# Planet MathML

The Planet MathML aggregates posts from various blogs that concern MathML. Although it is hosted by W3C, the content of the individual entries represent only the opinion of their respective authors and does not reflect the position of W3C.

## Re: Clipboard API: remove dangerous formats from mandatory data types

Source: public-webapps@w3.org Mail Archives • Paul Libbrecht (paul@hoplahup.net) • August 29, 2015 • Permalink

Hello Hallvord,

> Hallvord Reiar Michaelsen Steen <mailto:hsteen@mozilla.com>
> 27 août 2015 18:32
> On Mon, Aug 17, 2015 at 2:54 PM, Paul Libbrecht <paul@hoplahup.net
> <mailto:paul@hoplahup.net>> wrote:
>
>     do you not want to split the writable types list in safe and
>     non-safe ones and let browsers how they deal with unsafe ones?
>
>
> No, absolutely not. If we leave such things up to the browser we end
> up with implementations that do wildly different things and web
> developers suffering new levels of incompatibility pain.
I mean, let them decide if they support it or not.
>
>     Here's an idea:
>
>     html, xml, and picture formats should be in the unsafe ones.
>
>
> If we can help it, HTML should not be unsafe. It's the web's primary
> format, and if we class it as unsafe we basically prohibit scripts
> from being able to export formatted text to the clipboard.
>
> I do however know it takes a bit of a leap of faith to believe that
> it's safe enough, given that HTML parsing was a bit of a dark art for
> many years. Today we can at least hope a lot of software that consumes
> HTML has been updated to use HTML5 algorithms.
HTML5 has changed the parsing algorithm indeed.
But copying a fragment of HTML in the wild without reformulating it will
lead to privacy breach: it would copy references to external content. I
believe all browsers have an "inlining" method to solve that problem
when pasting from a web-page (I believe "save as web page complete" also
does a part of that).

>
>
>     I guess json too (but both XML and JSON are too generic to my taste).
>
>
> Why should JSON be unsafe? Parsing JSON should be pretty easy, so
> hopefully most parsers would be safe.
I think the danger lies beyond parsers.
In XML, you would have XInclude which can be used in many tools to
include content from outside.
I believe I have seen JSON syntaxes that had external references as part
of their specs but I can't remember which now.
As long these formats are copied as is and parsed blindly the risk of
external inclusion remains.

However, it is true that I do not know of applications that receive
application/xml or text/json without being web-aware or even developer
aware... I am not sure what to suggest here.
(sniffing xml or json in the plain text is commonly done in many apps is
actually much worse in terms o security).
>
>
>     For the unsafe formats, the warning could say that the
>     UA-implementors should only support the flavour if they have a
>     method to make this content safe so that local applications (which
>     do not expect untrusted content) receive content they can trust
>     when pasting. Methods to make the content safe include the
>     following: transcoding a picture, inlining all external entities
>     for html, xml, mathml, or rtf).
>
>
> On Windows I believe images are transcoded to and from DIB - device
> independent bitmap format anyway. Is there any equivalent graphics
> interchange format on other platforms? Does mandating such transcoding
> help guarantee against payloads that might trigger vulnerabilities in
> target software?
All platforms I know of have some sort of transcoding of pictures (in
Macs it is PDF as the central format).
I think this is a very safe mechanism to rely on.
> I expect it adds a significant hurdle against exploits, but I'd like
> input from Daniel Cheng and perhaps from people who have worked on
> image decoders..
> -Hallvord

paul


## Re: lmoustache/rmoustache as stretchy delimiters

Source: www-math@w3.org Mail Archives • David Carlisle (davidc@nag.co.uk) • August 28, 2015 • Permalink

On 28/08/2015 16:05, Frédéric Wang wrote:
> Dear all,
>
> It seems that lmoustache/rmoustache have been used as MathML stretchy operators for a long time. For example, itex2MML provides the \lmoustache & \rmoustache commands to generate these delimiters:
>
> https://golem.ph.utexas.edu/~distler/blog/itex2MMLcommands.html#itex2MMLDelim
>
> and Gecko has entries for U+23B0 and U+23B1:
>
> https://dxr.mozilla.org/mozilla-central/source/layout/mathml/mathfont.properties?offset=300#1137
>
> However, the MathML Operator dictionary does not contain any mention of lmoustache/rmoustache:
>
> http://www.w3.org/TR/MathML3/appendixc.html
>
> Should they be added to the official MathML dictionary or are they excluded on purpose?
>
> Frédéric
>

I'm fairly sure they were not excluded on purpose.

{ and } have

<operator-dictionary priority="20" form="prefix"
symmetric="true" fence="true" stretchy="true" lspace="0" rspace="0"/>

<operator-dictionary priority="20" form="postfix"
symmetric="true" fence="true" stretchy="true" lspace="0" rspace="0"/>

so I suspect exactly the same entries could be added to [lr]moustache?

David
[speaking personally, not a WG decision]

________________________________

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________________________________


## Re: Fwd: [Moderator Action] RE: Active lobbying: Math

Source: public-digipub-ig@w3.org Mail Archives • Peter Krautzberger (peter.krautzberger@mathjax.org) • August 28, 2015 • Permalink

+1 to Bill's response in general. To add to that.

> What can be added to CSS that would clean up both the style and markup?

This is difficult to answer because the MathML spec implements a ton of
layout features and they are not necessarily organized in a CSS-compatible
way (or even CSS compatible). When I wrote "it's possible today", I did not
mean it is not one big ugly hack. It's not as bad as PDFjs output but maybe
not by far ;-) I would compare it to doing flexboxy things without flexbox
(or really: doing 10 flexboxy things wrapped inside each other without
having any of them available).

> What parts of that could actually be useful in other contexts?

Off the top of my head: Improved sub/superscripts and better glyph control
would be great for typography in general. Multiscripts are common in many
scientific notations, I was talking to Dave about possible connections
between munderover and Ruby, also, this wcig thread
<http://discourse.wicg.io/t/position-an-element-relatively-to-another-element-from-anywhere-in-the-dom/968>
connects,
MathML needs more advanced borders (for menclose and elementary math
notation, but I'm crazy and would even add stretchy characters here),
mtable is in parts more advanced than html table (in-table alignments etc).

Again, this is just shooting from the hip -- I think we would need a more
serious effort to really dissect this question.

Peter.

On Tue, Aug 25, 2015 at 8:04 PM, Bill Kasdorf <bkasdorf@apexcovantage.com>
wrote:

> Re Robin's:
> >• What can be added to CSS that would clean up both the style and markup?
> What parts of that could actually be useful in other contexts?
>
> I think this is absolutely key to making progress on this. What this means
> is thinking about the things that need to be done for math in a more
> abstract way (e.g., "this is not about the math, it's about this layout
> problem").
>
> I'm certainly not saying this would get us good, complete MathML
> implementation, but it might help get some progress.
>
> Off the top of my head, I can immediately see some general issues that
> could be abstracted (admittedly, these might be seen as just as seldom
> needed as math, but here goes). Plus apologies if we _already_ have these
> solutions; I am not intimately familiar with CSS. These are the kinds of
> things that I naively think already _must_ be handled by CSS and then am
> surprised to see there are problems.
>
> --Marking points at the phrase level at which other successive things
> (usually "the next line" but not always) that follow vertically must align
> horizontally. (The fuzzy nontechnical language is deliberate.) Being an
> English major, I immediately think of poetry; this is a huge issue in drama
> and poetry. But because those are just as arcane as math, I would point out
> that as a typographer this comes up all the time. I am quite sure that is
> already on Dave Cramer's list of to-be-worked-on use cases for CSS; and I
> would guess it's fundamental to bidi and vertical reading; I'm just
> pointing out that it is a basic feature of math that actually has lots of
> analogs outside of math. Most general: "if the line runs over, indent the
> remainder to align with this otherwise arbitrary point." Happens all the
> time. Quite sure this is not news to anybody.
>
> --Building up of big things from small components, especially vertically.
> Example from math: bracket that keeps growing until it is told to end. You
> want to wind up with one big thing but when you start you don't know how
> big the thing is. Related to but not the same as stretching. Because the
> solution in math is commonly assembling "segments" (usually three different
> kinds, a top one, middle ones, and an end one), we get into the next point:
>
> --And I'm sure I don't have to mention all the Unicode issues. You can't
> spit without hitting a Unicode issue in math. ;-) Also see fonts, and
> glyphs. Certainly a general issue that happens to be fundamental and
> pervasive in math. Many many many people in the world care about this
> issue. . . .
>
> Just some thoughts from a not-as-technical-as-the-rest-of-you guy. I just
> mainly want to point out that the idea of looking at what aspects of MathML
> have wider relevance might get us somewhere. Maybe even the realization
> that _we're already working on_ some of the things MathML needs.
>
> --Bill Kasdorf
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Robin Berjon [mailto:robin@w3.org]
> Sent: Tuesday, August 25, 2015 5:21 AM
> To: Peter Krautzberger; W3C Digital Publishing IG
> Subject: Re: Fwd: [Moderator Action] RE: Active lobbying: Math
>
> On 24/08/2015 21:47 , Peter Krautzberger wrote:
> > I think the main problem is that nobody really knows what it would
> > technically require to implement good math layout in browser engines
> > or what it would take to implement good MathML support.
>
> Nobody might be stretching it, but it's certainly a very small group.
>
> > * In my experience, both browser vendors, publisher, and third party
> > vendors have surprisingly little knowledge of
> >    * MathML as a markup language
> >    * math layout in general
> >    * MathML layout specifically
> >    * math layout using OWP tech
> >    * math accessibility using OWP tech
>
> Part of the problem there is that you don't just easily fall into MathML
> in an incremental manner, say by first trying to tweak the rendering of
> something perhaps even as trivial as <var>x</var> and then building up from
> there. The first step is relatively steep compared to many other parts of
> the platform.
>
> > * The ARIA spec has a massive hole where mathematics should be.
>
> Asking naïvely: is there any reason not to start fixing this right now?
>
> > * Neither browsers nor publishers are active in the MathWG (ok, maybe
> > 1 exception).
> >
> > * The MathML spec needs some work in an HTML5 context
> >    * MathML has been "out of sync" (for lack of a better term) with
> > HTML/CSS/SVG for a while
> >    * MathML duplicates HTML/CSS features (sometimes the features are
> > not compatible though never critically so imho)
> >    * MathML hides quite a few complex layout features behind math
> > syntax, complicating the implementation of both
> >    * ContentMathML has failed outside of CAS.
> >
> > Another key problem is: MathML is neither necessary nor sufficient for
> > math layout on the web. Nowadays, HTML/CSS implementations are good
> > enough for (high quality) math/MathML layout. I'm not speaking of
> > client-side JS-driven rendering but of (server-side) HTML+CSS
> > generation that looks the same on all recent browsers.
>
> That sounds like a great opportunity and a good starting point to rethink
> MathML.
>
> Starting from HTML+CSS code that's ugly and poorly accessible, but at
> least sports high-quality layout:
>
>    • What can be added to CSS that would clean up both the style and
> markup? What parts of that could actually be useful in other context?
>
>    • What can be done to make it properly accessible, ideally built-in
> rather than bolt-on?
>
>    • What could be added to HTML to make the markup simpler and more
> semantic, possibly by importing some elements from MathML more or less
> directly, without requiring them to be in a MathML context but without
> duplicating HTML functionality?
>
> I'm repeating both myself and others, but going about this with an
> Extensible Web Manifesto spirit would surely help.
>
> And I'm sure the WICG could be a great place to entertain
> (non-monolithic) new ideas and hash them out with support from browser
> vendors.
>
> > Personally, I don't think MathML will be implemented in browsers
> > (though I'd be extremely happy to be wrong here and will support any
> > effort in this group). I do think there are more realistic alternative
> > goals such as improving CSS implementations incrementally and
> > developing standards for exposing underlying data such as MathML to
> tools such as AT.
>
> +1
>
> --
> Robin Berjon - http://berjon.com/ - @robinberjon
>
>


## lmoustache/rmoustache as stretchy delimiters

Source: www-math@w3.org Mail Archives • Frédéric Wang (fred.wang@free.fr) • August 28, 2015 • Permalink

Dear all,

It seems that lmoustache/rmoustache have been used as MathML stretchy operators for a long time. For example, itex2MML provides the \lmoustache & \rmoustache commands to generate these delimiters:

https://golem.ph.utexas.edu/~distler/blog/itex2MMLcommands.html#itex2MMLDelim

and Gecko has entries for U+23B0 and U+23B1:

https://dxr.mozilla.org/mozilla-central/source/layout/mathml/mathfont.properties?offset=300#1137

However, the MathML Operator dictionary does not contain any mention of lmoustache/rmoustache:

http://www.w3.org/TR/MathML3/appendixc.html

Should they be added to the official MathML dictionary or are they excluded on purpose?

