CSS, XSL and MathML. Some questions.
I have been monitoring these discussions for a couple of weeks now primarily from a point of view of determining how the mechanisms and proposed mechanisms interact with MathML 1.0 In particular, I am interested in what the right approach is to addressing two problems outlined below. I am particularly struck by the similarity of the problems that are being discussed. I am curious how people see the following issues fitting into the XSL discussions. For the benefit of those of you unfamiliar with MathML, the most relevant parts of it are as follows. MathML is described in terms of XML. It introduces two families of elements - one "display elements" primarily focussing on display issues and another "content elements" primarily focussing on semantic issues. Problem 1. ---------- Each of the XML elements have attributes. Default attribute values are specified, but these can be over-ridden. The attributes of the "display elements" affect the visual or aural rendering. The attributes of the "content elements affect its "semantic" rendering. There is a need for a style sheet like mechanism that systematically sets the default attribute values of the XML elements. Note 1. This appears to be exactly the problem addressed by CSS, but CSS apparently only addresses this issue for flow objects. Note 2. The "content elements" could be regarded as the flow objects of a "semantic" rendering. The actual semantics are affected by the attribute values. Note 3. Just as for CSS, there is a need to reset these attributes on a document wide basis. Problem 2. ---------- For each content element there is a need to specify the visual/aural presentation of a "content element.". The solution goes beyond just the setting of attributes. In fact, it involves a possibly sophisticated "transformation" from one expression tree to another. The first expression tree is a "MathML content element" based tree. The second is an "MathML display element" based tree. The trees need not be (and generally are not) isomorphic Note 1. The MathML presentation elements are in some sense, flow objects so the transformation is analogous to a translation from HTML elements to flow objects. Note 2. The actual transformation of the trees requires some sort of non-trivial scripting / programming capability. XSL-List info and archive: http://www.mulberrytech.com/xsl/xsl-list
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