MathML and SVG in text/html

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MathML and SVG in text/html

Doug Schepers-3

Hi, CDF WG-

The editor of the HTML5 specification is not convinced that MathML and
SVG are the right choice for use in HTML.  He apparently considers LaTeX
and other formats as equally well suited as MathML [1], and VML and
Windows Metafile format as equally well suited as SVG [2].  I don't know
if he's genuine in this belief, or if he's merely setting expectations
low so as to gain concessions to the markup and features allowed in
text/html.

I am inclined to believe that they are the most suitable formats
(particularly SVG, though I find the arguments of the MathML advocates
compelling, too); they have been designed from the ground up to be
compatible with other Web technologies, specifially (X)HTML (and by
extension HTML).  However, he may be right that they do not fit within a
vision for HTML which is a monolithic generalized language covering all
domains of expression, as opposed to a framework of multiple
interlocking languages where each performs a dedicated function with
applicable semantics.

This is the essence of CDF, of course, so as I mentioned at our last
F2F, it may be that the best place for this to be specified is the the
CDF WG, working closely with the HTML, XHTML, MathML, and SVG WGs.  The
CDF WG understands the importance of preserving the original formats of
each language, and limits itself to defining the interactions between
technologies.  The HTML5 specification need only concern itself with the
legacy requirements of the HTML language, and could provide a single
point of extensibility, such as an <ext> element or a set of locations
or circumstances under which other languages could be inserted.

Naturally, the goal would still be to have the same DOM serialization in
XHTML as in text/html.  It would be a disservice to authors to introduce
confusing incompatibilities.  It's my belief that the markup itself
should be a close as possible to the original formats as well, for the
same reason.

Given the momentum behind development in HTML in the browsers today, I
think this may be the biggest bang for our buck, and I'd like to discuss
this in our next telcon.  What do you think?

(Since we've agreed to act in public when the new charter goes through,
I'm sending this to the public list, but also BCCing the CDF, MathML and
SVG WG lists to make them aware.  If you prefer to respond on the
member-only list, I certainly respect your privacy.)


[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2008Mar/0267.html
[2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2008Mar/0266.html

Regards-
-Doug Schepers
W3C Team Contact, SVG, CDF, and WebAPI

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Re: MathML and SVG in text/html

Anthony Grasso

Hi Doug,

Just looking at the New Vocabularies [1] on the WhatWG-Wiki it looks
like LaTeX is listed as a possibility. However on their Equations in
HTML [2] section of the wiki the LaTeX syntax is listed as "Rejected".
Both pages seem to be recently updated as well.

There is no mention of VML on New Vocabularies wiki page [1]. However,
when clicking on "Other ideas..." the pages linked had limited access.

I'm probably out spoken on this and perhaps I don't understand all the
issues, but I think that CDF should be specifying the way the different
standards interact in a web environment. The different standards group
((X)HTML, SVG, MathML) should concentrate on their respective
specifications as that is what they are best at.

Regards,

[1] http://wiki.whatwg.org/wiki/New_Vocabularies
[2] http://wiki.whatwg.org/wiki/Equations_in_HTML

Doug Schepers wrote:

>
> Hi, CDF WG-
>
> The editor of the HTML5 specification is not convinced that MathML and
> SVG are the right choice for use in HTML.  He apparently considers LaTeX
> and other formats as equally well suited as MathML [1], and VML and
> Windows Metafile format as equally well suited as SVG [2].  I don't know
> if he's genuine in this belief, or if he's merely setting expectations
> low so as to gain concessions to the markup and features allowed in
> text/html.
>
> I am inclined to believe that they are the most suitable formats
> (particularly SVG, though I find the arguments of the MathML advocates
> compelling, too); they have been designed from the ground up to be
> compatible with other Web technologies, specifially (X)HTML (and by
> extension HTML).  However, he may be right that they do not fit within a
> vision for HTML which is a monolithic generalized language covering all
> domains of expression, as opposed to a framework of multiple
> interlocking languages where each performs a dedicated function with
> applicable semantics.
>
> This is the essence of CDF, of course, so as I mentioned at our last
> F2F, it may be that the best place for this to be specified is the the
> CDF WG, working closely with the HTML, XHTML, MathML, and SVG WGs.  The
> CDF WG understands the importance of preserving the original formats of
> each language, and limits itself to defining the interactions between
> technologies.  The HTML5 specification need only concern itself with the
> legacy requirements of the HTML language, and could provide a single
> point of extensibility, such as an <ext> element or a set of locations
> or circumstances under which other languages could be inserted.
>
> Naturally, the goal would still be to have the same DOM serialization in
> XHTML as in text/html.  It would be a disservice to authors to introduce
> confusing incompatibilities.  It's my belief that the markup itself
> should be a close as possible to the original formats as well, for the
> same reason.
>
> Given the momentum behind development in HTML in the browsers today, I
> think this may be the biggest bang for our buck, and I'd like to discuss
> this in our next telcon.  What do you think?
>
> (Since we've agreed to act in public when the new charter goes through,
> I'm sending this to the public list, but also BCCing the CDF, MathML and
> SVG WG lists to make them aware.  If you prefer to respond on the
> member-only list, I certainly respect your privacy.)
>
>
> [1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2008Mar/0267.html
> [2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2008Mar/0266.html
>
> Regards-
> -Doug Schepers
> W3C Team Contact, SVG, CDF, and WebAPI
>
>