Frédéric


## Re: Clipboard API: remove dangerous formats from mandatory data types

Source: public-webapps@w3.org Mail Archives • Hallvord Reiar Michaelsen Steen (hsteen@mozilla.com) • August 27, 2015 • Permalink

On Mon, Aug 17, 2015 at 2:54 PM, Paul Libbrecht <paul@hoplahup.net> wrote:

> Hallvord,
>
> do you not want to split the writable types list in safe and non-safe ones
> and let browsers how they deal with unsafe ones?
>

No, absolutely not. If we leave such things up to the browser we end up
with implementations that do wildly different things and web developers
suffering new levels of incompatibility pain.

> Here's an idea:
>
> html, xml, and picture formats should be in the unsafe ones.
>

If we can help it, HTML should not be unsafe. It's the web's primary
format, and if we class it as unsafe we basically prohibit scripts from
being able to export formatted text to the clipboard.

I do however know it takes a bit of a leap of faith to believe that it's
safe enough, given that HTML parsing was a bit of a dark art for many
years. Today we can at least hope a lot of software that consumes HTML has
been updated to use HTML5 algorithms.

> I guess json too (but both XML and JSON are too generic to my taste).
>

Why should JSON be unsafe? Parsing JSON should be pretty easy, so hopefully
most parsers would be safe.

> For the unsafe formats, the warning could say that the UA-implementors
> should only support the flavour if they have a method to make this content
> safe so that local applications (which do not expect untrusted content)
> receive content they can trust when pasting. Methods to make the content
> safe include the following: transcoding a picture, inlining all external
> entities for html, xml, mathml, or rtf).
>

On Windows I believe images are transcoded to and from DIB - device
independent bitmap format anyway. Is there any equivalent graphics
interchange format on other platforms? Does mandating such transcoding help
guarantee against payloads that might trigger vulnerabilities in target
software? I expect it adds a significant hurdle against exploits, but I'd
like input from Daniel Cheng and perhaps from people who have worked on
image decoders..
-Hallvord


## RE: Fwd: [Moderator Action] RE: Active lobbying: Math

Source: public-digipub-ig@w3.org Mail Archives • Bill Kasdorf (bkasdorf@apexcovantage.com) • August 25, 2015 • Permalink

Re Robin's:
>• What can be added to CSS that would clean up both the style and markup? What parts of that could actually be useful in other contexts?

I think this is absolutely key to making progress on this. What this means is thinking about the things that need to be done for math in a more abstract way (e.g., "this is not about the math, it's about this layout problem").

I'm certainly not saying this would get us good, complete MathML implementation, but it might help get some progress.

Off the top of my head, I can immediately see some general issues that could be abstracted (admittedly, these might be seen as just as seldom needed as math, but here goes). Plus apologies if we _already_ have these solutions; I am not intimately familiar with CSS. These are the kinds of things that I naively think already _must_ be handled by CSS and then am surprised to see there are problems.

--Marking points at the phrase level at which other successive things (usually "the next line" but not always) that follow vertically must align horizontally. (The fuzzy nontechnical language is deliberate.) Being an English major, I immediately think of poetry; this is a huge issue in drama and poetry. But because those are just as arcane as math, I would point out that as a typographer this comes up all the time. I am quite sure that is already on Dave Cramer's list of to-be-worked-on use cases for CSS; and I would guess it's fundamental to bidi and vertical reading; I'm just pointing out that it is a basic feature of math that actually has lots of analogs outside of math. Most general: "if the line runs over, indent the remainder to align with this otherwise arbitrary point." Happens all the time. Quite sure this is not news to anybody.

--Building up of big things from small components, especially vertically. Example from math: bracket that keeps growing until it is told to end. You want to wind up with one big thing but when you start you don't know how big the thing is. Related to but not the same as stretching. Because the solution in math is commonly assembling "segments" (usually three different kinds, a top one, middle ones, and an end one), we get into the next point:

--And I'm sure I don't have to mention all the Unicode issues. You can't spit without hitting a Unicode issue in math. ;-) Also see fonts, and glyphs. Certainly a general issue that happens to be fundamental and pervasive in math. Many many many people in the world care about this issue. . . .

Just some thoughts from a not-as-technical-as-the-rest-of-you guy. I just mainly want to point out that the idea of looking at what aspects of MathML have wider relevance might get us somewhere. Maybe even the realization that _we're already working on_ some of the things MathML needs.

--Bill Kasdorf

-----Original Message-----
From: Robin Berjon [mailto:robin@w3.org]
Sent: Tuesday, August 25, 2015 5:21 AM
To: Peter Krautzberger; W3C Digital Publishing IG
Subject: Re: Fwd: [Moderator Action] RE: Active lobbying: Math

On 24/08/2015 21:47 , Peter Krautzberger wrote:
> I think the main problem is that nobody really knows what it would
> technically require to implement good math layout in browser engines
> or what it would take to implement good MathML support.

Nobody might be stretching it, but it's certainly a very small group.

> * In my experience, both browser vendors, publisher, and third party
> vendors have surprisingly little knowledge of
>    * MathML as a markup language
>    * math layout in general
>    * MathML layout specifically
>    * math layout using OWP tech
>    * math accessibility using OWP tech

Part of the problem there is that you don't just easily fall into MathML in an incremental manner, say by first trying to tweak the rendering of something perhaps even as trivial as <var>x</var> and then building up from there. The first step is relatively steep compared to many other parts of the platform.

> * The ARIA spec has a massive hole where mathematics should be.

Asking naïvely: is there any reason not to start fixing this right now?

> * Neither browsers nor publishers are active in the MathWG (ok, maybe
> 1 exception).
>
> * The MathML spec needs some work in an HTML5 context
>    * MathML has been "out of sync" (for lack of a better term) with
> HTML/CSS/SVG for a while
>    * MathML duplicates HTML/CSS features (sometimes the features are
> not compatible though never critically so imho)
>    * MathML hides quite a few complex layout features behind math
> syntax, complicating the implementation of both
>    * ContentMathML has failed outside of CAS.
>
> Another key problem is: MathML is neither necessary nor sufficient for
> math layout on the web. Nowadays, HTML/CSS implementations are good
> enough for (high quality) math/MathML layout. I'm not speaking of
> client-side JS-driven rendering but of (server-side) HTML+CSS
> generation that looks the same on all recent browsers.

That sounds like a great opportunity and a good starting point to rethink MathML.

Starting from HTML+CSS code that's ugly and poorly accessible, but at least sports high-quality layout:

• What can be added to CSS that would clean up both the style and markup? What parts of that could actually be useful in other context?

• What can be done to make it properly accessible, ideally built-in rather than bolt-on?

• What could be added to HTML to make the markup simpler and more semantic, possibly by importing some elements from MathML more or less directly, without requiring them to be in a MathML context but without duplicating HTML functionality?

I'm repeating both myself and others, but going about this with an Extensible Web Manifesto spirit would surely help.

And I'm sure the WICG could be a great place to entertain
(non-monolithic) new ideas and hash them out with support from browser vendors.

> Personally, I don't think MathML will be implemented in browsers
> (though I'd be extremely happy to be wrong here and will support any
> effort in this group). I do think there are more realistic alternative
> goals such as improving CSS implementations incrementally and
> developing standards for exposing underlying data such as MathML to tools such as AT.

+1

--
Robin Berjon - http://berjon.com/ - @robinberjon



## Re: [Moderator Action] RE: Active lobbying: Math

Source: public-digipub-ig@w3.org Mail Archives • Richard Schwerdtfeger (schwer@us.ibm.com) • August 25, 2015 • Permalink


Robin,

ARIA 1.0 was done to address the accessibility of Rich Internet
Application. Although we are working on a 1.1 to address gaps for that type
of content in 1.0, we now have an extension process. We have expanded to
create modules for book digital publishing semantics and also graphics. So,
if you look at the creation off multiple semantic taxonomies we have only
scratched the surface. Math is an obvious essential next step for ARIA.
Unfortunately, our charter is being held in limbo right now by some AC
members. This is also holding up ARIA extensions for web components. I hope
it gets resolved soon. The extension process was put in place so that work
on new modules could start without making the ARIA working group main body
a bottle neck to innovation in new taxonomies like Math.

If we are to do an ARIA module for Math it would require a joint task force
between the new ARIA working group and I think the Math WG with additional
invited experts of course. We would need MathJax people to participate or
even lead the effort. Other than having the new charter approved and
committed people I don't see why this work could not start.

I would argue that the accessibility of digital math is one of the most
important things we should be doing at W3C. It just has not gotten the due
attention. An ARIA module would facilitate multimodal access to Math which
has proven to grow math comprehension for all users by roughly 10 percent.

Rich

Sent from my iPad

> On Aug 25, 2015, at 4:22 AM, Robin Berjon <robin@w3.org> wrote:
>
> On 24/08/2015 21:47 , Peter Krautzberger wrote:
> > I think the main problem is that nobody really knows what it would
> > technically require to implement good math layout in browser engines or
> > what it would take to implement good MathML support.
>
> Nobody might be stretching it, but it's certainly a very small group.
>
> > * In my experience, both browser vendors, publisher, and third party
> > vendors have surprisingly little knowledge of
> >    * MathML as a markup language
> >    * math layout in general
> >    * MathML layout specifically
> >    * math layout using OWP tech
> >    * math accessibility using OWP tech
>
> Part of the problem there is that you don't just easily fall into MathML
> in an incremental manner, say by first trying to tweak the rendering of
> something perhaps even as trivial as <var>x</var> and then building up
> from there. The first step is relatively steep compared to many other
> parts of the platform.
>
> > * The ARIA spec has a massive hole where mathematics should be.
>
> Asking naïvely: is there any reason not to start fixing this right now?
>
> > * Neither browsers nor publishers are active in the MathWG (ok, maybe 1
> > exception).
> >
> > * The MathML spec needs some work in an HTML5 context
> >    * MathML has been "out of sync" (for lack of a better term) with
> > HTML/CSS/SVG for a while
> >    * MathML duplicates HTML/CSS features (sometimes the features are
not
> > compatible though never critically so imho)
> >    * MathML hides quite a few complex layout features behind math
> > syntax, complicating the implementation of both
> >    * ContentMathML has failed outside of CAS.
> >
> > Another key problem is: MathML is neither necessary nor sufficient for
> > math layout on the web. Nowadays, HTML/CSS implementations are good
> > enough for (high quality) math/MathML layout. I'm not speaking of
> > client-side JS-driven rendering but of (server-side) HTML+CSS
generation
> > that looks the same on all recent browsers.
>
> That sounds like a great opportunity and a good starting point to
> rethink MathML.
>
> Starting from HTML+CSS code that's ugly and poorly accessible, but at
> least sports high-quality layout:
>
>    • What can be added to CSS that would clean up both the style and
> markup? What parts of that could actually be useful in other context?
>
>    • What can be done to make it properly accessible, ideally built-in
> rather than bolt-on?
>
>    • What could be added to HTML to make the markup simpler and more
> semantic, possibly by importing some elements from MathML more or less
> directly, without requiring them to be in a MathML context but without
> duplicating HTML functionality?
>
> I'm repeating both myself and others, but going about this with an
> Extensible Web Manifesto spirit would surely help.
>
> And I'm sure the WICG could be a great place to entertain
> (non-monolithic) new ideas and hash them out with support from browser
> vendors.
>
> > Personally, I don't think MathML will be implemented in browsers
(though
> > I'd be extremely happy to be wrong here and will support any effort in
> > this group). I do think there are more realistic alternative goals such
> > as improving CSS implementations incrementally and developing standards
> > for exposing underlying data such as MathML to tools such as AT.
>
> +1
>
> --
> Robin Berjon - http://berjon.com/ - @robinberjon
>


## Re: Fwd: [Moderator Action] RE: Active lobbying: Math

Source: public-digipub-ig@w3.org Mail Archives • Peter Krautzberger (peter.krautzberger@mathjax.org) • August 25, 2015 • Permalink

Re Robin.

