World Wide Web Consortium Issues MathML 2.0 as a W3C Recommendation

Scientists from Industry and Academia Produce Definitive Solution for Math on the Web

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Janet Daly, <janet@w3.org>, +1.617.253.5884 or +1.617.253.2613
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http://www.w3.org/ -- 21 February 2001 -- The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) today announced the release of the Mathematical Markup Language (MathML) 2.0 as a W3C Recommendation. MathML 2.0, an XML application, provides encoding mathematical notation and content for use on the Web. A W3C Recommendation indicates that a specification is stable, contributes to Web interoperability, and has been reviewed by the W3C Membership, who are in favor of supporting its adoption by academic, industry, and research communities.

MathML 2.0 Extends the Foundation for Math on the Web

MathML 2.0 consists of a number of XML tags which can be used to mark up an equation in terms of its presentation and also its semantics. As a result, MathML 2.0 attempts to capture something of the meaning behind equations rather than concentrating entirely on how they are going to be formatted out on the screen. This is because mathematical equations are meaningful to many applications, independent of how they are rendered aurally or visually.

"What HTML did for text on the Web, MathML 2.0 does for the language of mathematics," explained Vincent Quint, W3C User Interface Domain Leader. "And because it is written in XML, it makes it possible for Math content to be not only displayed, but able to be reused and transformed by other applications on the Web."

MathML 2.0 is intended to facilitate the use and re-use of mathematical and scientific content on the Web, and for other applications such as computer algebra systems, print typesetting, and voice synthesizers. MathML can be used to encode both the presentation of mathematical notation for high-quality visual display, and mathematical content, for applications where the semantics plays more of a key role such as scientific software or voice synthesis.

MathML 2.0 Integrates W3C Technologies

MathML 2.0 builds on MathML 1 by extending the set of symbols and expressions, and through improved integration of other W3C technologies. Users of MathML 2.0 are now able to combine it with other W3C technologies to make more dynamic and varied content.

Equations can be styled with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), links can be associated to any math expression through XML Linking Language (XLink), and MathML elements can be seamlessly included in XHTML documents with namespaces. MathML2 also includes the MathML Document Object Model (MathML DOM), which provides a more convenient, and MathML-specific way to identify MathML components and enable any scripting language to manipulate it.

The Math Working Group has produced test suites, and is already at work developing an XML Schema for MathML2, as well as a hybrid schema to combine XHTML and MathML 2.0

MathML 2.0 Embraced by Industry, Research and Academic Leaders

MathML 2.0 was produced by the W3C Math Working Group, an assembly of industry leaders and experts including the American Mathematical Society, Boeing Corporation, Universitá di Bologna, Design Science, IBM, MacKichan Technologies, MATH.EDU INC., Microsoft Corporation, NAG, Penta Scope, Stilo Technologies, Stratum Technical Services Ltd., Waterloo Maple Inc., University of Western Ontario, and Wolfram Research.

MathML 2.0 is recognized as a mature and essential technology by both the mathematical community and software developers and manufacturers. Today, MathML 2.0 already has 17 known implementations and a variety of implementors and endorsers, as indicated in the testimonials page.

About the World Wide Web Consortium [W3C]

The W3C was created to lead the Web to its full potential by developing common protocols that promote its evolution and ensure its interoperability. It is an international industry consortium jointly run by the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science (MIT LCS) in the USA, the National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control (INRIA) in France and Keio University in Japan. Services provided by the Consortium include: a repository of information about the World Wide Web for developers and users, and various prototype and sample applications to demonstrate use of new technology. To date, over 500 organizations are Members of the Consortium. For more information see http://www.w3.org/