HTML5 makes maths easy

The W3C has updated its standard for representing mathematical notation on the Web
  • (IDG News Service)
  • — 23 October, 2010 08:06

The W3C has updated its MathML standard for rendering mathematical notation on Web pages to better portray basic math symbols, as well as render mathematic symbols in more languages.

The World Wide Consortium (W3C) is hoping that this new version of MathML will be rolled into the other group of standards being incorporated in browsers with the HTML5 Web page markup specification, such as CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics).

The new standard represents basic symbols such as for multiplication, long division, subtraction, and the carries and borrows addition symbols.

The new markup will allow educational Web page designers to add these symbols onto the pages instead of going through the cumbersome process of embedding small images of the symbols or formulas into the pages. The symbols will also help assistive technology such as screen readers interpret the mathematical material.

The new standard also expands the number of languages it can support. Notably, it can support Arabic texts and other languages that render sentences from the right side of the page to the left.

"We have been working for the past five years converting Arabic school books to electronic documents, but, we have always faced problems with mathematical books which rely on custom layout and fonts," said Adil Allawi, technical director of Arabic language publishing software vendor Diwan Software, in a statement. "The right-to-left features of MathML 3.0 ... makes it possible, for the first time, to build standards-based and truly interoperable electronic math books for students in the Arab countries."

Firefox currently supports MathML 2, though not MathML 3 as of yet. Opera supports the CSS profile of MathML3. Users of Internet Explorer can deploy the MathPlayer plug-in to render MathML markup correctly. Those without browser support can also use the JavaScript MathJax software to render the symbols. (For the really advanced formulas, MathJax also renders the LaTeX scientific documentation typesetting standard.)

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joab Jackson

IDG News Service
Topics: Development tools, Web services development, Languages and standards, application development, Internet-based applications and services, software, internet, World Wide Web Consortium
Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Compare & Save

Deals powered by WhistleOut
WhistleOut

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?