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W3C Releases MathML Proposed Recommendation

The World Wide Web Consortium this week announced the release of its Proposed Recommendation for the Mathematical Markup Language (MathML), a markup language that enables Web pages to effectively communicate the language of mathematics.

The release of the MathML as a Proposed Recommendation indicates that the W3C Math Working Group "has determined that MathML is stable, contributes to Web interoperability, is supported for industry-wide adoption, and is ready to enter the review and voting process by the W3C Membership."

The MathML is a low-level syntax that allows developers to represent structured mathematic data in machine-to-machine communication over the Web. The W3C's goal in developing the MathML specification was to define an XML-compliant markup language which describes the content and presentation of mathematical expressions.

By utilizing two sets of markup tags, the MathML specification will provide developers with the control of the presentation of mathematical expressions and the meaning of those expressions. The first set of tags presents the notation of mathematical data in markup format, while the second set relays the semantic meaning of mathematical expressions.

MathML uses many XML features, and is itself an XML application. Several MathML tools are already available with many others under development. These tools render MathML into formatted equations, enabling developers to edit mathematical equations in much the same way as developers currently edit HTML.

The MathML specification may be viewed at the W3C Math Activity site. For additional information about the MathML in general, visit the W3C's MathML page.