[texhax] Math in HTML (was Blogs)

Victor Ivrii vivrii at gmail.com
Wed Jul 19 11:57:20 CEST 2006

On 7/19/06, Chris Rowley <C.A.Rowley at open.ac.uk> wrote:
> Victor Ivrii wrote --
> > Well, html has rather primitive equation ability, one can display many symbols
> > http://www.htmlhelp.com/reference/html40/entities/symbols.html
> > but alignment is a big problem.
> >
> > >
> > > So I think the most useful way to reframe the question might be: is
> > > anyone aware of a LaTeX to HTML converter that does *not* use images for
> > > equations, and if so, how does it work?  As I said, I don't know of one,
> > > but others on this list know a lot more than me.
> >
> > html limitations give you no choice
> Our reasonably systematic requirements analysis supports these
> conclusions and is the reason why we are unsure that it is worth
> putting much effort into representing technical material in HTML.
> The more ancient amongst us will recall the 90s near-disaster of
> naively adding math elements to the HTML DTD.
> So until browsers understand that 21st Century culture will not be
> usefully digitised purely via West European text, and hence support a
> reasonably large slection of XML vocabularies, we are sticking to PDF,
> despite its deficiencies for browsing.

Usually I am a strong supporter of PDF vs html (or MathML which I
believe is not ready for a prime time due to the lack of support from
many browsers), however I will try to be a devil's advocate.

One of the strong features of PDF (fidelity of the page, in
particular, the fixed height:width ratio after PDF is produced) is
also it's weakness. Definitely the normal mathematical article
transformed into html and rendered in the windows of the wrong
proportions looks really bad; multline formulae are the real disaster.
However let us imagine the text with a very few  formulae; it will not
be very badly affected. Reading from the laptop screen paper I often
wish to have it typeset in the landscape mode (unless  one either has
a laptop with the screen which could be rotated this way - have not
seen any - or does not mind to hold a laptop as a book with a keyboard
on the left and a screen on the right). Here html definitely would be

> Chris Rowley
> Maths Online Project
> Open University, UK
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Victor Ivrii, Department of Mathematics, University of Toronto

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