March 02, 2007

MathML and Flash

Lately, I've been getting a lot of email about MathML and Flash. Folks want to know when we'll be getting the project up and running again.

Soon, I promise. I've been dabling in XML handling in AS3, and plan to resume the project with AS3. The handling of XML is so much improved in AS3 that I can't believe we ever tried with anything else.

Since the server move, there are still some features of the GalaxyGoo website that have not been set up on the new server. The MathML-Flash project is one of them.

If you're intested in the GalaxyGoo MathML-Flash project, please comment this post.

July 27, 2004

JavaScript MathML Library

Recently I came across ASCIIMathML, which is a JavaScript-library which can display MathML based on simple ASCII math notation. It translates ASCII math to MathML. Another cool example of using MathML on the Web!

It does require the MathPlayer for IE (Gecko-based browsers such as Mozilla and Firefox have built-in MathML-support).

July 13, 2004

math tools

Some iteresting ideas for projects: Math Forum: About Tool Fest

May 20, 2004

New math-software: 'Simple Equation'

It's great to see there's a new piece of software called 'Simple Equation' which can display mathematical formula's inside a browser without the need for MathML-plugins (not that such a plugin is such a bad thing ofcourse!). It uses PHP on the server-side of things (with the GD & FreeType extensions) and displays the formula as a PNG-image.

If people are aware of any science-oriented software (preferably Free Open Source Software) that we might not be aware of, please don't hesitate to let us know...

March 17, 2004

Terradotta MathML/Flash

Brandon Lee, of, has been working on a nice MathML wysiwyg in Flash. Take a look at what he's accomplished so far. Very impressive.

Be sure to scroll down the page to the demo version's link.

Update: Brandon is the manager for this project, not the coder. Sorry for any confusion.

March 08, 2004

Flash MathML Resources

We're setting up an online Flash MathML Lab.

What kind of resources would you like to see there?

February 18, 2004

Two Weeks 'Till Flash Forward

Are you going to this year's Flash Forward conference? I'll be talking about visualizing science with flash, at 4pm on Thursday (room 223). My Q&A session is 9am, the next day.

There's so much to talk about. It was very hard to keep it to a one hour presentation. I'll focus on projects that use XML in some form, with either a custom data structure or an established XML application. If there's time, I'll also touch on webMathematica and mathML. It'll be fun, really! :-)

December 28, 2003

Edwin's Flash MathML Reader

Edwin's posted a link to the MathML reader he's working on. Notice that he's got an example with a complex fraction! That's something I've been having trouble with.

GalaxyGoo Working Forums - Small example of MathML reader

December 12, 2003

mathML reader algorithm

I've been working on a MathML reader, in Flash. As soon as I get a complex fraction to display properly, I'll post an example and maybe the source code.

Here's a sketch of the algorithm I'm using to render MathML in Flash:

  1. Initialize: refer to root node, create "myMath" movieClip (Clip) and assign stage coordinates for myMath

  2. Loop through all nodes in mathML tree, and create nested Clips for each node, attaching node-specific information to each Clip

    • (if a text node, create a text Clip || if not, create an "invisible" clip), with nodeName and ancestry going back two generations in tree

    • If new Clip is for a text node, save the path of this Clip in an array, for later reference

    • determine display rule to apply to Clip, based on node names of parent and grandparent nodes in mathML tree, and save relative position and additional information to this Clip object, and to its parent Clip Object.

  3. Loop through "visible" Clips
    • for each visible Clip, recursively traverse the tree and add the Clip's size to a variable of it's ancestors

  4. recursively loop through all Clip and set positions on stage
    • use relative positioning variables, for each Clip, to determine and set _x and _y values for each character in the math statement.

October 21, 2003

MathML 2.0 Announced

The W3C Math Working Group announced MathML 2.0 (second edition) as a W3C recommendation, today.

May 06, 2003

MathML in Flash

My first attempt at a flash-mathML reader was clunky, but it gave me a better understanding of the challenges.

Though it's still very early, I'm excited to say that I've got a basic mathML-reader working. Many of my attempts ended up in a dead-end, but this one has yet to hit a major snag (knock-on-wood).

March 24, 2003

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."

February 17, 2003

MathML Schema

Wow ... the more research I do on MathML, the more exciting it becomes! I stumbled upon ORRCA:

ORRCA MathML page

The Ontario Research Center for Computer Algebra ... quite a fascinating group of computer scientists involved with fundamental research and development in mathematical software, focusing on computer algebra. The scientist responsible for maintaining the MathML pages is Luca Padovani from Bologna, Italy, a phd who has written his dissertation (255 pages!) on MathML Formatting. He is also the main developer for GtkMathView, a stand-alone C++ rendering engine for MathML.

Luca Padovani:
phd dissertation

I'm currently working on porting the MathML Schema from ORRCA into the Flash MX environment. The plan is to complete a MathML formatting engine that the developer can install into the components panel of the Flash IDE, complete with a MathML tab in the actions panel for all of the element tags and attributes, color-coded of course!

Also, the end user will be able to download the mathMLSchema.swf from within a Flash MathML application prior to input, placing the code for the .xsl style sheet and the .xsd schema files, and all necessary fonts embedded within the schema .swf. The entire set of schemata will be over 5,000 lines of xml, so I thought that a separate load of the schema would be appropriate, rather than having a slow download for each schema-laden MathML app ... this may change, however.

February 09, 2003

MathML v2.0 (2nd edition)

There's a new edition for MathML v2.0 documentation available at W3C:


[quote from W3C]
2002-12-19: MathML 2.0 second edition
The Math Working Group have published the first Working Draft of the second edition of MathML 2.0. This mainly is a re-issue to fold all the changes in the MathML 2.0 errata document back into the main text, but also for the first time it includes a W3C XML Schema, and a version in which all the examples are inlined and should render in a MathML aware browser. Feedback sent to is very much welcome.

They have also updated the MathML 2.0 test suite to fix errata.

September 06, 2002

Flash MathML Reader

I've uploaded a prototype Flash MathML reader, to the site. Take a look, and let me know what you think.

August 27, 2002

MathML central

A new MathML resource! MathML Central: A Wolfram Web Resource