> Asking naïvely: is there any reason not to start fixing this right now?

Community interest. Also, all other challenges in terms of math AT.

>  • What can be added to CSS that would clean up both the style and
markup? What parts of that could actually be useful in other context?
>  • What can be done to make it properly accessible, ideally built-in
rather than bolt-on?
>  • What could be added to HTML to make the markup simpler and more
semantic, possibly by importing some elements from MathML more or less
directly, without requiring them to be in a MathML context but without
duplicating HTML functionality?

I have a solution but it does not fit into the margin of this book.

> I'm repeating both myself and others, but going about this with an
Extensible Web Manifesto spirit would surely help.
>And I'm sure the WICG could be a great place to entertain
(non-monolithic) new ideas and hash them out with support from browser
vendors.

I think it's a bit early for that. It would also require quite a few
additional resources to pursue that path (at least from our perspective).

Peter.

On Tue, Aug 25, 2015 at 11:42 AM, Peter Krautzberger <
peter.krautzberger@mathjax.org> wrote:

> Re Doug.
>
>
> > I think we could really benefit from taking a look at _why_ browser
> vendors aren't implementing MathML, learning those lessons, and making a
> new version of MathML that's easier to implement and maintain, easier to
> author, easier to style, and is better integrated into HTML5.
>
> +1 (but it's a rather tall order ;-) )
>
> > I've voiced this opinion to Peter before. I don't think we differ much,
>
> +1.
>
>
> Re Rich
>
> > What I have heard from some browser vendors is that there is just not
> enough MathML content out there and it is difficult to justify the
> performance hit.
>
> Performance is definitely a problem even for browser implementations. But
> it's hard to say if that's just for lack for interest from browser vendors.
> For example, earlier this year we had an edge case where MathJax
> outperformed native Firefox support (by a margin); this was quickly
> resolved once we got the attention of Rob O'Callahan at Mozilla.
>
> Re Rob.
>
> > The FXTF (a joint task force of SVG and CSS) might be a good model here.
>
> +1. One difference is that browser vendors were actually interested in
> implementing SVG features; I don't see that for math layout. Still,
> reactions from Houdini leave me mildly hopeful.
>
> > The FXTF split out things like filters, transforms, animation into
> their own modules. The effect is doubly beneficial: it is easier to focus
> on implementing smaller features and the user base for a feature that works
> in broader HTML+CSS contexts and use cases is much larger than that for
> just SVG.
>
> I'm not too sure about that. It was actually a very small math layout
> feature that triggered the removal of MathML from Chrome. (The Chrome team
> convinced itself that stretchy characters are somehow fundamentally
> incompatible with CSS layout.)
>
> Peter.
>
> On Tue, Aug 25, 2015 at 11:07 AM, Robin Berjon <robin@w3.org> wrote:
>
>> On 24/08/2015 23:43 , Doug Schepers wrote:
>>
>>> I think we could really benefit from taking a look at _why_ browser
>>> vendors aren't implementing MathML
>>>
>>
>> I won't claim that it's the final word from browser vendors, but this was
>> discussed extensively at Balisage last year. MathML suffers from the
>> combination of being a pretty large chunk with a relatively small community.
>>
>> learning those lessons, and making a new version of MathML that's
>>> easier to implement and maintain, easier to author, easier to style,
>>> and is better integrated into HTML5.
>>>
>>
>> The FXTF (a joint task force of SVG and CSS) might be a good model here.
>> SVG was also designed largely separately from HTML and CSS, and the FXTF
>> has helped line things up so that the same tech could be used by both.
>>
>> A key point there was splitting things up. Implementing all of SVG at
>> once is pretty daunting. The FXTF split out things like filters,
>> transforms, animation into their own modules. The effect is doubly
>> beneficial: it is easier to focus on implementing smaller features and the
>> user base for a feature that works in broader HTML+CSS contexts and use
>> cases is much larger than that for just SVG.
>>
>> --
>> Robin Berjon - http://berjon.com/ - @robinberjon
>>
>
>


## Re: Fwd: [Moderator Action] RE: Active lobbying: Math

Source: public-digipub-ig@w3.org Mail Archives • Peter Krautzberger (peter.krautzberger@mathjax.org) • August 25, 2015 • Permalink

Re Doug.

> I think we could really benefit from taking a look at _why_ browser
vendors aren't implementing MathML, learning those lessons, and making a
new version of MathML that's easier to implement and maintain, easier to
author, easier to style, and is better integrated into HTML5.

+1 (but it's a rather tall order ;-) )

> I've voiced this opinion to Peter before. I don't think we differ much,

+1.

Re Rich

> What I have heard from some browser vendors is that there is just not
enough MathML content out there and it is difficult to justify the
performance hit.

Performance is definitely a problem even for browser implementations. But
it's hard to say if that's just for lack for interest from browser vendors.
For example, earlier this year we had an edge case where MathJax
outperformed native Firefox support (by a margin); this was quickly
resolved once we got the attention of Rob O'Callahan at Mozilla.

Re Rob.

> The FXTF (a joint task force of SVG and CSS) might be a good model here.

+1. One difference is that browser vendors were actually interested in
implementing SVG features; I don't see that for math layout. Still,
reactions from Houdini leave me mildly hopeful.

> The FXTF split out things like filters, transforms, animation into their
own modules. The effect is doubly beneficial: it is easier to focus on
implementing smaller features and the user base for a feature that works in
broader HTML+CSS contexts and use cases is much larger than that for just
SVG.

I'm not too sure about that. It was actually a very small math layout
feature that triggered the removal of MathML from Chrome. (The Chrome team
convinced itself that stretchy characters are somehow fundamentally
incompatible with CSS layout.)

Peter.

On Tue, Aug 25, 2015 at 11:07 AM, Robin Berjon <robin@w3.org> wrote:

> On 24/08/2015 23:43 , Doug Schepers wrote:
>
>> I think we could really benefit from taking a look at _why_ browser
>> vendors aren't implementing MathML
>>
>
> I won't claim that it's the final word from browser vendors, but this was
> discussed extensively at Balisage last year. MathML suffers from the
> combination of being a pretty large chunk with a relatively small community.
>
> learning those lessons, and making a new version of MathML that's
>> easier to implement and maintain, easier to author, easier to style,
>> and is better integrated into HTML5.
>>
>
> The FXTF (a joint task force of SVG and CSS) might be a good model here.
> SVG was also designed largely separately from HTML and CSS, and the FXTF
> has helped line things up so that the same tech could be used by both.
>
> A key point there was splitting things up. Implementing all of SVG at once
> is pretty daunting. The FXTF split out things like filters, transforms,
> animation into their own modules. The effect is doubly beneficial: it is
> easier to focus on implementing smaller features and the user base for a
> feature that works in broader HTML+CSS contexts and use cases is much
> larger than that for just SVG.
>
> --
> Robin Berjon - http://berjon.com/ - @robinberjon
>


## Re: Fwd: [Moderator Action] RE: Active lobbying: Math

Source: public-digipub-ig@w3.org Mail Archives • Robin Berjon (robin@w3.org) • August 25, 2015 • Permalink

On 24/08/2015 21:47 , Peter Krautzberger wrote:
> I think the main problem is that nobody really knows what it would
> technically require to implement good math layout in browser engines or
> what it would take to implement good MathML support.

Nobody might be stretching it, but it's certainly a very small group.

> * In my experience, both browser vendors, publisher, and third party
> vendors have surprisingly little knowledge of
>    * MathML as a markup language
>    * math layout in general
>    * MathML layout specifically
>    * math layout using OWP tech
>    * math accessibility using OWP tech

Part of the problem there is that you don't just easily fall into MathML
in an incremental manner, say by first trying to tweak the rendering of
something perhaps even as trivial as <var>x</var> and then building up
from there. The first step is relatively steep compared to many other
parts of the platform.

> * The ARIA spec has a massive hole where mathematics should be.

Asking naïvely: is there any reason not to start fixing this right now?

> * Neither browsers nor publishers are active in the MathWG (ok, maybe 1
> exception).
>
> * The MathML spec needs some work in an HTML5 context
>    * MathML has been "out of sync" (for lack of a better term) with
> HTML/CSS/SVG for a while
>    * MathML duplicates HTML/CSS features (sometimes the features are not
> compatible though never critically so imho)
>    * MathML hides quite a few complex layout features behind math
> syntax, complicating the implementation of both
>    * ContentMathML has failed outside of CAS.
>
> Another key problem is: MathML is neither necessary nor sufficient for
> math layout on the web. Nowadays, HTML/CSS implementations are good
> enough for (high quality) math/MathML layout. I'm not speaking of
> client-side JS-driven rendering but of (server-side) HTML+CSS generation
> that looks the same on all recent browsers.

That sounds like a great opportunity and a good starting point to
rethink MathML.

Starting from HTML+CSS code that's ugly and poorly accessible, but at
least sports high-quality layout:

• What can be added to CSS that would clean up both the style and
markup? What parts of that could actually be useful in other context?

• What can be done to make it properly accessible, ideally built-in
rather than bolt-on?

• What could be added to HTML to make the markup simpler and more
semantic, possibly by importing some elements from MathML more or less
directly, without requiring them to be in a MathML context but without
duplicating HTML functionality?

I'm repeating both myself and others, but going about this with an
Extensible Web Manifesto spirit would surely help.

And I'm sure the WICG could be a great place to entertain
(non-monolithic) new ideas and hash them out with support from browser
vendors.

> Personally, I don't think MathML will be implemented in browsers (though
> I'd be extremely happy to be wrong here and will support any effort in
> this group). I do think there are more realistic alternative goals such
> as improving CSS implementations incrementally and developing standards
> for exposing underlying data such as MathML to tools such as AT.

+1

--
Robin Berjon - http://berjon.com/ - @robinberjon


## Re: Fwd: [Moderator Action] RE: Active lobbying: Math

Source: public-digipub-ig@w3.org Mail Archives • Robin Berjon (robin@w3.org) • August 25, 2015 • Permalink

On 24/08/2015 23:43 , Doug Schepers wrote:
> I think we could really benefit from taking a look at _why_ browser
> vendors aren't implementing MathML

I won't claim that it's the final word from browser vendors, but this
was discussed extensively at Balisage last year. MathML suffers from the
combination of being a pretty large chunk with a relatively small
community.

> learning those lessons, and making a new version of MathML that's
> easier to implement and maintain, easier to author, easier to style,
> and is better integrated into HTML5.

The FXTF (a joint task force of SVG and CSS) might be a good model here.
SVG was also designed largely separately from HTML and CSS, and the FXTF
has helped line things up so that the same tech could be used by both.

A key point there was splitting things up. Implementing all of SVG at
once is pretty daunting. The FXTF split out things like filters,
transforms, animation into their own modules. The effect is doubly
beneficial: it is easier to focus on implementing smaller features and
the user base for a feature that works in broader HTML+CSS contexts and
use cases is much larger than that for just SVG.

