[whatwg] Mathematics on HTML5

Michel Fortin michel.fortin at michelf.com
Mon May 29 06:49:50 PDT 2006

Maybe I can add my view to this thread. I'm no user of MathML, nor do  
I write often complicated equations on the web. I don't know much  
Latex either.

One thing I know however is that the next time I'll have to put an  
equation on a web page, I won't go looking for a MathML editor just  
to be able to generate the markup, convert the page to XHTML served  
as application/xhtml+xml (so that it works with MathML) and ask my  
users to install the required plugin or web browser just to see my  
equation. I'll use an image: it'll be a lot simpler.

What Juan propose, about adding a limited number of elements to HTML  
for maths, actually makes sense to me, especially if you can get not- 
too-bad results with CSS. HTML is designed to be easy to learn and  
write; if we had a markup like that for mathematics which integrates  
easily in HTML it'd be much more used than MathML, I'm sure.

But I think it would be better to develop that as a microformat[1]  
first, then, once it works and is well defined, see if the WhatWG is  
interested in integrating the microformat into HTML5 by giving it  
specific elements and attributes.

  [1]: http://microformats.org/

Michel Fortin
michel.fortin at michelf.com

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