MathML+WebKit

If you’re the kind of person who likes to download WebKit nightly builds to tinker with emerging features (and who isn’t?), then you’ll be interested to try out MathML support which is now turned on by default.

MathML is supported server-side in several wiki platforms I regularly deal with (such as Confluence and MediaWiki), and it has always been an important requirement for support from my colleagues in the science community who do any kind of math research (but second place to LaTeX). This is the first time I’ve seen it supported in a major browser platform though. The mathematics community will be very interested in this sort of thing, and I expect at some point in the future we’ll just be embedding MathML into markup and publishing it rather than having to rely on a server-side library to parse it. Yea! 😀 I know it sounds more geeky than usual, but this is pretty cool in my book – especially from an applications perspective.

The only thing more geeky about downloading WebKit nightly builds is getting excited over new XML functionality. 🙂 Also slightly related: both SVG and HTML5 canvas will be supported in IE9, making it doable in all modern browsers when that finally gets released and older versions become rarely used. It will become an increasing trend to represent data in these formats, natively in markup, rather than relying on 3rd party server-side libraries or plugins. Standards eventually win, usually…

One thought on “MathML+WebKit”

  1. Standards eventually win, usually…

    Well, yeah, because that’s a bit of self-fulfilling prophecy. Either a standard wins because it is great, or a standard loses because it is not great or because a proprietary technology used non-technical tactics to become a “de-facto standard.” Exhibit A: Flash.

    Either way, though, it eventually becomes a “standard.” Which is all tangential, I know, to the awesomeness of new XML functionality supported natively in browsers, which is truly exciting—even for me—and I don’t even know MathML (yet). 😀

    That said, I still really want native LaTeX support in browsers, which I do know a bit about how to use!

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