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MathML Support in EPUB

Can you have an ebook format for education that doesn’t support math? (Note: it’s a rhetorical question!)

Math is pervasive, despite the common perception that it’s only for STEM. Even novels have been known to include equations from time-to-time.

And yet consumer-end MathML support in digital works is still lacking, despite two decades of work in W3C. If you want the whole story, Peter Krautzberger has written a fantastic article on the history of MathML and support in browsers that I’d highly recommend reading. I’m not going to attempt anything similar today, as there’s nothing of value a math neophyte like me could add.

Rather, what has me thinking MathML is the upcoming second EDUPUB conference, and the lack of consistent rendering, and voicing, of math in EPUB reading systems. In particular, how do we effect real change?

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