[webkit-dev] Proposal: Remove ENABLE(MATHML)

Frédéric WANG fred.wang at free.fr
Tue Oct 24 00:14:36 PDT 2017

On 23/10/2017 18:11, Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
> Is there any way we can convert MathML to a runtime switch? It seems
> like the main consideration is rendering quality given available
> fonts, rather than code size.
> Regards,
> Maciej

As I explained, I don't think disabling a HTML5 feature to determine
which kind of fallback content will be delivered to the user is a good
idea. Authors can provide Web fonts and for very elementary math (e.g.
using only simple fractions) you even do not need math fonts at all.

Anyway, replying to your question the Tor project also added run-time
preferences for MathML and SVG in Gecko last year:


IIRC, they basically move the MathML/SVG elements in "unknown"
namespaces so that the MathML/SVG content and layout classes are not
used to process them. I believe we could do the same for WebKit. Note
that their justification is security (users intentionally disable HTML5
features to "reduce attack surface area") so it's a different use case
and that one does not make sense to me.

In any cases, I do not think adding an runtime option for MathML/SVG is
a prerequisite to remove the build-time option, as the latter was more
about reducing binary size/dependencies for web engines developers while
the former was about providing more control to users.

Frédéric Wang - frederic-wang.fr

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