--
Robin Berjon - http://berjon.com/ - @robinberjon


## Fwd: [Moderator Action] [Moderator Action] RE: Active lobbying: Math

Source: public-digipub-ig@w3.org Mail Archives • Ivan Herman (ivan@w3.org) • August 25, 2015 • Permalink



> Begin forwarded message:
>
> From: Paul Topping <pault@dessci.com>
> Subject: [Moderator Action] RE: Fwd: [Moderator Action] RE: Active lobbying: Math
> Date: 25 Aug 2015 01:04:42 CEST
> To: Richard Schwerdtfeger <schwer@us.ibm.com>, Doug Schepers <schepers@w3.org>
> Cc: Peter Krautzberger <peter.krautzberger@mathjax.org>, "W3C Digital Publishing IG" <public-digipub-ig@w3.org>
> X-W3C-Hub-Spam-Status: No, score=-8.6
>
> With MathJax there is a huge amount of MathML content out there. Of course, this is all relative but I would challenge anyone to say that MathML is not important. Besides, there is the obvious chicken-and-egg situation here. How can a browser maker say that MathML is not used when people can’t put MathML in their pages because browsers don’t implement MathML? There are a lot of tools that produce MathML. Most people just don’t know it. Around 90% of all math submitted to scientific journals is in Microsoft Word format and uses either its built-in equation format or my company’s MathType equations. Both of these formats are readily convertible to MathML. The rest of the equations are LaTeX and there are lots of LaTeX-to-MathML convertors out their. I could go on but I can’t buy the “no MathML demand or content” argument.
>
> I don’t see the performance issue either. MathML rendering performance is only an issue for pages containing MathML. Performance was never an issue in MathPlayer in IE. We did rendering tests where we displayed 30 simultaneous windows full of equations in just a couple of seconds. It was orders of magnitude faster than a human could open windows and read them. I am sure the Firefox implementation was just as fast. MathPlayer is a lot slower due to JavaScript but even more due to the hoops it has to jump through because it is not a native implementation that is part of the browser.
>
> Paul Topping
>
> From: Richard Schwerdtfeger [mailto:schwer@us.ibm.com <mailto:schwer@us.ibm.com>]
> Sent: Monday, August 24, 2015 3:40 PM
> To: Doug Schepers <schepers@w3.org <mailto:schepers@w3.org>>
> Cc: Peter Krautzberger <peter.krautzberger@mathjax.org <mailto:peter.krautzberger@mathjax.org>>; W3C Digital Publishing IG <public-digipub-ig@w3.org <mailto:public-digipub-ig@w3.org>>
> Subject: Re: Fwd: [Moderator Action] RE: Active lobbying: Math
>
> What I have heard from some browser vendors is that there is just not enough MathML content out there and it is difficult to justify the performance hit. I believe this is due to a lack of easy to use authoring tools for Math that could be made available to educators. That is starting to change.
>
> I sit on a Technical Advisory Board for Namo Interactive. Their Namo Author EPUB authoring tool has some phenomenal templates for math (this is not a plug) that are easy to use by educators that help promote MATHML in their EPUB authoring tool. There is also the chicken and egg problem that because we did not have a lot of MathML generated on the web that the browser support has been dropping off. Readium is building math support into their EPUB readers which will help fill some of those gaps. This will result in greater use of digital math in education. I think the adoption of EPUB is going to grow greater adoption of MathML.
>
> Rich
>
> Rich Schwerdtfeger
>
> Doug Schepers ---08/24/2015 04:43:56 PM---Hi, folks– MathML was developed a long time ago, in isolation from HTML and CSS.
>
> From: Doug Schepers <schepers@w3.org <mailto:schepers@w3.org>>
> To: Peter Krautzberger <peter.krautzberger@mathjax.org <mailto:peter.krautzberger@mathjax.org>>, W3C Digital Publishing IG <public-digipub-ig@w3.org <mailto:public-digipub-ig@w3.org>>
> Date: 08/24/2015 04:43 PM
> Subject: Re: Fwd: [Moderator Action] RE: Active lobbying: Math
>
>
>
>
> Hi, folks–
>
> MathML was developed a long time ago, in isolation from HTML and CSS.
>
> I think we could really benefit from taking a look at _why_ browser
> vendors aren't implementing MathML, learning those lessons, and making a
> new version of MathML that's easier to implement and maintain, easier to
> author, easier to style, and is better integrated into HTML5.
>
> I've voiced this opinion to Peter before. I don't think we differ much,
> and I think the years of experience the MathJax team and others have in
> implementing MathML in modern browsers could yield a lot more benefit
> than trying to push browser vendors to implement MathML as it is today.
>
> Regards–
> –Doug
>
> On 8/24/15 3:47 PM, Peter Krautzberger wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> > This is a bit longer. Sorry about that.
> >
> > 1. Ivan suggested I should sum up what I've been involved in.
> >
> > * In 2013, when Chrome dropped WebKit's MathML code, we coordinated with
> > our MathJax sponsors to reach out to Google management (non-publicly) to
> > encourage the Chrome team to reconsider.
> > * in 2013/14, MathJax looked into working on Gecko and WebKit directly;
> > we could not find funding and we could not get WebKit companies to even
> > have a discussion about long-term code ownership (let alone architecture
> > or any other guidance). I'm aware of several efforts to find funding
> > since then.
> > * in 2015, the MathWG reached out to browser vendors to start a
> > discussion of the overall situation; we put this on hold for lack of
> > availability from the browser end
> >
> > 2. Regarding the discussion so far
> >
> > * re Paul Belfanti: "publishing at volume".
> >
> > I think from a browser vendors perspective, there will never be enough
> > volume.
> >
> > * re Bill Kasdorf
> >    +1 to all points. But also: publisher investments in MathML have been
> > mostly internal. Not many have invested in polyfills, web development
> > tools, web standards development, or browser development. Similarly for
> > third party vendors.
> >
> > * re Paul Topping.
> >
> >  > I used all my votes for MathML but I am sure it didn't get many votes
> > compared to other features.
> >
> > Actually, some features have fewer votes than MathML and get moved
> > towards implementation.
> >
> >  > After MathJax, the problem is largely solved, at least from their
> > perspective.
> >
> > This does not match my experience. Frequently, web developers are using
> > MathJax's shortcomings as an excuse to dismiss MathML.
> >
> > * re Deborah Kaplan
> >
> >  > I want to stress that the push for native MathML is not out of any
> > desire to get rid of MathJax.
> >
> > That's ok ;-) the MathJax project was designed to eliminate itself by
> > encouraging browser support. But we'd also be happy to enable what comes
> > after MathML 3.
> >
> >  > It is out of the need for publishers to be able to distribute native
> > math that can be read by screen readers without users having to do
> > anything special.
> >
> > This strikes me as orthogonal to native MathML rendering. Both exposing
> > MathML to a11y interfaces and finding MathML-enabled AT are quite
> > different (but equally messy) problems.
> >
> > Simply reading out MathML via MathML-enabled AT is theoretically easy;
> > try the example at https://github.com/mathjax/MathJax-docs/issues/111 <https://github.com/mathjax/MathJax-docs/issues/111>.
> >
> > The much bigger problem is AT for visual users, e.g., sync-highlighting
> > and exploration (see comment on ARIA below).
> >
> >  > Rather, the greater concern is non-browser-based reading systems,
> > frequently used for textbooks, which have legal requirements for
> > accessibility.
> >
> > How do you see browser implementations for MathML help here?
> >
> > * re Liam
> >
> > re (1) you make it sound easy ;-)
> >
> > re (3) is actually a huge, messy, overlooked issue; see my use cases on
> > font metrics APIs for Houdini.
> >
> > re (4) I don't really think this is a big issue these days (although
> > third party vendors are a different issue). TeX conversion has many
> > options, Microsoft's own equation editor and Windows handwriting
> > recognition can produce MathML, MyScript has great apps. Although
> > high-quality MathML Editors are virtually non-existent (esp. if your
> > focus is publishing on the  web) -- that probably means something?
> >
> > re (5) the examples are not quite right, I think, (long division etc is
> > actually pretty easy in MathML 3 markup). But otherwise, yes.
> >
> > re (a) math content becomes quickly tabular and there's not a lot room
> > for reflow in tables. But here's something fun
> > https://github.com/mathjax/MathJax-RespEq <https://github.com/mathjax/MathJax-RespEq>
> >
> > re (c) the state of MathML accessibility is pretty messy, on both the
> > content, browser, OS, and AT end.
> >
> >
> > 3. Let me add a couple of entirely personal points.
> >
> > I think the main problem is that nobody really knows what it would
> > technically require to implement good math layout in browser engines or
> > what it would take to implement good MathML support.
> >
> > * Browser vendors have never worked on MathML.
> >    * MathML in Gecko and WebKit has been almost exclusively implemented
> > by unpaid volunteers
> >    * Only Mozilla devs has actually supported its volunteer; they are
> > the only knowledgeable browser devs regarding MathML.
> >
> > * In my experience, both browser vendors, publisher, and third party
> > vendors have surprisingly little knowledge of
> >    * MathML as a markup language
> >    * math layout in general
> >    * MathML layout specifically
> >    * math layout using OWP tech
> >    * math accessibility using OWP tech
> >
> > * third party vendors have a bit more knowledge of the first two but I
> > sometimes see an incentive to keep things complicated (read: expensive).
> >
> > * The ARIA spec has a massive hole where mathematics should be.
> >
> > * Neither browsers nor publishers are active in the MathWG (ok, maybe 1
> > exception).
> >
> > * The MathML spec needs some work in an HTML5 context
> >    * MathML has been "out of sync" (for lack of a better term) with
> > HTML/CSS/SVG for a while
> >    * MathML duplicates HTML/CSS features (sometimes the features are not
> > compatible though never critically so imho)
> >    * MathML hides quite a few complex layout features behind math
> > syntax, complicating the implementation of both
> >    * ContentMathML has failed outside of CAS.
> >
> > Another key problem is: MathML is neither necessary nor sufficient for
> > math layout on the web. Nowadays, HTML/CSS implementations are good
> > enough for (high quality) math/MathML layout. I'm not speaking of
> > client-side JS-driven rendering but of (server-side) HTML+CSS generation
> > that looks the same on all recent browsers. (MathJax will introduce such
> > a technology in our next release. It's not pretty markup code and it's
> > not perfect but it works.)
> >
> > Personally, I don't think MathML will be implemented in browsers (though
> > I'd be extremely happy to be wrong here and will support any effort in
> > this group). I do think there are more realistic alternative goals such
> > as improving CSS implementations incrementally and developing standards
> > for exposing underlying data such as MathML to tools such as AT.
> >
> > Again, sorry about the length.
> > Peter.
> >
> > On Mon, Aug 24, 2015 at 7:29 PM, Deborah Kaplan
> > <dkaplan@safaribooksonline.com <mailto:dkaplan@safaribooksonline.com> <mailto:dkaplan@safaribooksonline.com <mailto:dkaplan@safaribooksonline.com>>>
> > wrote:
> >
> >     On Mon, 24 Aug 2015, Paul Topping wrote:
> >
> >         Convincing them to implement EPUB would be a worthwhile cause.
> >
> >
> >     Yes, absolutely.
> >
> >         Isn't the bigger problem convincing students and teachers to
> >         adopt etextbooks?
> >
> >     I'm sure many of you here know the actual data, and anecdotes are
> >     not data. But I do know that when I was a graduate student two years
> >     ago, I had two choices: print, or the official electronic textbook
> >     through our vendor, which was an epub which could only be read
> >     through the vendor's reading system.
> >
> >     At that institution, in any case, the students and the teachers
> >     aren't making the decisions. If you buy a textbook, you get the
> >     electronic version as is delivered, which is usually EPUB.
> >
> >     But again, I'm sure many people on this list have the actual data.
> >
> >       (There was non-terrible accessibility on the reading system (since
> >     it is an educational platform with compliance requirements), so it
> >     was minimally usable without a mouse. But the textbooks were
> >     unedited OCR, so I wouldn't have wanted to use them with a screen
> >
> >     That's a content problem, though. Unedited OCR isn't going to end up
> >     with MathML markup no matter what the reader supports.)
> >
> >       Deborah
> >
> >
>

----
Ivan Herman, W3C
Digital Publishing Activity Lead
Home: http://www.w3.org/People/Ivan/
mobile: +31-641044153
ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0782-2704



## Fwd: [Moderator Action] [Moderator Action] RE: Active lobbying: Math

Source: public-digipub-ig@w3.org Mail Archives • Ivan Herman (ivan@w3.org) • August 25, 2015 • Permalink



