Scientific software 206

Paragraph about Scientific software

Currently, WebCT only officially supports Netscape and Internet Explorer. As soon as Mozilla reaches a sufficient level of maturity, should add it to the list of supported browsers. Because Mozilla is an open-source browser, could contribute to its development thereby insuring a degree of compatibility that may not be possible with Netscape or Internet Explorer. We know that Mozilla will support MathML, but it is not clear when or if Netscape Scientific software will.

What about Internet Explorer 5 and MathML? We have this report from Robert Miner of Geometry Technologies, Inc. dated March 29, 2000. There is some progress. Internet Explorer 5 introduced something called behaviors that in essence allow a developer to "bind" some executable code to a particular XML element. In our latest release of WebEQ, we have used behaviors to attach the WebEQ Math Viewer to the element. The net effect is that once a reader has installed the Math Viewer in Internet Explorer 5, by putting a couple of lines of style and script code at the top of your file, straight MathML markup in the page mathlab will be automatically rendered in the client browser with WebEQ. This has the very positive effect that the same document will render properly in both the new Mozilla browser, and in Internet Explorer 5. The down side is that there are still a couple of technical problems with Internet Explorer 5 behaviors, and on top of that, because of Java flakiness, WebEQ bogs down badly if there are more than a couple dozen equations in a page. When I approached Dave Massey (the contact person for MathML on the Internet Explorer team at Microsoft) about these problems, he was very responsive, and it looks like behaviors will be very much improved in the 5.5 release of Internet Explorer, and in particular, they will be nicely set up for native binary behaviors as opposed to Java/JavaScript behaviors that have performance limitations.

Math software
Scientific workplace

Hosted by uCoz