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Firefox Chrome Math Software

Firefox Is the First Browser To Pass the MathML Acid2 Test 134

An anonymous reader writes "Frédéric Wang, an engineer at the MathJax project, reports that the latest nightly build of Firefox now passes the MathML Acid2 test. Screenshots in his post show a comparison with the latest nightly Chrome Canary, and it's not pretty. He writes 'Google developers forked Webkit and decided to remove from Blink all the code (including MathML) on which they don't plan to work in the short term.'"
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Firefox Is the First Browser To Pass the MathML Acid2 Test

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  • by dgatwood ( 11270 ) on Friday May 03, 2013 @11:26PM (#43626871) Homepage Journal

    The reason to improve MathML support isn't browsers. It's eBook readers that share the underlying rendering engines. Lots of textbook publishers want to use MathML, but without robust, reliable, visually appealing support, everybody has to do awful hacks with inline images or (hopefully) SVG instead.

  • by chithanh ( 1921670 ) on Saturday May 04, 2013 @01:22AM (#43627285)

    What the hell? I can believe how incredibly ignorant is this comment. Do you even work with mathematics? The symbols used in mathematics are jargon to be sure, but every (non-trivial) field of endeavours has its jargon. And that jargon makes mathematics significantly easier to work with day-to-day for its practitioners.

    You make it sound like mathematics deliberately chose symbols and syntax that was difficult to implement in a programming language, as if that's the pinnacle of the written form. Of course, mathematics predates programming languages by centuries if not millenia.

    The problem is that these symbols are no longer suitable for the modern world. They were fine at the time when they were conceived, but technology has moved on and requires something better.

    And the symbol it uses are part of a standard language character set, just not those that has yet been popular in the (relative) young computer world. You're comparing mathematics to a single programming language. You should instead compare mathematics to every programming language combined.

    The criticism was not that the symbols are undisplayable, it is that their use is not consistent and not possible as part of a computer program, aside from very special languages which specifically cater for Math. A few attempts have been made to reconcile these (for example RPN and stack-based languages like Forth) but have not seen widespread adoption so far.

    With regards to the GP, I think that the inconsistency is especially bad. For example, whether N is meant to include 0 or not often depends on whether the author thinks that the natural numbers include 0 or not (which are two totally different things). Then many authors use trigonometric functions like operators to avoid writing parentheses, but without formally specifying the binding/precedence level. So when one reads "sin^2 x*y" does that mean "(sin(x)^2)y" or "sin(x*y)^2" or "sin(sin(x))*y" or "sin(sin(x*y))"? The list goes on.

They are called computers simply because computation is the only significant job that has so far been given to them.