> Begin forwarded message:
>
> From: Paul Topping <pault@dessci.com>
> Subject: [Moderator Action] RE: Fwd: [Moderator Action] RE: Active lobbying: Math
> Date: 25 Aug 2015 24:17:09 CEST
> To: Doug Schepers <schepers@w3.org>, Peter Krautzberger <peter.krautzberger@mathjax.org>, W3C Digital Publishing IG <public-digipub-ig@w3.org>
> X-W3C-Hub-Spam-Status: No, score=-8.8
>
> Although I have my own issues with MathML's design, it was not that hard to implement in Internet Explorer with our MathPlayer plugin. Microsoft did add perhaps 3 APIs that helped it along but, other than that, MathPlayer was able to do a pretty good job of rendering MathML both graphically and as speech. Although MathPlayer acted as a plug-in to IE, it was implemented using native C++ COM objects, just like IE itself, and, therefore, was an integrated part of the browser.
>
> I have never heard anyone representing a browser maker complain that MathML was hard to implement. They all said that they didn't perceive any demand. Of course, we know enough about MathML to say that it is not trivial to implement but I see nothing that makes me think that is the source of the problem. Furthermore, those things that make MathML implementation non-trivial are really unavoidable. Off the top of my head, there are two areas:
>
> - Font and character metrics. Browsers don't provide enough APIs to do this. In MathPlayer we were able to do this with native Windows APIs so this was not really a problem.
>
> - Layout negotiation. In the simplest situation, equation rendering code needs to get information from the layout engine about the body text font, size, and color and the column width, calculate the vertical space required for the equation, and then be told by the browser to render in the space it provides.
>
> These problems are really not that hard to solve and would be present in equation rendering regardless of the design of MathML.
>
> Paul
>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Doug Schepers [mailto:schepers@w3.org]
>> Sent: Monday, August 24, 2015 2:43 PM
>> To: Peter Krautzberger <peter.krautzberger@mathjax.org>; W3C Digital
>> Publishing IG <public-digipub-ig@w3.org>
>> Subject: Re: Fwd: [Moderator Action] RE: Active lobbying: Math
>>
>> Hi, folks–
>>
>> MathML was developed a long time ago, in isolation from HTML and CSS.
>>
>> I think we could really benefit from taking a look at _why_ browser
>> vendors aren't implementing MathML, learning those lessons, and making a
>> new version of MathML that's easier to implement and maintain, easier to
>> author, easier to style, and is better integrated into HTML5.
>>
>> I've voiced this opinion to Peter before. I don't think we differ much,
>> and I think the years of experience the MathJax team and others have in
>> implementing MathML in modern browsers could yield a lot more benefit
>> than trying to push browser vendors to implement MathML as it is today.
>>
>> Regards–
>> –Doug
>>
>> On 8/24/15 3:47 PM, Peter Krautzberger wrote:
>>> Hi,
>>>
>>> This is a bit longer. Sorry about that.
>>>
>>> 1. Ivan suggested I should sum up what I've been involved in.
>>>
>>> * In 2013, when Chrome dropped WebKit's MathML code, we coordinated
>> with
>>> our MathJax sponsors to reach out to Google management (non-publicly)
>> to
>>> encourage the Chrome team to reconsider.
>>> * in 2013/14, MathJax looked into working on Gecko and WebKit directly;
>>> we could not find funding and we could not get WebKit companies to even
>>> have a discussion about long-term code ownership (let alone architecture
>>> or any other guidance). I'm aware of several efforts to find funding
>>> since then.
>>> * in 2015, the MathWG reached out to browser vendors to start a
>>> discussion of the overall situation; we put this on hold for lack of
>>> availability from the browser end
>>>
>>> 2. Regarding the discussion so far
>>>
>>> * re Paul Belfanti: "publishing at volume".
>>>
>>> I think from a browser vendors perspective, there will never be enough
>>> volume.
>>>
>>> * re Bill Kasdorf
>>>   +1 to all points. But also: publisher investments in MathML have been
>>> mostly internal. Not many have invested in polyfills, web development
>>> tools, web standards development, or browser development. Similarly for
>>> third party vendors.
>>>
>>> * re Paul Topping.
>>>
>>>> I used all my votes for MathML but I am sure it didn't get many votes
>>> compared to other features.
>>>
>>> Actually, some features have fewer votes than MathML and get moved
>>> towards implementation.
>>>
>>>> After MathJax, the problem is largely solved, at least from their
>>> perspective.
>>>
>>> This does not match my experience. Frequently, web developers are using
>>> MathJax's shortcomings as an excuse to dismiss MathML.
>>>
>>> * re Deborah Kaplan
>>>
>>>> I want to stress that the push for native MathML is not out of any
>>> desire to get rid of MathJax.
>>>
>>> That's ok ;-) the MathJax project was designed to eliminate itself by
>>> encouraging browser support. But we'd also be happy to enable what
>> comes
>>> after MathML 3.
>>>
>>>> It is out of the need for publishers to be able to distribute native
>>> math that can be read by screen readers without users having to do
>>> anything special.
>>>
>>> This strikes me as orthogonal to native MathML rendering. Both exposing
>>> MathML to a11y interfaces and finding MathML-enabled AT are quite
>>> different (but equally messy) problems.
>>>
>>> Simply reading out MathML via MathML-enabled AT is theoretically easy;
>>> try the example at https://github.com/mathjax/MathJax-docs/issues/111.
>>>
>>> The much bigger problem is AT for visual users, e.g., sync-highlighting
>>> and exploration (see comment on ARIA below).
>>>
>>>> Rather, the greater concern is non-browser-based reading systems,
>>> frequently used for textbooks, which have legal requirements for
>>> accessibility.
>>>
>>> How do you see browser implementations for MathML help here?
>>>
>>> * re Liam
>>>
>>> re (1) you make it sound easy ;-)
>>>
>>> re (3) is actually a huge, messy, overlooked issue; see my use cases on
>>> font metrics APIs for Houdini.
>>>
>>> re (4) I don't really think this is a big issue these days (although
>>> third party vendors are a different issue). TeX conversion has many
>>> options, Microsoft's own equation editor and Windows handwriting
>>> recognition can produce MathML, MyScript has great apps. Although
>>> high-quality MathML Editors are virtually non-existent (esp. if your
>>> focus is publishing on the  web) -- that probably means something?
>>>
>>> re (5) the examples are not quite right, I think, (long division etc is
>>> actually pretty easy in MathML 3 markup). But otherwise, yes.
>>>
>>> re (a) math content becomes quickly tabular and there's not a lot room
>>> for reflow in tables. But here's something fun
>>> https://github.com/mathjax/MathJax-RespEq
>>>
>>> re (c) the state of MathML accessibility is pretty messy, on both the
>>> content, browser, OS, and AT end.
>>>
>>>
>>> 3. Let me add a couple of entirely personal points.
>>>
>>> I think the main problem is that nobody really knows what it would
>>> technically require to implement good math layout in browser engines or
>>> what it would take to implement good MathML support.
>>>
>>> * Browser vendors have never worked on MathML.
>>>   * MathML in Gecko and WebKit has been almost exclusively
>> implemented
>>> by unpaid volunteers
>>>   * Only Mozilla devs has actually supported its volunteer; they are
>>> the only knowledgeable browser devs regarding MathML.
>>>
>>> * In my experience, both browser vendors, publisher, and third party
>>> vendors have surprisingly little knowledge of
>>>   * MathML as a markup language
>>>   * math layout in general
>>>   * MathML layout specifically
>>>   * math layout using OWP tech
>>>   * math accessibility using OWP tech
>>>
>>> * third party vendors have a bit more knowledge of the first two but I
>>> sometimes see an incentive to keep things complicated (read: expensive).
>>>
>>> * The ARIA spec has a massive hole where mathematics should be.
>>>
>>> * Neither browsers nor publishers are active in the MathWG (ok, maybe 1
>>> exception).
>>>
>>> * The MathML spec needs some work in an HTML5 context
>>>   * MathML has been "out of sync" (for lack of a better term) with
>>> HTML/CSS/SVG for a while
>>>   * MathML duplicates HTML/CSS features (sometimes the features are
>> not
>>> compatible though never critically so imho)
>>>   * MathML hides quite a few complex layout features behind math
>>> syntax, complicating the implementation of both
>>>   * ContentMathML has failed outside of CAS.
>>>
>>> Another key problem is: MathML is neither necessary nor sufficient for
>>> math layout on the web. Nowadays, HTML/CSS implementations are good
>>> enough for (high quality) math/MathML layout. I'm not speaking of
>>> client-side JS-driven rendering but of (server-side) HTML+CSS generation
>>> that looks the same on all recent browsers. (MathJax will introduce such
>>> a technology in our next release. It's not pretty markup code and it's
>>> not perfect but it works.)
>>>
>>> Personally, I don't think MathML will be implemented in browsers (though
>>> I'd be extremely happy to be wrong here and will support any effort in
>>> this group). I do think there are more realistic alternative goals such
>>> as improving CSS implementations incrementally and developing standards
>>> for exposing underlying data such as MathML to tools such as AT.
>>>
>>> Again, sorry about the length.
>>> Peter.
>>>
>>> On Mon, Aug 24, 2015 at 7:29 PM, Deborah Kaplan
>>> <dkaplan@safaribooksonline.com
>> <mailto:dkaplan@safaribooksonline.com>>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>    On Mon, 24 Aug 2015, Paul Topping wrote:
>>>
>>>        Convincing them to implement EPUB would be a worthwhile cause.
>>>
>>>
>>>    Yes, absolutely.
>>>
>>>        Isn't the bigger problem convincing students and teachers to
>>>
>>>    I'm sure many of you here know the actual data, and anecdotes are
>>>    not data. But I do know that when I was a graduate student two years
>>>    ago, I had two choices: print, or the official electronic textbook
>>>    through our vendor, which was an epub which could only be read
>>>    through the vendor's reading system.
>>>
>>>    At that institution, in any case, the students and the teachers
>>>    aren't making the decisions. If you buy a textbook, you get the
>>>    electronic version as is delivered, which is usually EPUB.
>>>
>>>    But again, I'm sure many people on this list have the actual data.
>>>
>>>      (There was non-terrible accessibility on the reading system (since
>>>    it is an educational platform with compliance requirements), so it
>>>    was minimally usable without a mouse. But the textbooks were
>>>    unedited OCR, so I wouldn't have wanted to use them with a screen
>>>
>>>    That's a content problem, though. Unedited OCR isn't going to end up
>>>    with MathML markup no matter what the reader supports.)
>>>
>>>      Deborah
>>>
>>>
>

----
Ivan Herman, W3C
Digital Publishing Activity Lead
Home: http://www.w3.org/People/Ivan/
mobile: +31-641044153
ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0782-2704



## Fwd: [Moderator Action] [Moderator Action] RE: Active lobbying: Math

Source: public-digipub-ig@w3.org Mail Archives • Ivan Herman (ivan@w3.org) • August 25, 2015 • Permalink



