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From Martin Holz <>
Subject Re: MathML package structure?
Date Thu, 17 Jan 2002 14:55:38 GMT
Stefano Mazzocchi wrote:
> Stephan Michels wrote:
> > 2.
> > Gif is the best output format, because most of the browser can handle the
> > transparency of GIF images.
> In the US (and other countries, europe is safe, at least for now), there
> are patent issues with GIF generation. How do you plan to handle these?

To my knowledge, not GIF, but the LZW algorithm is patented. 
We are using the GIFOutputStream from, 
which avoids the algorithm at the price of worse compression. 
We still have to contact the author of GIFOutputStream, because the
class is free for not commercial use only. 

>It is possible to make non-compressed images that act like GIFs, in that 
>they work with programs that decode GIF format. This can be done without 
>infringing patents. These pseudo-GIFs are useful for some purposes.
>It is also possible to create GIFs using a patent-free run length encoding 
>but this doesn't achieve the compression that one normally expects in a GIF.

We would have preferred PNG, but unfortunately IE does not handle transparent 
PNG  properly.

There is one more legal issue. The MathSerializer works best with MS Symbol 
font .-(  If somebody knows a free font, which contains the same symbols, we 
would be very happy.  

We will be careful not to submit the MathML package, before the legal issues 
are solved.


Martin Holz  <>  phone: 0049-30-39977 218 

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