Yesterday afternoon, I spotted a sentence in a Planet Mozilla Projects page which shocked me to no end. Benoit Jacob was advocating the end of MathML in Mozilla code. The thread has attracted a lot of responses, and the tone largely opposed to his proposal.
Personally, I’m opposed to it as well. MathML is one of those frontiers which has immense unexplored potential. Can you imagine writing e-mails to instructors with inline mathematics formulae, or including equations in an instant messaging chat? I can and have imagined exactly that for as long as I can remember. I tried once upon a time to bring MathML into Mozilla Composer with my Abacus project, but determined it was too hard and too hacky to be a true solution.
This is precisely why I’ve been working on my prototype XML editor, Verbosio. It’s supposed to be a complete rewrite of how we create and edit web pages. The idea is that a language like MathML is simply a Mozilla add-on to the editor. Unfortunately I’ve been buried with both full-time work and college to make any real progress on my Verbosio project on my own.
I’ve said for years that I didn’t want to attract a larger audience on an unproven principle. Maybe that’s the wrong decision in this open-source Mozilla community. While I still believe in the idea, I’ve become my own bottleneck. It’s far past time for me to swallow my pride and admit that.