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A Gentle Introduction to MathML

by Robert Miner and Jeff Schaeffer (revised 10/2001)

MathML is about encoding the structure of mathematical expressions so that they can be displayed, manipulated and shared over the World Wide Web. A carefully encoded MathML expression can be evaluated in a computer algebra system, rendered in a Web browser, edited in your word processor, and printed on your laser printer. Mathematical software vendors are adding MathML support at a rapid pace, and MathML is fast becoming the lingua franca of scientific publication on the Web.

MathML Tutorial

The MathML Specification is quite long, complex and technical. To make it easier to get started with MathML, the following tutorial emphasizes the main ideas with graphics and lots of examples.

MathML Language Reference

The WebEQ MathML Language Reference describes the WebEQ implementation of MathML. MathML is the native input language for the WebEQ Viewer Control. While MathML has many advantages for encoding equations for the Web, authors who want to write equation markup by hand will probably find it easier to use WebTeX. WebTeX can also be used as an input language for the Math Viewer, and it can be translated to MathML by the Page Wizard.

A description of each MathML element is given below. This description contains both general information about the role of each element in MathML, and specific information about how each element and its attributes are implemented in the WebEQ rendering engine.

WebEQ implements MathML 2, based on the specification developed by the World Wide Web Consortium. There are a few features of MathML that WebEQ does not implement, and a few extra features that WebEQ adds. However, at the time of this writing, WebEQ provides the most complete and compliant implementation of MathML available.

The element descriptions are grouped according to their MathML function:

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