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Subject: Re: [docbook-apps] New user question on the current state of mathml in docbook

Yes, there is a better choice of tools for MathML in DocBook.  Antenna
House's XSL Formatter Lite and the MathML Option are pretty much the state
of the art right now.  It can generate output for the web too.  But at $400
for the pair, they are not free.  But they do produce good results and are

I've pretty much given up on trying to support PassiveTeX.  It doesn't
support enough of the XSLFO standard, and it is not under active

Math in HTML  is difficult because most browsers cannot format MathML.  Many
people resort to converting their math to images using a MathML typesetting
tool, and use mediaobject to include them in DocBook.  An SVG image for PDF
output and a bitmap image for HTML output work well because you can use a
role attribute to indicate which image is for each output.

Bob Stayton
Sagehill Enterprises
DocBook Consulting

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ian Dickinson" <i.j.dickinson@gmail.com>
To: <docbook-apps@lists.oasis-open.org>
Sent: Thursday, July 07, 2005 11:04 AM
Subject: [docbook-apps] New user question on the current state of mathml in

I've just started using DocBook, among other things for writing up my
thesis. One of the things I need to be able to write is logical
formulae, and I'm aiming to generate both XHTML and pdf output.  I've
read Bob Stayton's DocBook XSL book, in which chapter 18 suggests that
I can embed MathML into equation and inlineequation elements, and use
pdftex (PassiveTeX) to generate pdf's from my .fo file. According to
the book, PassiveTeX "can handle some MathML markup".

So I tried with a simple subscripted variable:


and the pdf output contains SO with no subscript in sight.

So my questions are:
* what's the state of the art in tools for using DocBook and MathML to
generate both pdf and XHTML? Is there a better choice of tools than
xsltproc and pdftex?

* have I done something silly in the above example, or should it just work?

* do I need to do anything to pdftex (e.g. pass any command line args)
to get it to process MathML.

* is there a list of the MathML elements that pdftex does handle?

I'm using:

[temp]$ pdftex -version
pdfTeX (Web2C 7.4.5) 3.14159-1.10b
kpathsea version 3.4.5

[temp]$ xsltproc -version
Using libxml 20616, libxslt 10111 and libexslt 809
xsltproc was compiled against libxml 20614, libxslt 10111 and libexslt 809
libxslt 10111 was compiled against libxml 20614
libexslt 809 was compiled against libxml 20614

on Fedora Core 3, and I've already tweaked texmf.cnf to stop pdftex
running out of memory.


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