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Ming to MathML?

Peter Liscovius emailed me with an interesting idea: use Ming to generate a swf with mathML.

"Ming is opensource (LGPL) and is written in C, but can be used by many programming languages (c itself, c++, php, perl, pyton, ruby, java)

I'm using it with Perl. So using one of the XML-modules of Perl and Ming, it should be fun to write a nice math2SWF-converter."


Hmmmm ... well, the list of ways to manipulate the middleware continues to grow, however, our real problem is rendering the MathML content in the Flash UI. I'm not trying to dissuade you from Ming, just pointing out the hiccup to Flash-MathML rendering.

I've explored trying to create a MathML parsing/editing component, but it's becoming a mini-Mathematica in it's complexity. I'm not saying that it would be impossible to create, but the chew is much more than a mouthful! Once successfully including/formatting the mathML.schema and/or mathML.dtd and unicode glyph definitions, we still need to compose routines (and stretchy/feely mc sets) for all of the presentation mark-up.

I say, let's not re-create the wheel ... Luca Padovan's gtkmathview in C++ can be embedded into an activeX control, then we can call up a VB script with 'fscommand' to link our Flash UI to the activeX control. However, I messed up my C++ compiler installation long ago (it's djgpp if anyone can lend a hand), and gMetaDom and libxml2 need to be installed before installing gtkmathview ... too many progys, too little brainspace!

What, no $1,000 kicking around for VB Studio 6 ?? Hahaha, there's freeware available:

MS ActiveX Control Pad 1.0

Thankfully, future mathML component users will only need to accept the activeX download when prompted, not the whole C++ package that I've described above!

The advantage, I see, to using MING would be when many equations need to be rendered for a flash project. Instead of importing jpeg's of the equations Ming generated swf's could be loaded.

Could these swf's be manipulated by the user? I don't know. Ming is something I've been interested in, but haven't had the time to really explore yet.

Another advantage I see, would be keeping the rules for rendering each element on the server and minimizing swf size.

It's an avenue I wish I had time to explore.