MathML Support is sorely needed - by John A. Courtney

Status : 

 


ID 834536 Comments
Status Active Workarounds
Type Bug Repros 3
Opened 3/15/2014 10:06:55 AM
Access Restriction Public
Primary Feedback Item 808375

Description

As a University, we have used MathML to deliver typeset mathematics over the Web for many years.  Until the advent of Design Science's dramatically expanded high-quality support for enabling technologies in its MathPlayer IE plugin, we were unable to support the many Americans (and others around the world) who, through no fault of their own, require special technologies to use the web at all.

Microsoft has provided excellent support for these enabling technologies within its more recent Windows operating systems; however, because of the quite recent lack of support for a corresponding delivery of web-based mathematical tools, we are forced to revert to19th century methods (e.g., e-mailed paper copies) to accommodate people who clearly deserve appropriate consideration and better treatment.  (Among other uses, we have been providing on-line tests to people all over the world using MathML technologies.)

Current alternative technologies (e.g., MathJax) for displaying MathML are too slow and incomplete to be taken seriously, AND THEY PROVIDE NO SUPPORT WHATSOEVER FOR THE MANY PEOPLE WITH SPECIAL NEEDS.

We truly hope that the current situation (i.e., an IE which simply no longer supports MathML) can be addressed in the near future.
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Posted by Microsoft on 3/27/2014 at 10:02 AM
Thank you for your feedback.

We are tracking Connect Feedback #808375 with the same issue. Please follow the progress of this bug at http://connect.microsoft.com/IE/feedback/details/808375/mathml-support .

Best regards,
The Internet Explorer Team
Posted by Lionel Fourquaux on 3/26/2014 at 5:01 PM
I strongly support this!

Here are a few points to keep in mind:
* MathML is not only useful for education! many people (scientists, engineers...) use math in their line of work and sometimes wish to publish technical content on the web (scientists at CERN gave you the web, please give some support back to them!);
* while workarounds exist, please note that MathJax developers are strongly in favor of native MathML support (source: mozilla.dev.platform), because MathJax without MathML support is not accessible, much slower, and less precise;
* Microsoft already has an excellent math rendering engine in the PTL Services library used by IE (cf. Murray Sargent's blog), the main problem is parsing MathML (which is admittedly not quite as easy as it seems at first glance);
* MathML is included in HTML5 and EPUB3 (with good reasons);
* Wikipedia is ready to switch the MathML once it is supported well enough (and has experimented with it and alternative rendering methods).

This are active development efforts for better MathML support, mostly for Gecko but also in WebKit, see e.g.
http://www.ulule.com/mathematics-ebooks/
If you need sample documents for testsuites, or contacts with people involved in developing MathML rendering code, I'm sure they would be glad to help and add Trident to the list of rendering engines with MathML support. (Although this sounds like a plug for this project, I'm not involved in it at all).

So, can we hope for some MathML in IE 12?