re: HTML+ support for eqn & Postscript

Dave_Raggett (
Fri, 18 Jun 93 11:29:21 BST

>> [Dave's example of <EMBED> and eqn]

> Well, it may be the best that we're going to get. However, I still feel that
> equations are too basic to not be supported directly. Note that the more
> successful text processing systems (and that's part of what this will have to
> be) all support text, equations and tables nicely.

The ability to embed foreign formats seems a good thing as it allows us to
take advantage of evolving de facto standards for a whole range of things.

Just how critical is building in support for equations to the continuing
growth of the web? IMHO long term success is more important than intellectual

Some general issues:

o trade-off of complexity versus coverage

ISO have an SGML DTD for maths - but this is "clearly" too complex.
Perhaps there is a reasonable middle ground which would satisfy
most peoples needs. Increasing the coverage from that point would
enormously add to the complexity. So what is the right coverage?

o the impact of yet another standard for equations

A simple approach for equations (which is easy to convert to/from
existing standards) may be worthwhile if widely adopted ...

o the large numbers of math symbols in use

A real problem this. Which ones are common place?

o just how much code is needed for parsing/rendering?

Lets keep browsers simple!

o what to do with line mode displays

Well you could just show the markup format ...

I will have a look at eqn and Latex to get a feeling for what would
be involved in extending HTML+ to directly support equations, and how
one could deal with it in browsers.

Dave Raggett