3

Does anybody have an exhaustive list of what parts of the standard LaTeX math macros that are not covered by the MathML specification? By standard, ideally I mean the maths packages distributed with TexLive. But let's stick to amsmath and mathtools to start with.

These could further be broken down into:

  1. Unsupported layout.
  2. Unsupported symbols. See this massive list or this shorter one for some ideas.

I realize this may be a huge list ... but I'm guessing somebody has done some analysis on this e.g. during the design of the MathML spec.

  • It is easier to enumerate what IS covered in MathML specification. Notice that TeX needs a compiler and a distribution. MathML is Math Markup Language. – percusse Nov 28 '14 at 11:44
  • @percusse, you really mean that MathML is such a small subset of Tex? Note, as I said above, I'm referring to the TexLive distro and specifically the asmmath package - obviously not everything covered by Tex - as the language is extensible and new things are added all the time! Is it really that small? – Luciano Nov 28 '14 at 11:53
  • MathML does not have any LaTeX syntax. \sin x in Tex is <apply><sin/><ci>x</ci></apply> in MathML, so it is not clear how to interpret the question. – David Carlisle Nov 28 '14 at 12:08
  • See this one for the extensive description tex.stackexchange.com/questions/57717/… – percusse Nov 28 '14 at 12:08
  • 1
    @Luciano It's not equivalent it's just that there are translations (notably the pmml2tex xslt that I wrote and that is used to typeset most of the examples in chapter 4 of the mathml spec) but it's a translation so the accuracy of the coverage is a feature of the translating software not of the languages. It's like comparing the expressive power of German and English by looking at the output of google translate. – David Carlisle Nov 28 '14 at 13:50
5

MathML is not a typesetting system so there is a difference between what it can specify and what you can currently typeset with it. I usually typeset MathML by translating it to TeX for example, so necessarily that restricts things to those that are easily typeset by TeX.

Things that MathML has simple markup for which are (more or less) hard to render using LaTeX include.

  • Full range of Unicode symbols. (This is impossible to support in classic TeX, it becomes more of a possibility using unicode-math and xetex or luatex.)

  • Bidirectional layouts.

  • Automatic linebreaking. (This is more or less a requirement on the web, unlike traditional paper typesetting for which latex was designed) the author can not really manually linebreak if the reader is using an unknown device and screen size.

  • Stretching delimiters based on the size of the parent expression so all four brackets in (a+b) + [X+Y] whatever a, b, X, Y.

  • Stretching delimiters while allowing line breaks.

  • Multiple pre and post scripts on the same base.

That list is just off the top of my head, I'm sure that other issues could be added.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.