Today, we published a first draft of the “MathML in HTML5” implementation note. This note takes into account feedback from browser vendors or web users about the fact that the rules described in the MathML specification are not precise enough for consistent, high quality and easily implementable mathematical rendering. Hence this note provides detailed rules based on TeXBook’s Appendix G and from the Open Font Format version 3.
As suggested by the name, the priority is to be compatible with existing technologies of web rendering engines by relying as much as possible on CSS, text & table layout and box models. We also used the experience gained by several years of development in the Mozilla’s MathML Project and took into account problems found in the more recent WebKit’s implementation. We hope that the present document will be understandable by any implementer with sufficient knowledge of web rendering engines and text layout. Parts of presentation MathML that do not fit well into this framework or are rarely used in practice have been ommited. Future versions may extend the subset of MathML considered but we expect that the present document will already be enough to render with high quality the majority of mathematical formulas used in practice.
As indicated in our Manifesto, we believe that open standards are important and we strongly relied on the MathML and Open Font Format specifications to propose these math rendering rules. We want all the actors to get involved and we already received very positive feedback from the Math WG and from WebKit developers. We are interested in hearing more opinion and we will refine and improve this document based on feedback from implementers, users and specification editors. In the future, we may consider proposing it as an official W3C note from the Math WG.
Last but not least, we also started to write a test suite for “MathML in HTML5” implementation note. We relied on existing approaches used to ensure conformance with W3C specifications and to provide tests for continuous integration by browser vendors. By following practices developers are used to, we hope that this test suite will be instrumental to implement and improve native MathML in all browsers.