> Begin forwarded message:
>
> From: Paul Topping <pault@dessci.com>
> Subject: [Moderator Action] RE: Fwd: [Moderator Action] RE: Active lobbying: Math
> Date: 24 Aug 2015 22:12:36 CEST
> To: Peter Krautzberger <peter.krautzberger@mathjax.org>, "W3C Digital Publishing IG" <public-digipub-ig@w3.org>
> X-W3C-Hub-Spam-Status: No, score=-6.3
>
> Peter,
>
> I totally agree with the lack of MathML knowledge on the part of browser vendors and, perhaps, beyond. Perhaps there’s some math phobia at play here.
>
> I also agree that the state of math accessibility is messy. Lots of stuff out there to convert MathML to speech strings (plug: my company’s MathPlayer does a good job) but what is lacking are the consistent delivery mechanisms. It is hard for end users to put all the pieces together. In fact, it is hard for software developers to put the pieces together. The number of people who care about math accessibility, AND have the intimate technical knowledge to even know what’s missing, is small. It is hard for them to get the attention of the people who set the technical agenda and allocate resources for screen readers, browsers, AT s/w, standards, etc. They all have bigger fish to fry, as they say.
>
> When you say “web developers are using MathJax's shortcomings as an excuse to dismiss MathML”, what shortcomings were you referring to? Judging from the mailing list traffic, my own take is that, except perhaps for performance, the shortcomings are really just due to the difficulty of integrating MathJax into web pages. This is not so much due to shortcomings that MathJax can address but the general lack of modularity and structure in the modern web platform. This is at least something that the HTML5 movers and shakers are aware of and are addressing. Though they have a long way to go, there is a lot of energy behind it and it has a high priority. That said, I do worry that they are not addressing precisely the issues that MathJax needs addressed. Perhaps an agenda item would be to make these needs explicit. Rather than demand that browser makers implement MathML, ask that they address a set of integration problems that would make MathJax easier to work with and have better performance. For example, MathJax has to perform a bunch of tricks to make typographic measurements and these are generally a performance bottlekneck. Perhaps these could be supplied by some new browser API.
> Paul
>
> From: Peter Krautzberger [mailto:peter.krautzberger@mathjax.org <mailto:peter.krautzberger@mathjax.org>]
> Sent: Monday, August 24, 2015 12:48 PM
> To: W3C Digital Publishing IG <public-digipub-ig@w3.org <mailto:public-digipub-ig@w3.org>>
> Subject: Re: Fwd: [Moderator Action] RE: Active lobbying: Math
>
> Hi,
>
> This is a bit longer. Sorry about that.
>
> 1. Ivan suggested I should sum up what I've been involved in.
>
> * In 2013, when Chrome dropped WebKit's MathML code, we coordinated with our MathJax sponsors to reach out to Google management (non-publicly) to encourage the Chrome team to reconsider.
> * in 2013/14, MathJax looked into working on Gecko and WebKit directly; we could not find funding and we could not get WebKit companies to even have a discussion about long-term code ownership (let alone architecture or any other guidance). I'm aware of several efforts to find funding since then.
> * in 2015, the MathWG reached out to browser vendors to start a discussion of the overall situation; we put this on hold for lack of availability from the browser end
>
> 2. Regarding the discussion so far
>
> * re Paul Belfanti: "publishing at volume".
>
> I think from a browser vendors perspective, there will never be enough volume.
>
> * re Bill Kasdorf
>   +1 to all points. But also: publisher investments in MathML have been mostly internal. Not many have invested in polyfills, web development tools, web standards development, or browser development. Similarly for third party vendors.
>
> * re Paul Topping.
>
> > I used all my votes for MathML but I am sure it didn't get many votes compared to other features.
>
> Actually, some features have fewer votes than MathML and get moved towards implementation.
>
> > After MathJax, the problem is largely solved, at least from their perspective.
>
> This does not match my experience. Frequently, web developers are using MathJax's shortcomings as an excuse to dismiss MathML.
>
> * re Deborah Kaplan
>
> > I want to stress that the push for native MathML is not out of any desire to get rid of MathJax.
>
> That's ok ;-) the MathJax project was designed to eliminate itself by encouraging browser support. But we'd also be happy to enable what comes after MathML 3.
>
> > It is out of the need for publishers to be able to distribute native math that can be read by screen readers without users having to do anything special.
>
> This strikes me as orthogonal to native MathML rendering. Both exposing MathML to a11y interfaces and finding MathML-enabled AT are quite different (but equally messy) problems.
>
> Simply reading out MathML via MathML-enabled AT is theoretically easy; try the example at https://github.com/mathjax/MathJax-docs/issues/111 <https://github.com/mathjax/MathJax-docs/issues/111>.
>
> The much bigger problem is AT for visual users, e.g., sync-highlighting and exploration (see comment on ARIA below).
>
> > Rather, the greater concern is non-browser-based reading systems, frequently used for textbooks, which have legal requirements for accessibility.
>
> How do you see browser implementations for MathML help here?
>
> * re Liam
>
> re (1) you make it sound easy ;-)
>
> re (3) is actually a huge, messy, overlooked issue; see my use cases on font metrics APIs for Houdini.
>
> re (4) I don't really think this is a big issue these days (although third party vendors are a different issue). TeX conversion has many options, Microsoft's own equation editor and Windows handwriting recognition can produce MathML, MyScript has great apps. Although high-quality MathML Editors are virtually non-existent (esp. if your focus is publishing on the  web) -- that probably means something?
>
> re (5) the examples are not quite right, I think, (long division etc is actually pretty easy in MathML 3 markup). But otherwise, yes.
>
> re (a) math content becomes quickly tabular and there's not a lot room for reflow in tables. But here's something fun https://github.com/mathjax/MathJax-RespEq <https://github.com/mathjax/MathJax-RespEq>
> re (c) the state of MathML accessibility is pretty messy, on both the content, browser, OS, and AT end.
>
>
> 3. Let me add a couple of entirely personal points.
>
> I think the main problem is that nobody really knows what it would technically require to implement good math layout in browser engines or what it would take to implement good MathML support.
>
> * Browser vendors have never worked on MathML.
>   * MathML in Gecko and WebKit has been almost exclusively implemented by unpaid volunteers
>   * Only Mozilla devs has actually supported its volunteer; they are the only knowledgeable browser devs regarding MathML.
>
> * In my experience, both browser vendors, publisher, and third party vendors have surprisingly little knowledge of
>   * MathML as a markup language
>   * math layout in general
>   * MathML layout specifically
>   * math layout using OWP tech
>   * math accessibility using OWP tech
>
> * third party vendors have a bit more knowledge of the first two but I sometimes see an incentive to keep things complicated (read: expensive).
>
> * The ARIA spec has a massive hole where mathematics should be.
>
> * Neither browsers nor publishers are active in the MathWG (ok, maybe 1 exception).
>
> * The MathML spec needs some work in an HTML5 context
>   * MathML has been "out of sync" (for lack of a better term) with HTML/CSS/SVG for a while
>   * MathML duplicates HTML/CSS features (sometimes the features are not compatible though never critically so imho)
>   * MathML hides quite a few complex layout features behind math syntax, complicating the implementation of both
>   * ContentMathML has failed outside of CAS.
>
> Another key problem is: MathML is neither necessary nor sufficient for math layout on the web. Nowadays, HTML/CSS implementations are good enough for (high quality) math/MathML layout. I'm not speaking of client-side JS-driven rendering but of (server-side) HTML+CSS generation that looks the same on all recent browsers. (MathJax will introduce such a technology in our next release. It's not pretty markup code and it's not perfect but it works.)
>
> Personally, I don't think MathML will be implemented in browsers (though I'd be extremely happy to be wrong here and will support any effort in this group). I do think there are more realistic alternative goals such as improving CSS implementations incrementally and developing standards for exposing underlying data such as MathML to tools such as AT.
>
> Again, sorry about the length.
> Peter.
>
> On Mon, Aug 24, 2015 at 7:29 PM, Deborah Kaplan <dkaplan@safaribooksonline.com <mailto:dkaplan@safaribooksonline.com>> wrote:
> On Mon, 24 Aug 2015, Paul Topping wrote:
>
> Convincing them to implement EPUB would be a worthwhile cause.
>
> Yes, absolutely.
>
> Isn't the bigger problem convincing students and teachers to adopt etextbooks?
> I'm sure many of you here know the actual data, and anecdotes are not data. But I do know that when I was a graduate student two years ago, I had two choices: print, or the official electronic textbook through our vendor, which was an epub which could only be read through the vendor's reading system.
>
> At that institution, in any case, the students and the teachers aren't making the decisions. If you buy a textbook, you get the electronic version as is delivered, which is usually EPUB.
>
> But again, I'm sure many people on this list have the actual data.
>
>  (There was non-terrible accessibility on the reading system (since it is an educational platform with compliance requirements), so it was minimally usable without a mouse. But the textbooks were unedited OCR, so I wouldn't have wanted to use them with a screen reader.
>
> That's a content problem, though. Unedited OCR isn't going to end up with MathML markup no matter what the reader supports.)
>
>  Deborah
>

----
Ivan Herman, W3C
Digital Publishing Activity Lead
Home: http://www.w3.org/People/Ivan/
mobile: +31-641044153
ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0782-2704



## Fwd: [Moderator Action] [Moderator Action] RE: Active lobbying: Math

Source: public-digipub-ig@w3.org Mail Archives • Ivan Herman (ivan@w3.org) • August 25, 2015 • Permalink



> Begin forwarded message:
>
> From: Paul Topping <pault@dessci.com>
> Subject: [Moderator Action] RE: Fwd: [Moderator Action] RE: Active lobbying: Math
> Date: 24 Aug 2015 20:11:32 CEST
> To: Deborah Kaplan <dkaplan@safaribooksonline.com>
> Cc: Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org>, W3C Digital Publishing IG <public-digipub-ig@w3.org>
> X-W3C-Hub-Spam-Status: No, score=-6.3
>
> Actually, the Infty Reader Group (www.inftyreader.com) has software that does OCR into MathML.
>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Deborah Kaplan [mailto:dkaplan@safaribooksonline.com]
>> Sent: Monday, August 24, 2015 10:29 AM
>> To: Paul Topping <pault@dessci.com>
>> Cc: Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org>; W3C Digital Publishing IG <public-digipub-
>> ig@w3.org>
>> Subject: RE: Fwd: [Moderator Action] RE: Active lobbying: Math
>>
>> On Mon, 24 Aug 2015, Paul Topping wrote:
>>
>>> Convincing them to implement EPUB would be a worthwhile cause.
>>
>> Yes, absolutely.
>>
>>> Isn't the bigger problem convincing students and teachers to adopt
>> etextbooks?
>> I'm sure many of you here know the actual data, and anecdotes are not data.
>> But I do know that when I was a graduate student two years ago, I had two
>> choices: print, or the official electronic textbook through our vendor, which
>> was an epub which could only be read through the vendor's reading system.
>>
>> At that institution, in any case, the students and the teachers aren't making
>> the decisions. If you buy a textbook, you get the electronic version as is
>> delivered, which is usually EPUB.
>>
>> But again, I'm sure many people on this list have the actual data.
>>
>>  (There was non-terrible accessibility on the reading system (since it is an
>> educational platform with compliance requirements), so it was minimally
>> usable without a mouse. But the textbooks were unedited OCR, so I
>> wouldn't have wanted to use them with a screen reader.
>>
>> That's a content problem, though. Unedited OCR isn't going to end up with
>> MathML markup no matter what the reader supports.)
>>
>>  Deborah
>

----
Ivan Herman, W3C
Digital Publishing Activity Lead
Home: http://www.w3.org/People/Ivan/
mobile: +31-641044153
ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0782-2704



## Re: Fwd: [Moderator Action] RE: Active lobbying: Math

Source: public-digipub-ig@w3.org Mail Archives • Richard Schwerdtfeger (schwer@us.ibm.com) • August 24, 2015 • Permalink

What I have heard from some browser vendors is that there is just not
enough MathML content out there and it is difficult to justify the
performance hit. I believe this is due to a lack of easy to use authoring
tools for Math that could be made available to educators. That is starting
to change.

I sit on a Technical Advisory Board for Namo Interactive. Their Namo Author
EPUB authoring tool has some phenomenal templates for math (this is not a
plug) that are easy to use by educators that help promote MATHML in their
EPUB authoring tool. There is also the chicken and egg problem that because
we did not have a lot of MathML generated on the web that the browser
support has been dropping off. Readium is building math support into their
EPUB readers which will help fill some of those gaps. This will result in
greater use of digital math in education. I think the adoption of EPUB is
going to grow greater adoption of MathML.

Rich

Rich Schwerdtfeger

From:   Doug Schepers <schepers@w3.org>
To:     Peter Krautzberger <peter.krautzberger@mathjax.org>, W3C
Digital Publishing IG <public-digipub-ig@w3.org>
Date:   08/24/2015 04:43 PM
Subject:        Re: Fwd: [Moderator Action] RE: Active lobbying: Math

Hi, folks–

MathML was developed a long time ago, in isolation from HTML and CSS.

I think we could really benefit from taking a look at _why_ browser
vendors aren't implementing MathML, learning those lessons, and making a
new version of MathML that's easier to implement and maintain, easier to
author, easier to style, and is better integrated into HTML5.

I've voiced this opinion to Peter before. I don't think we differ much,
and I think the years of experience the MathJax team and others have in
implementing MathML in modern browsers could yield a lot more benefit
than trying to push browser vendors to implement MathML as it is today.

