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From robert burrell donkin <>
Subject Re: [math] documentation principles
Date Sat, 17 May 2003 09:03:58 GMT

On Friday, May 16, 2003, at 08:28 PM, Mark R. Diggory wrote:

> Mark R. Diggory wrote:
>> Phil Steitz wrote:
>>> The problem is how to get the math goodies into the xdoc. Maybe brings 
>>> us back into a MathML discussion. I haven't
>>> looked into this in a while, but in the past, I have always
>>> preferred tex for math composition, which can be rendered
>>> into postcript or pdf. Looks like MathML is effectively
>>> obsoleting tex. There are browser plug-ins, but I doubt we
>>> can count on these.  This leads to the need for pdf or
>>> postscript -- or some engine that generates images + html
>>> from MathML.  It's not the pdf format that I care about,
>>> just the ability to produce reasonable math docs in a
>>> platform-independent way.
>> I'm not sure of IE's plans to support MathML, I know Mozilla has 
>> excellent support for it now. While its out of the realm to expect IE to 
>> suddenly start supporting it, you might consider a two pronged approach:
>> 1.) MathML in the javadoc
>> 2.) links to pdf or image verisions in javaDoc as a fallback.
>> This way you promote the usage of MathML while providing an optional 
>> approach for those who do not have it yet. We could consider producing 
>> some stylesheets and using FOP to process the 
>> MathML documents  into pdf format or into the Javadoc. I've worked with 
>> XSLT, Maven and Ant enough to know this is possible to do. I think I'd 
>> enjoy exploring it too.
>> -Mark
> More specifically
> MathML -- via some converter -> SVG -- via FOP --> PDF
> Also notice someone is working on an extension to FOP for MathML at the 
> bottom of this page, maybe we can find out more about the status of this?

that sounds pretty cool and definitely worth exploring but it'll probably 
take a while to make things happen.

i think that we'll need to start off with a html user guide and keep the 
MathML out of the javadocs and rely on links to the user guide. i also 
think that math would benefit from being mavenized. i'll make a start on 
this when i have some time (unless anyone gets there before me - tim?).

BTW there is at least one no-cost plugin for IE for MathML.

- robert

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