capabilities parallel to MathML, as they were motivated to support
vector graphics via the <canvas> element parallel to SVG.
> 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.
Assuming the microformat solution will work -- and that it will work is
already proven by George's implementation -- why should there be a
reason then in one, two, three years to substitute the well working
microformats with a new set of math related elements?
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