Regards–
–Doug

On 8/24/15 3:47 PM, Peter Krautzberger wrote:
> Hi,
>
> This is a bit longer. Sorry about that.
>
> 1. Ivan suggested I should sum up what I've been involved in.
>
> * In 2013, when Chrome dropped WebKit's MathML code, we coordinated with
> our MathJax sponsors to reach out to Google management (non-publicly) to
> encourage the Chrome team to reconsider.
> * in 2013/14, MathJax looked into working on Gecko and WebKit directly;
> we could not find funding and we could not get WebKit companies to even
> have a discussion about long-term code ownership (let alone architecture
> or any other guidance). I'm aware of several efforts to find funding
> since then.
> * in 2015, the MathWG reached out to browser vendors to start a
> discussion of the overall situation; we put this on hold for lack of
> availability from the browser end
>
> 2. Regarding the discussion so far
>
> * re Paul Belfanti: "publishing at volume".
>
> I think from a browser vendors perspective, there will never be enough
> volume.
>
> * re Bill Kasdorf
>    +1 to all points. But also: publisher investments in MathML have been
> mostly internal. Not many have invested in polyfills, web development
> tools, web standards development, or browser development. Similarly for
> third party vendors.
>
> * re Paul Topping.
>
>  > I used all my votes for MathML but I am sure it didn't get many votes
> compared to other features.
>
> Actually, some features have fewer votes than MathML and get moved
> towards implementation.
>
>  > After MathJax, the problem is largely solved, at least from their
> perspective.
>
> This does not match my experience. Frequently, web developers are using
> MathJax's shortcomings as an excuse to dismiss MathML.
>
> * re Deborah Kaplan
>
>  > I want to stress that the push for native MathML is not out of any
> desire to get rid of MathJax.
>
> That's ok ;-) the MathJax project was designed to eliminate itself by
> encouraging browser support. But we'd also be happy to enable what comes
> after MathML 3.
>
>  > It is out of the need for publishers to be able to distribute native
> math that can be read by screen readers without users having to do
> anything special.
>
> This strikes me as orthogonal to native MathML rendering. Both exposing
> MathML to a11y interfaces and finding MathML-enabled AT are quite
> different (but equally messy) problems.
>
> Simply reading out MathML via MathML-enabled AT is theoretically easy;
> try the example at https://github.com/mathjax/MathJax-docs/issues/111.

>
> The much bigger problem is AT for visual users, e.g., sync-highlighting
> and exploration (see comment on ARIA below).
>
>  > Rather, the greater concern is non-browser-based reading systems,
> frequently used for textbooks, which have legal requirements for
> accessibility.
>
> How do you see browser implementations for MathML help here?
>
> * re Liam
>
> re (1) you make it sound easy ;-)
>
> re (3) is actually a huge, messy, overlooked issue; see my use cases on
> font metrics APIs for Houdini.
>
> re (4) I don't really think this is a big issue these days (although
> third party vendors are a different issue). TeX conversion has many
> options, Microsoft's own equation editor and Windows handwriting
> recognition can produce MathML, MyScript has great apps. Although
> high-quality MathML Editors are virtually non-existent (esp. if your
> focus is publishing on the  web) -- that probably means something?
>
> re (5) the examples are not quite right, I think, (long division etc is
> actually pretty easy in MathML 3 markup). But otherwise, yes.
>
> re (a) math content becomes quickly tabular and there's not a lot room
> for reflow in tables. But here's something fun
> https://github.com/mathjax/MathJax-RespEq

>
> re (c) the state of MathML accessibility is pretty messy, on both the
> content, browser, OS, and AT end.
>
>
> 3. Let me add a couple of entirely personal points.
>
> I think the main problem is that nobody really knows what it would
> technically require to implement good math layout in browser engines or
> what it would take to implement good MathML support.
>
> * Browser vendors have never worked on MathML.
>    * MathML in Gecko and WebKit has been almost exclusively implemented
> by unpaid volunteers
>    * Only Mozilla devs has actually supported its volunteer; they are
> the only knowledgeable browser devs regarding MathML.
>
> * In my experience, both browser vendors, publisher, and third party
> vendors have surprisingly little knowledge of
>    * MathML as a markup language
>    * math layout in general
>    * MathML layout specifically
>    * math layout using OWP tech
>    * math accessibility using OWP tech
>
> * third party vendors have a bit more knowledge of the first two but I
> sometimes see an incentive to keep things complicated (read: expensive).
>
> * The ARIA spec has a massive hole where mathematics should be.
>
> * Neither browsers nor publishers are active in the MathWG (ok, maybe 1
> exception).
>
> * The MathML spec needs some work in an HTML5 context
>    * MathML has been "out of sync" (for lack of a better term) with
> HTML/CSS/SVG for a while
>    * MathML duplicates HTML/CSS features (sometimes the features are not
> compatible though never critically so imho)
>    * MathML hides quite a few complex layout features behind math
> syntax, complicating the implementation of both
>    * ContentMathML has failed outside of CAS.
>
> Another key problem is: MathML is neither necessary nor sufficient for
> math layout on the web. Nowadays, HTML/CSS implementations are good
> enough for (high quality) math/MathML layout. I'm not speaking of
> client-side JS-driven rendering but of (server-side) HTML+CSS generation
> that looks the same on all recent browsers. (MathJax will introduce such
> a technology in our next release. It's not pretty markup code and it's
> not perfect but it works.)
>
> Personally, I don't think MathML will be implemented in browsers (though
> I'd be extremely happy to be wrong here and will support any effort in
> this group). I do think there are more realistic alternative goals such
> as improving CSS implementations incrementally and developing standards
> for exposing underlying data such as MathML to tools such as AT.
>
> Again, sorry about the length.
> Peter.
>
> On Mon, Aug 24, 2015 at 7:29 PM, Deborah Kaplan
> <dkaplan@safaribooksonline.com <mailto:dkaplan@safaribooksonline.com>>
> wrote:
>
>     On Mon, 24 Aug 2015, Paul Topping wrote:
>
>         Convincing them to implement EPUB would be a worthwhile cause.
>
>
>     Yes, absolutely.
>
>         Isn't the bigger problem convincing students and teachers to
>
>     I'm sure many of you here know the actual data, and anecdotes are
>     not data. But I do know that when I was a graduate student two years
>     ago, I had two choices: print, or the official electronic textbook
>     through our vendor, which was an epub which could only be read
>     through the vendor's reading system.
>
>     At that institution, in any case, the students and the teachers
>     aren't making the decisions. If you buy a textbook, you get the
>     electronic version as is delivered, which is usually EPUB.
>
>     But again, I'm sure many people on this list have the actual data.
>
>       (There was non-terrible accessibility on the reading system (since
>     it is an educational platform with compliance requirements), so it
>     was minimally usable without a mouse. But the textbooks were
>     unedited OCR, so I wouldn't have wanted to use them with a screen
>
>     That's a content problem, though. Unedited OCR isn't going to end up
>     with MathML markup no matter what the reader supports.)
>
>       Deborah
>
>



## Re: Fwd: [Moderator Action] RE: Active lobbying: Math

Source: public-digipub-ig@w3.org Mail Archives • Doug Schepers (schepers@w3.org) • August 24, 2015 • Permalink

Hi, folks–

MathML was developed a long time ago, in isolation from HTML and CSS.

I think we could really benefit from taking a look at _why_ browser
vendors aren't implementing MathML, learning those lessons, and making a
new version of MathML that's easier to implement and maintain, easier to
author, easier to style, and is better integrated into HTML5.

I've voiced this opinion to Peter before. I don't think we differ much,
and I think the years of experience the MathJax team and others have in
implementing MathML in modern browsers could yield a lot more benefit
than trying to push browser vendors to implement MathML as it is today.

Regards–
–Doug

On 8/24/15 3:47 PM, Peter Krautzberger wrote:
> Hi,
>
> This is a bit longer. Sorry about that.
>
> 1. Ivan suggested I should sum up what I've been involved in.
>
> * In 2013, when Chrome dropped WebKit's MathML code, we coordinated with
> our MathJax sponsors to reach out to Google management (non-publicly) to
> encourage the Chrome team to reconsider.
> * in 2013/14, MathJax looked into working on Gecko and WebKit directly;
> we could not find funding and we could not get WebKit companies to even
> have a discussion about long-term code ownership (let alone architecture
> or any other guidance). I'm aware of several efforts to find funding
> since then.
> * in 2015, the MathWG reached out to browser vendors to start a
> discussion of the overall situation; we put this on hold for lack of
> availability from the browser end
>
> 2. Regarding the discussion so far
>
> * re Paul Belfanti: "publishing at volume".
>
> I think from a browser vendors perspective, there will never be enough
> volume.
>
> * re Bill Kasdorf
>    +1 to all points. But also: publisher investments in MathML have been
> mostly internal. Not many have invested in polyfills, web development
> tools, web standards development, or browser development. Similarly for
> third party vendors.
>
> * re Paul Topping.
>
>  > I used all my votes for MathML but I am sure it didn't get many votes
> compared to other features.
>
> Actually, some features have fewer votes than MathML and get moved
> towards implementation.
>
>  > After MathJax, the problem is largely solved, at least from their
> perspective.
>
> This does not match my experience. Frequently, web developers are using
> MathJax's shortcomings as an excuse to dismiss MathML.
>
> * re Deborah Kaplan
>
>  > I want to stress that the push for native MathML is not out of any
> desire to get rid of MathJax.
>
> That's ok ;-) the MathJax project was designed to eliminate itself by
> encouraging browser support. But we'd also be happy to enable what comes
> after MathML 3.
>
>  > It is out of the need for publishers to be able to distribute native
> math that can be read by screen readers without users having to do
> anything special.
>
> This strikes me as orthogonal to native MathML rendering. Both exposing
> MathML to a11y interfaces and finding MathML-enabled AT are quite
> different (but equally messy) problems.
>
> Simply reading out MathML via MathML-enabled AT is theoretically easy;
> try the example at https://github.com/mathjax/MathJax-docs/issues/111.
>
> The much bigger problem is AT for visual users, e.g., sync-highlighting
> and exploration (see comment on ARIA below).
>
>  > Rather, the greater concern is non-browser-based reading systems,
> frequently used for textbooks, which have legal requirements for
> accessibility.
>
> How do you see browser implementations for MathML help here?
>
> * re Liam
>
> re (1) you make it sound easy ;-)
>
> re (3) is actually a huge, messy, overlooked issue; see my use cases on
> font metrics APIs for Houdini.
>
> re (4) I don't really think this is a big issue these days (although
> third party vendors are a different issue). TeX conversion has many
> options, Microsoft's own equation editor and Windows handwriting
> recognition can produce MathML, MyScript has great apps. Although
> high-quality MathML Editors are virtually non-existent (esp. if your
> focus is publishing on the  web) -- that probably means something?
>
> re (5) the examples are not quite right, I think, (long division etc is
> actually pretty easy in MathML 3 markup). But otherwise, yes.
>
> re (a) math content becomes quickly tabular and there's not a lot room
> for reflow in tables. But here's something fun
> https://github.com/mathjax/MathJax-RespEq
>
> re (c) the state of MathML accessibility is pretty messy, on both the
> content, browser, OS, and AT end.
>
>
> 3. Let me add a couple of entirely personal points.
>
> I think the main problem is that nobody really knows what it would
> technically require to implement good math layout in browser engines or
> what it would take to implement good MathML support.
>
> * Browser vendors have never worked on MathML.
>    * MathML in Gecko and WebKit has been almost exclusively implemented
> by unpaid volunteers
>    * Only Mozilla devs has actually supported its volunteer; they are
> the only knowledgeable browser devs regarding MathML.
>
> * In my experience, both browser vendors, publisher, and third party
> vendors have surprisingly little knowledge of
>    * MathML as a markup language
>    * math layout in general
>    * MathML layout specifically
>    * math layout using OWP tech
>    * math accessibility using OWP tech
>
> * third party vendors have a bit more knowledge of the first two but I
> sometimes see an incentive to keep things complicated (read: expensive).
>
> * The ARIA spec has a massive hole where mathematics should be.
>
> * Neither browsers nor publishers are active in the MathWG (ok, maybe 1
> exception).
>
> * The MathML spec needs some work in an HTML5 context
>    * MathML has been "out of sync" (for lack of a better term) with
> HTML/CSS/SVG for a while
>    * MathML duplicates HTML/CSS features (sometimes the features are not
> compatible though never critically so imho)
>    * MathML hides quite a few complex layout features behind math
> syntax, complicating the implementation of both
>    * ContentMathML has failed outside of CAS.
>
> Another key problem is: MathML is neither necessary nor sufficient for
> math layout on the web. Nowadays, HTML/CSS implementations are good
> enough for (high quality) math/MathML layout. I'm not speaking of
> client-side JS-driven rendering but of (server-side) HTML+CSS generation
> that looks the same on all recent browsers. (MathJax will introduce such
> a technology in our next release. It's not pretty markup code and it's
> not perfect but it works.)
>
> Personally, I don't think MathML will be implemented in browsers (though
> I'd be extremely happy to be wrong here and will support any effort in
> this group). I do think there are more realistic alternative goals such
> as improving CSS implementations incrementally and developing standards
> for exposing underlying data such as MathML to tools such as AT.
>
> Again, sorry about the length.
> Peter.
>
> On Mon, Aug 24, 2015 at 7:29 PM, Deborah Kaplan
> <dkaplan@safaribooksonline.com <mailto:dkaplan@safaribooksonline.com>>
> wrote:
>
>     On Mon, 24 Aug 2015, Paul Topping wrote:
>
>         Convincing them to implement EPUB would be a worthwhile cause.
>
>
>     Yes, absolutely.
>
>         Isn't the bigger problem convincing students and teachers to
>
>     I'm sure many of you here know the actual data, and anecdotes are
>     not data. But I do know that when I was a graduate student two years
>     ago, I had two choices: print, or the official electronic textbook
>     through our vendor, which was an epub which could only be read
>     through the vendor's reading system.
>
>     At that institution, in any case, the students and the teachers
>     aren't making the decisions. If you buy a textbook, you get the
>     electronic version as is delivered, which is usually EPUB.
>
>     But again, I'm sure many people on this list have the actual data.
>
>       (There was non-terrible accessibility on the reading system (since
>     it is an educational platform with compliance requirements), so it
>     was minimally usable without a mouse. But the textbooks were
>     unedited OCR, so I wouldn't have wanted to use them with a screen
>
>     That's a content problem, though. Unedited OCR isn't going to end up
>     with MathML markup no matter what the reader supports.)
>
>       Deborah
>
>


## Re: Fwd: [Moderator Action] RE: Active lobbying: Math

Source: public-digipub-ig@w3.org Mail Archives • Peter Krautzberger (peter.krautzberger@mathjax.org) • August 24, 2015 • Permalink

Hi,

This is a bit longer. Sorry about that.

