[rfc-i] Equations as graphics

Joe Hildebrand jhildebr at cisco.com
Wed Apr 18 09:31:54 PDT 2012

On 4/17/12 9:56 PM, "Peter Saint-Andre" <stpeter at stpeter.im> wrote:

> On 4/17/12 9:44 PM, John Levine wrote:
>>> Equations-shown-as-graphics are a possible simplification to the
>>> requirements that still gets us the kind of display we want.
>> Well, maybe.  When I think of equations, I think of the Unix "eqn"
>> program, TeX $math$ and the like, which can be typeset inline or
>> displayed and for which the source is greppable.  Graphics are
>> always displayed and probably created by something external to
>> my text editor.
> IMHO it is good to keep as much content full-text searchable as possible.

I expected to say "provide an image as a fall-back to MathML", but after
spending a few minutes in the land of MathML, wishing I was on a later
branch of Chrome that might have picked up a little more of WebKit, I'm a
little disappointed in the backwards-compatibility story for MathML.  If
someone has expertise in this space and can point out the right way to do
this, I'd appreciate it.

If we were willing to allow JavaScript (and decided that the Apache 2.0
license was adequate), MathJax (http://www.mathjax.org/) might help with the
rendering problem.  We could also consider using this sort of JavaScript
processing ONLY for a prototyping effort, while we push the browser vendors
to increase the priority of MathML support.

Joe Hildebrand

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