[whatwg] Mathematics in HTML5

Henri Sivonen hsivonen at iki.fi
Mon Jun 19 12:41:18 PDT 2006

On Jun 19, 2006, at 19:12, Stefan Gössner wrote:

> Assuming the microformat solution will work -- and that it will  
> work is already proven by George's implementation --

Did you actually look at George's implementation? It doesn't work.  
Sorry for appearing rude, but someone has to say it: The baby is ugly.

There are only stretchy brackets. No stretchy parentheses or braces  
in sight. Also, the stretchy square root hack is just ugly. Fractions  
are only used in display math, etc.

This is no coincidence, because CSS doesn't do stretchy math  
characters. Moreover, general-purpose text rendering subsystems and  
fonts usually don't do stretchy characters which is why math  
renderers typically special-case these with font-specific knowledge.

> 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?

I'd like to draw attention to Hixie referring to the Microformats  
*process*. The Microformats process begins with defining the problem  
and, in so doing, verifying that there is a problem, seeing if there  
is a simpler problem and looking for prior art.


(As stated before, math typesetting special-cased for MathML is a  
simpler problem than adding general-purpose features to CSS that can  
be used to implement math typesetting. As for prior art, there is  

Henri Sivonen
hsivonen at iki.fi

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