Category Archives: Science

MathML and SVG in HTML 5 with Firefox

I’ve been using MathML for a while now for some of my documentation work on 3D graphics. Unfortunately the only way at the moment is to use XHTML 1.1 modular doctype to include either or both of MathML and SVG. In HTML 5 these have become embedded content parts of the specification. So for example, using MathML would be as simple as doing:

[html]<!DOCTYPE HTML>
<html>
<head>
<meta charset="utf-8">
<title>MathML test</title>
</head>
<body>
<math>
<mrow>
<mi>y</mi>
<mo>=</mo>
<msup>
<mi>x</mi>
<mn>2</mn>
</msup>
</mrow>
</math>
</body>
</html>[/html]

Unfortunately the only browser to support either MathML or (parts of) HTML 5 at this moment is Firefox 3.5. However, the MathML or SVG embedded content did not render under 3.5. After reading John Resig’s post about a new HTML parsing engine in Mozilla’s Gecko engine I set out to test this engine’s supportĀ  by downloading the latest nightly and setting html5.enable to true in about:config and ‘lo and behold, it renders as expected.

Help flu research in BE, IT, NL, and PT

For a few years now there’s been a website in the Netherlands and Belgium that asks participants to fill out their details on a weekly basis with regard to cold and influenza symptoms.

After that there was a Portuguese site doing the same thing.

And now there is an Italian site as well.

There is still not much known about migratory patterns and occurences of the flu within the world, these websites will help create more understanding, so please help them out. It will take a maximum of 5 minutes per week, but the information is very useful for scientists (virologists).

X can suck hard at times

And to the question why people still use Windows try setting up your X environment to properly support MathML with Firefox.

Truly, using new fonts within X is a black art still reminiscent of dark and medieval times when we did not know better. I thought we would have progressed that stage by now.

From a user perspective Windows definitely wins hands down in this, drag a file to a Fonts folder, done.
No, X wants us to use crazy incantations of mkfontdir, mkfontscale, fc-cache, ttmkfdir, xset with various fp options and hope xlsfonts shows the font you are after.

Users do NOT want to be bothered with foundries, weights, encoding types, and what not. They just want to add a font, select it in their favourite application and go: “owww, pretty!”

Is that, anno 2004, too much to ask?

Apparently…