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Hans Aberg <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 6 Dec 1998 16:42:26 +0100
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At 15:13 +0000 1998/12/06, Timothy Murphy wrote:
>I find it curious that in all this discussion
>it seems to be assumed that while everything else will be turned upside-down
>Netscape and InternetExplorer will remain the only browsers in use,
>understanding only HTML/XML.

The story is that these two are the oligarchists, both aiding developments
in the aspects that can help them making money, and impeding developments
in the aspects they do not bother to implement.

>It seems to me more likely that there will be dozens of browsers around,
>many of which will have no difficulty displaying PDF, DVI, etc.

So, eventually this will happen.

I can add that there is not very difficult from the technical point of view
to produce WWW browsers that can handle all that: Just make a sufficiently
general display format and put it into the OS. (Example: Display PS used by
NeXT computers and the new Rhapsody OS that runs on Macs and DOS
computers.) Then the browser just calls those routines, and it becomes

>Consequently the "argument by browser" for *ML
>seems to me entirely devoid of merit.
>If there is an argument for MathML, OpenMath, etc
>(and I can see that there is one, though I remain unpersuaded)
>it will have to be based on more fundamental principles.

This is also what I think: These discussions must have a more long term
scope than just the immediate mass-consumer market represented by Netscape
and InternetExplorer and such.

All these big companies, Microsoft, Apple, whatever, of curse presents them
as big inventors and generators of creativity, but it is well known that
these companies are no more than great exploiters of the creativity of

  Hans Aberg
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