1. Ivan suggested I should sum up what I've been involved in.

* In 2013, when Chrome dropped WebKit's MathML code, we coordinated with
our MathJax sponsors to reach out to Google management (non-publicly) to
encourage the Chrome team to reconsider.
* in 2013/14, MathJax looked into working on Gecko and WebKit directly; we
could not find funding and we could not get WebKit companies to even have a
discussion about long-term code ownership (let alone architecture or any
other guidance). I'm aware of several efforts to find funding since then.
* in 2015, the MathWG reached out to browser vendors to start a discussion
of the overall situation; we put this on hold for lack of availability from
the browser end

2. Regarding the discussion so far

* re Paul Belfanti: "publishing at volume".

I think from a browser vendors perspective, there will never be enough
volume.

* re Bill Kasdorf
+1 to all points. But also: publisher investments in MathML have been
mostly internal. Not many have invested in polyfills, web development
tools, web standards development, or browser development. Similarly for
third party vendors.

* re Paul Topping.

> I used all my votes for MathML but I am sure it didn't get many votes
compared to other features.

Actually, some features have fewer votes than MathML and get moved towards
implementation.

> After MathJax, the problem is largely solved, at least from their
perspective.

This does not match my experience. Frequently, web developers are using
MathJax's shortcomings as an excuse to dismiss MathML.

* re Deborah Kaplan

> I want to stress that the push for native MathML is not out of any desire
to get rid of MathJax.

That's ok ;-) the MathJax project was designed to eliminate itself by
encouraging browser support. But we'd also be happy to enable what comes
after MathML 3.

> It is out of the need for publishers to be able to distribute native math
that can be read by screen readers without users having to do anything
special.

This strikes me as orthogonal to native MathML rendering. Both exposing
MathML to a11y interfaces and finding MathML-enabled AT are quite different
(but equally messy) problems.

Simply reading out MathML via MathML-enabled AT is theoretically easy; try
the example at https://github.com/mathjax/MathJax-docs/issues/111.

The much bigger problem is AT for visual users, e.g., sync-highlighting and
exploration (see comment on ARIA below).

> Rather, the greater concern is non-browser-based reading systems,
frequently used for textbooks, which have legal requirements for
accessibility.

How do you see browser implementations for MathML help here?

* re Liam

re (1) you make it sound easy ;-)

re (3) is actually a huge, messy, overlooked issue; see my use cases on
font metrics APIs for Houdini.

re (4) I don't really think this is a big issue these days (although third
party vendors are a different issue). TeX conversion has many options,
Microsoft's own equation editor and Windows handwriting recognition can
produce MathML, MyScript has great apps. Although high-quality MathML
Editors are virtually non-existent (esp. if your focus is publishing on the
web) -- that probably means something?

re (5) the examples are not quite right, I think, (long division etc is
actually pretty easy in MathML 3 markup). But otherwise, yes.

re (a) math content becomes quickly tabular and there's not a lot room for
reflow in tables. But here's something fun
https://github.com/mathjax/MathJax-RespEq

re (c) the state of MathML accessibility is pretty messy, on both the
content, browser, OS, and AT end.

3. Let me add a couple of entirely personal points.

I think the main problem is that nobody really knows what it would
technically require to implement good math layout in browser engines or
what it would take to implement good MathML support.

* Browser vendors have never worked on MathML.
* MathML in Gecko and WebKit has been almost exclusively implemented by
unpaid volunteers
* Only Mozilla devs has actually supported its volunteer; they are the
only knowledgeable browser devs regarding MathML.

* In my experience, both browser vendors, publisher, and third party
vendors have surprisingly little knowledge of
* MathML as a markup language
* math layout in general
* MathML layout specifically
* math layout using OWP tech
* math accessibility using OWP tech

* third party vendors have a bit more knowledge of the first two but I
sometimes see an incentive to keep things complicated (read: expensive).

* The ARIA spec has a massive hole where mathematics should be.

* Neither browsers nor publishers are active in the MathWG (ok, maybe 1
exception).

* The MathML spec needs some work in an HTML5 context
* MathML has been "out of sync" (for lack of a better term) with
HTML/CSS/SVG for a while
* MathML duplicates HTML/CSS features (sometimes the features are not
compatible though never critically so imho)
* MathML hides quite a few complex layout features behind math syntax,
complicating the implementation of both
* ContentMathML has failed outside of CAS.

Another key problem is: MathML is neither necessary nor sufficient for math
layout on the web. Nowadays, HTML/CSS implementations are good enough for
(high quality) math/MathML layout. I'm not speaking of client-side
JS-driven rendering but of (server-side) HTML+CSS generation that looks the
same on all recent browsers. (MathJax will introduce such a technology in
our next release. It's not pretty markup code and it's not perfect but it
works.)

Personally, I don't think MathML will be implemented in browsers (though
I'd be extremely happy to be wrong here and will support any effort in this
group). I do think there are more realistic alternative goals such as
improving CSS implementations incrementally and developing standards for
exposing underlying data such as MathML to tools such as AT.

Again, sorry about the length.
Peter.

On Mon, Aug 24, 2015 at 7:29 PM, Deborah Kaplan <
dkaplan@safaribooksonline.com> wrote:

> On Mon, 24 Aug 2015, Paul Topping wrote:
>
> Convincing them to implement EPUB would be a worthwhile cause.
>>
>
> Yes, absolutely.
>
> Isn't the bigger problem convincing students and teachers to adopt
>> etextbooks?
>>
> I'm sure many of you here know the actual data, and anecdotes are not
> data. But I do know that when I was a graduate student two years ago, I had
> two choices: print, or the official electronic textbook through our vendor,
> which was an epub which could only be read through the vendor's reading
> system.
>
> At that institution, in any case, the students and the teachers aren't
> making the decisions. If you buy a textbook, you get the electronic version
> as is delivered, which is usually EPUB.
>
> But again, I'm sure many people on this list have the actual data.
>
>  (There was non-terrible accessibility on the reading system (since it is
> an educational platform with compliance requirements), so it was minimally
> usable without a mouse. But the textbooks were unedited OCR, so I wouldn't
> have wanted to use them with a screen reader.
>
> That's a content problem, though. Unedited OCR isn't going to end up with
> MathML markup no matter what the reader supports.)
>
>  Deborah
>
>


## RE: Fwd: [Moderator Action] RE: Active lobbying: Math

Source: public-digipub-ig@w3.org Mail Archives • Deborah Kaplan (dkaplan@safaribooksonline.com) • August 24, 2015 • Permalink

On Mon, 24 Aug 2015, Paul Topping wrote:

> Convincing them to implement EPUB would be a worthwhile cause.

Yes, absolutely.

> Isn't the bigger problem convincing students and teachers to adopt etextbooks?
I'm sure many of you here know the actual data, and anecdotes are not data. But I do know that when I was a graduate student two years ago, I had two choices: print, or the official electronic textbook through our vendor, which was an epub which could only be read through the vendor's reading system.

At that institution, in any case, the students and the teachers aren't making the decisions. If you buy a textbook, you get the electronic version as is delivered, which is usually EPUB.

But again, I'm sure many people on this list have the actual data.

(There was non-terrible accessibility on the reading system (since it is an educational platform with compliance requirements), so it was minimally usable without a mouse. But the textbooks were unedited OCR, so I wouldn't have wanted to use them with a screen reader.

That's a content problem, though. Unedited OCR isn't going to end up with MathML markup no matter what the reader supports.)

Deborah


## Re: [Moderator Action] Active lobbying: Math

Source: public-digipub-ig@w3.org Mail Archives • Julie Morris (julie@bisg.org) • August 24, 2015 • Permalink

Regarding Paul's point about stakeholder-issued public statement in support
of MathML:
- BISG's Accessible Publishing Working Group is addressing the use of
MathML as a "top tip" in the Quick Start Guide to Accessibility (currently
in progress); we may also include MathML as a discussion topic at an
Accessibility Summit in the spring- more on that will be finalized near the
beginning of 2016.
- George Kerscher's Baseline Requirements document will serve as a useful
tool for gaining industry consensus in support of accessibility best
practices, including MathML. I believe George and others at DAISY are
currently planning for where this document and initiative will live.

Thanks,
Julie

On Fri, Aug 21, 2015 at 10:52 AM, Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org> wrote:

> I think that, from an accessibility point of view, content MathML would be
> preferable indeed. However, at this point, I think that the publishers
> would be thrilled to have at least presentation MathML in the browsers:-)
>
> Ivan
>
>
>
> > On 21 Aug 2015, at 16:48 , Olaf Drümmer <olaf@druemmer.com> wrote:
> >
> > Just to be clear: are we talking about just presentation MathML or also
> (or even preferably) content MathML?
> >
> > Olaf
> >
> > On 21 Aug 2015, at 16:24, "Belfanti, Paul" <paul.belfanti@pearson.com>
> wrote:
> >
> >> I think one important step would be for a broad range of stakeholders
> to issue joint public statements in support of MathML and EDUPUB and signal
> their intent to publish content in these standards at volume. This will
> create both business certainty and opportunity for those who can properly
> play/display this content and create competitive dynamic to support rich,
> accessible content.
> >>
> >> Paul
> >> --
> >> Paul Belfanti
> >> Director, Content Architecture
> >> Core Platforms & Enterprise Architecture
> >> office: +1 201-236-7746
> >> mobile: +1 201-783-4884
> >>
> >>
> >> On Fri, Aug 21, 2015 at 9:46 AM, Deborah Kaplan <
> dkaplan@safaribooksonline.com> wrote:
> >> On Fri, 21 Aug 2015, Ivan Herman wrote:
> >>
> >> Yes, if we can actively lobby, with the weight of the publishing market
> behind us, to have browser vendors implement a particular feature, that
> would be a win. For everybody. And that should indeed be the topic of our
> discussions, too.
> >>
> >> (see changed subject line)
> >>
> >> I am hijacking this thread because of this comment by Ivan. This is
> great to hear that you feel this way, Ivan. And in that case, given that it
> is a truth universally acknowledged in this IG that native browser and
> reading system support for MathML would be a big win for the publishing
> sector, how would we go about designing and presenting that case, and then
> going on to actively lobby for the vendors to implement it?
> >>
> >> Deborah
> >>
> >>
> >
>
>
> ----
> Ivan Herman, W3C
> Digital Publishing Activity Lead
> Home: http://www.w3.org/People/Ivan/
> mobile: +31-641044153
> ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0782-2704
>
>
>
>
>

--

*Julie Morris*

Project Manager: Standards & Best Practices

Book Industry Study Group | BISG.org <http://www.bisg.org/>

Tel: 646-336-7141 Ext 14

Email: julie@bisg.org


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