Now you can prepare your math slides using MathML!!!

You know TeX, you know HTML and you don’t like PDF or PowerPoint slides? Leverage the fact that Firefox supports MathML and your troubles are over!

Following one of my earlier posts, Peter Jipsen was nice enough to email me to let me know that ASCIIMathML officially works with both HTML Slidy and S5. Peter has proof in the form of an online set of slides.

5 thoughts on “Now you can prepare your math slides using MathML!!!”

  1. > while math formulas in presentations are nice, mathml support is limited

    I’m not sure what you mean by “mathml support is limited”. Mathml is supported in Firefox and IE (with plug-in) and presumably in other browsers.

    > mathml rendering in firefox is rather ugly.

    Could you make this a bit more precise? Naturally, the quality of the display will depend on the quality of the fonts, but other than that, it looks alright here.

    > an alternative solution that is portable across all browsers is to include small pngs

    This is where we were at in the nineties. It lacks technical elegance.

    There are many problems with this solution. Some of them are:

    – it requires more preprocessing (slows down your work) to generate the images
    – it divides up the file into numerous small images (increases latency)
    – the font size and color is fixed
    – printing bitmaps is a bad idea
    – it is hard to index texts with bitmaps all over the place (think “Google”)

    I’m not saying it is not workable. I use it currently for a course I’m preparing using the SPIP content-management system. It works quite well and I’m pleased. All the image generation is handled for me and auto-updated.

    However it remains a hack.

    (…). check out http://people.ee.ethz.ch/~pcattin/SIP/2-Fundamentals.html to see how it is looking…

    It looks good, except that all equations are displayed as black rectangles (under Firefox/Linux).

  2. > you are too fast!

    I’m on Internet time? Or maybe I’m filling out a funding application
    and I’m bored. Take your pick. 😉

    (I guess *very* bored when filling out funding applications. I just
    prefer doing the damn research rather than telling people what I plan
    to do once I’m done telling them what I plan to do.)

    I took a look at your web page, btw. We have some common interests.
    Any chance you might setup a blog?

    > > I’m not sure what you mean by “mathml support is limited”.
    > yes, but authoring tools are not that wide-spread, (…)

    Good point. I thought you meant client-side.

    MathML suffers from a rather unfriendly design making it difficult ot
    write MathML by hand. Even “ax+b=1” takes forever in MathML!!!

    > it looks alright, but comparing mathml rendering with latex rendering i
    > think that latex rendering is far superior.

    Which is why I generate PDF files for my presentations. Not that I
    have the nicest framework in the world, but PPower4 is alright. To a
    point.

    Some years ago, I was ahead of the game, but now, I’m starting to see
    many people with nicer PDF slides. Heck! Your HTML slides are nicer
    than my PDF slides, it seems.

    In short, I’m looking for other options.

    > are you sure that google has a problem with many embedded images?

    As a matter of principle, replacing equations by images makes the
    whole thing harder to (automatically) parse and to index. Maybe it
    doesn’t make a difference with Google, but I’m trying to make a point
    that it is less elegant.

    Now, there is a counter-argument to this you could have used: the
    “alt” tag, used properly, can help. SPIP does that.

  3. hi there.

    while math formulas in presentations are nice, mathml support is limited and mathml rendering in firefox is rather ugly. an alternative solution that is portable across all browsers is to include small pngs with rendered formulas. firefox’s ridiculously lousy image scaling makes this also not look to good, but in browsers with decent anti-aliasing (like opera), the results look very good.

    the tool i am talking about is formulatex (http://dret.net/projects/xslidy/formulatex/), it is an extension of xslidy (http://dret.net/projects/xslidy/) and uses latex and some other platform-neutral tools to produce portable and good-looking presentations with formulas. check out http://people.ee.ethz.ch/~pcattin/SIP/2-Fundamentals.html to see how it is looking…

    cheers,

    dret.

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