Re: Goals of HTML Math [Was: Shortref [was: Re: Super and Subscripts] ]

Paul Burchard (
Fri, 20 Jan 95 20:50:15 EST

X-Listprocessor-Confession: Can't stop snacking on Reply-To headers!

"Daniel W. Connolly" <> writes:
> Hmmm... this brings up a nagging suspicion that I've had
> all along: I suspect there is no "85%" solution to the
> problem of typesetting mathematics. I doubt the
> technical journal community is willing to let browsers
> do mathematical typesetting. They're much more likely
> to be satisfied with adding support for dvi or hyperdvi
> inline images than any sort of mathematical typesetting
> on the client side.
> What other communities/markets are really pulling for
> math in HTML? I doubt the marketing/support providers
> need it very much. I doubt Joe HomePage needs it. The
> academic types all use Postcript derived from TeX. (and
> they're working on hyper-dvi.)

Speaking as a mathematician, yes, we've been spoiled by the
typesetting quality of TeX and are unlikely to settle for anything
less when communicating among ourselves (the proof-of-concept formula
display in Arena definitely would not make the cut). Hyper-DVI seems
like the way to go for academic journals and preprints.

On the other hand, when as mathematicians, scientists, or engineers
we want to communicate with the larger outside world, we can't expect
that our readers will go through the trouble of obtaining a Hyper-DVI
viewer. This is the role that HTML 3.0 math can fill, displacing
cumbersome workarounds like LaTeX2HTML.

I don't know about percentages, but both are important.

Paul Burchard <>
``I'm still learning how to count backwards from infinity...''