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Re: [Axiom-developer] jsMath

From: Bob McElrath
Subject: Re: [Axiom-developer] jsMath
Date: Mon, 19 Dec 2005 10:57:16 -0800
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Martin Rubey address@hidden wrote:
> Dear Tim,
> > We need to develop a jsMath output format for browsers.
> NOOOOO! I couldn't disagree more.
> The idea -- well, at least mine -- is to use jsMath as long as mathml is not
> widely supported, in order to have nice output on browsers, BUT

I agree.

I see having a MathML backend, so that we can use jsMath to *generate*
the MathML (which would be quite fast) with a fallback to its current
rendering mode.  In particular this is good for dynamic content (e.g.
AxoimUI in the browser).  Of course, for static pages we can also store
rendered MathML pages on the server and negotiate with the browser to
send it.

The danger I see in widespread use of jsMath is that it is quite slow.
(and, this is a fairly fundamental issue that requires optimization in
the browser itself to improve)  So, a non-MathML enabled browser viewing
a page with a lot of math can take quite a long time to render.  And, at
least firefox is totally unresponsive and appears to be hung when it's
running heavy javascript.

I have a page in my notes that takes ~5s to render using jsMath.  I
imagine there are pamphlet files that will be much worse than that.

Bob McElrath [Univ. of California at Davis, Department of Physics]

    "In science, 'fact' can only mean 'confirmed to such a degree that it
    would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.' I suppose that
    apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit
    equal time in physics classrooms." -- Stephen Jay Gould (1941 - 2002)

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