--

Anthony Grasso

Software Engineer

Canon Information Systems Research Australia
1 Thomas Holt Drive, North Ryde, NSW 2113
AUSTRALIA

Phone: +61 2 8873 8821
Email: [hidden email]

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Re: MathML and SVG in text/html

Doug Schepers-3
In reply to this post by Doug Schepers-3

Hi, Folks-

Along these lines, several of us have just had a conversation on IRC,
where we discussed a possible extensibility point:
  http://krijnhoetmer.nl/irc-logs/whatwg/20080401#l-441

We hashed out some ideas on the WHATWG wiki:
  http://wiki.whatwg.org/wiki/Diagrams_in_HTML

The main open question is detailing how to handle tokenizer errors and
tree construction errors.

Note that this is not set in stone by any means, but is a positive
potential step forward.

Regards-
-Doug Schepers
W3C Team Contact, SVG, CDF, and WebAPI


Doug Schepers wrote (on 3/31/08 9:33 PM):

>
> Hi, CDF WG-
>
> The editor of the HTML5 specification is not convinced that MathML and
> SVG are the right choice for use in HTML.  He apparently considers LaTeX
> and other formats as equally well suited as MathML [1], and VML and
> Windows Metafile format as equally well suited as SVG [2].  I don't know
> if he's genuine in this belief, or if he's merely setting expectations
> low so as to gain concessions to the markup and features allowed in
> text/html.
>
> I am inclined to believe that they are the most suitable formats
> (particularly SVG, though I find the arguments of the MathML advocates
> compelling, too); they have been designed from the ground up to be
> compatible with other Web technologies, specifially (X)HTML (and by
> extension HTML).  However, he may be right that they do not fit within a
> vision for HTML which is a monolithic generalized language covering all
> domains of expression, as opposed to a framework of multiple
> interlocking languages where each performs a dedicated function with
> applicable semantics.
>
> This is the essence of CDF, of course, so as I mentioned at our last
> F2F, it may be that the best place for this to be specified is the the
> CDF WG, working closely with the HTML, XHTML, MathML, and SVG WGs.  The
> CDF WG understands the importance of preserving the original formats of
> each language, and limits itself to defining the interactions between
> technologies.  The HTML5 specification need only concern itself with the
> legacy requirements of the HTML language, and could provide a single
> point of extensibility, such as an <ext> element or a set of locations
> or circumstances under which other languages could be inserted.
>
> Naturally, the goal would still be to have the same DOM serialization in
> XHTML as in text/html.  It would be a disservice to authors to introduce
> confusing incompatibilities.  It's my belief that the markup itself
> should be a close as possible to the original formats as well, for the
> same reason.
>
> Given the momentum behind development in HTML in the browsers today, I
> think this may be the biggest bang for our buck, and I'd like to discuss
> this in our next telcon.  What do you think?
>
> (Since we've agreed to act in public when the new charter goes through,
> I'm sending this to the public list, but also BCCing the CDF, MathML and
> SVG WG lists to make them aware.  If you prefer to respond on the
> member-only list, I certainly respect your privacy.)
>
>
> [1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2008Mar/0267.html
> [2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2008Mar/0266.html
>
> Regards-
> -Doug Schepers
> W3C Team Contact, SVG, CDF, and WebAPI
>
>

--