[webkit-dev] MathML Refresh Heads up

Myles C. Maxfield mmaxfield at apple.com
Fri Mar 15 14:33:02 PDT 2019

> On Mar 15, 2019, at 11:29 AM, Ryosuke Niwa <rniwa at webkit.org> wrote:
> On Fri, Mar 15, 2019 at 3:08 AM Frédéric Wang <fwang at igalia.com <mailto:fwang at igalia.com>> wrote:
> Hello WebKit developers,
> As some of you may know, Igalia is working on MathML support in Chromium
> this year [1]. As part of that effort we joined a new MathML Refresh
> Community Group [2] and one goal is to focus on a core spec for browser
> implementations [3] to:
> - Remove deprecated/uncommon/duplicate math features that could be
> implemented by polyfills (relying on MathML core and other web
> technologies).
> I'd be very much concerned about backwards compatibility here when it come to removing any features.
> It's important to notice that WebKit is also used by hundreds of thousands of iOS apps and macOS apps.
> How do we know we won't break those applications?
> In general, I don't agree with whatever Google said about MathML being too complex, etc…

The original sentence doesn’t say they will be removing anything in WebKit. There are plenty of features that have been removed from specs that we continue supporting in WebKit for backwards compatibility.

We could also consider migrating our implementation to a JS polyfill if one exists.

Is there a characterization of which features are planned for deprecation? We might be able to do some analysis on iBooks' and iOS apps’ content.

> - Add more detailed algorithms (based on TeX/OpenType/CSS layout) to
> help implementation and conformance testing.
> - Align MathML with CSS/HTML (parsing, layout...), introducing new web
> platform features (CSS, fonts...) for math if necessary.

This sounds wonderful! A more coherent MathML story going forward would be fantastic.

> On the other hand, these seem like very valuable improvements.
> We expect that this effort will improve browser interoperability and
> reduce complexity of current implementations.
> Given there aren't too many websites that deploy MathML directly on production, my concerns are more about existing iOS and madOS apps that embed WKWebView or WebView / UIWebView and use MathML.
> - R. Niwa
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