"Some things are clearer with hindsight of several years. It is
necessary to evolve HTML incrementally. The attempt to get the world
to switch to XML, including quotes around attribute values and slashes
in empty tags and namespaces all at once didn't work."
Juan & The While Lynx: the quote above is not from hixie or me, culled
from the MathML-in-HTLM5 thread. It is a quote from the man himself.
Perhaps it has to come from him before it sinks in. [Note: as I have
been saying, there is difference between the client and the server.
XML is great for the server and any workflow there. But it is not as
critical on the client.]
Anyway, all I can add as far as MathML is concerned is that whatever
new WGs the W3C ends up with, MathML should become part of the next
HTML, period. Let's make a block behind this, and not fragment
ourselves any further with wishful thinking and the illusion that
MathML is fine in the icy isolation of XHTML/XML.
Although TBL's post only gives a little accolade to the WHATWG --
understandably because it is a breakaway/rebel group :-) the aspects
he mentioned (e.g., webforms) are central to the WHATWG's HTLM5. Math
rendering should not miss out this time. Pretexts are over, as we now
have credible things to put on the table.
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> It is now official. HTML5 is going at W3C (although it isn't called
> HTML5 -- at as least as yet).
> The noises have built into a rumble, to the point of reaching the man
> himself, Sir Tim BL, if we have to name him:
> http://dig.csail.mit.edu/breadcrumbs/node/166 >
> "Some things are clearer with hindsight of several years. It is
> necessary to evolve HTML incrementally. The attempt to get the world to
> switch to XML, including quotes around attribute values and slashes in
> empty tags and namespaces all at once didn't work."
He also says:
"The large HTML-generating public did not move,
largely because the browsers didn't complain."
although I suspect he misspelt "comply"
But seriously, I'd love to see MathML in HTML, provided
it was sufficiently MathML-like to fit into reasonable workflows.
Currently, I can work with XML data with embedded MathML
and generate both HTML(w/images, eg) or XHTML(w/MathML)
using stylesheets that are 90-95% shared.
If output method='html' were enough to convert real MathML
into HTML's MathML, possibly even with some XSLT compatible
namespace downgrading, that might be workable from a content
I worry that such almost-MathML wouldn't be recognizable
as MathML when cut-n-pasted to other applications, though,
which would make the MathML-in-HTML only useful for presentation
(useful tho' that is!).
These are the concerns I had with some of the ideas
being floated within WhatWG; I hope they will carry
some weight in the continued development.