Frequently Asked Questions

Does any browser support XML MAIDEN?
XML MAIDEN does not require any special browser side support, it is just math oriented XML vocabulary that being formatted with CSS can be viewed in any browser with decent CSS support.
When browsers will be able to render deeply nested math expressions?
If browsers will implement CSS2.1 and Unicode properly they will be able to render arbitrary complex formulae written in XML MAIDEN. All major browser developers promise to implement CSS2.1 however it is unclear when full CSS2.1 support will be reached.
Can XML MAIDEN be transformed into PDF or PostScript formats?
The idea of XML MAIDEN project was to create markup that is suitable for both authoring and delivery. So it can be used for web delivery and instead of PDF and PostScript. However if necessary one can export XML MAIDEN articles to PDF using CSS formatter developed by YesLogic (Prince 5). PostScript version can be produced by printing documents to .ps file from browser using PostScript printer drivers.
Can XML MAIDEN be transformed into LaTeX?
Basically, yes. maiden-in-latex style sheet can be used to transform XML MAIDEN 2.0 into LaTeX 2ε, but this style sheet has some limitations (see comments inside style sheets). Similar style sheet for XML MAIDEN 2.1 will be posted later.
How can I convert LaTeX equations into XML MAIDEN?
Formulae written in LaTeX may be exported to XML MAIDEN using maiden-in-latex converter (it can be used online or saved locally). In addition there are macros latex2xml.js (converts selection) and ltx2xml.js (converts multiple formulae in marked using $...$ or $$...$$ notations) for EmEditor (4 Pro or later) that convert certain subset of LaTeX to XML. Macros can be activated from EmEditor's [Macros [Select...]] menu.
Are there WYSIWYG editors that produce XML MAIDEN markup?
No. Being oriented on structure of mathematical expressions, XML MAIDEN does not fit well in general scope of WYSIWYG approach.
How do you edit XML documents?
Manually in plain text editor. Text editor should support Unicode, syntax highlighting (it improves readability of XML markup), have powerful find/replace function, and macro recorder or other facilities that can be used to generate or auto complete tags (crucial for fast and effective coding). I use EmEditor and there are many other good editors. Alternatively one can use non-XML input syntax like XSL-TeX.
Does XML MAIDEN use CSS3 math module?
No, such a module does not exist yet and we do not want to rely on something that is still under development. Strong CSS2.1 support is sufficient to display arbitrary complex formulae written in XML MAIDEN. Compatibility with CSS2.1 was important design principle of XML MAIDEN markup that makes it more realistic. Some CSS3 support will allow us improve style sheets further but is not crucial for basic functionality.
Is XML MAIDEN 2.0 based on ISO 12083 math DTD?
No. It is not related to older markup languages (even XML MAIDEN 1.1) as DTD was rewritten from top to bottom several times to reveal full power of XML + CSS approach, however element naming conventions partly follow classical notations used in ISO 12083 math DTD.
Can I modify XML MAIDEN DTD?
Yes. XML MAIDEN DTDs are in public domain. You can copy, modify and redistribute DTDs, style sheets and related documentation without any restrictions.
Don't you think that rendering mathematical expressions with CSS is just hack?
Judge yourself. One can use CSS vertical-align property to control alignment of indices, which is exactly what this property is expected to do. One can use CSS display:inline-table to format matrices, determinants, vectors and fractions. What else inline-tables can be used for? One can use counters to specify automated numbering of headers, theorems, equations, references, lists etc. This is exactly what counters are intended to do. CSS is general purpose style language that can format many things, including mathematical expressions (if they are appropriately structured using XML or SGML).
Can I use XSL FO to format XML MAIDEN articles?
Basically yes. There is experimental XSLT style sheet that converts XML MAIDEN 2.1 to XSL FO 1.0. Some examples of using XML MAIDEN in XML + XSL framework are also available.
Is not XML MAIDEN markup too verbose?
Comparing to LaTeX it is verbose. But comparing to other XML based alternatives (MathML, SVG, XSL FO) it is quite compact. XML unfriendly people can start with non-XML input syntax like XSL-TeX and then convert it to XML MAIDEN.
Why element names used in XML MAIDEN 1.1 were changed?
Some people complained that one-character element names used in previous versions of XML MAIDEN are confusing and being non-intuitive undermine readability of markup. Current notations are more or less self explanatory and partly reuse notations used in old SGML based DTDs like ISO 12083 Electronic Manuscript Standard.
Don't you think that nesting limitations of XML MAIDEN are too restrictive?
There are no nesting limitations in XML MAIDEN 2.0 and later. XML MAIDEN 2.0 DTD was rewritten from top to bottom and all nesting limitations imposed by older DTDs were removed.
How stable are XML MAIDEN DTDs?
Many changes were made in XML MAIDEN markup and some may be made in future to improve usability and extend capabilities of markup language, however no changes are made in existing DTDs. Any possible update is delivered as new release with different version number and if changes are significant or break forward compatibility then new version uses different namespace.
Can I embedd XML MAIDEN formulae in DocBook documents?
You can easily embedd them in any XML application (including but by no means limited to XHTML, DocBook, TEI, Journal Publishing DTD) and formatt using either CSS or XSL.

Last modified on 14:31 27.07.2006 by George Chavchanidze.

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