# User:Hecker/GrantStrategy/Mathematics

The following is blue-sky thinking about possible Mozilla-related programs according to my personal framework for strategic grantmaking:

Should Mozilla increase its support of mathematics on the web (beyond the current work keeping MathML working in new versions of Firefox)?

Mathematics and the web have always had an uneasy relationship. (See for example the article "Writing Math on the Web" for an overview.) For a long time now we've had a basic level of support in Mozilla for MathML, but it's never taken off in a major way due to (among other things) issues with cross-browser support, lack of suitable fonts, and problems with including MathML content in regular HTML content.

The font issue may be addressed with a combination of @font-face support for downloadable fonts and the royalty-free STIX fonts for mathematics (if and when they ever get released for production use), while the issue of including MathML in HTML should be addressed by the new HTML5 parser. It therefore may be worth taking another look at MathML in a Mozilla context. One major challenge is the continuing lack of MathML content on the web; however this may be due to a chicken-and-egg situation with respect to browser support. A more formidable challenge is that the professional mathematics community has found other solutions based on TeX and LaTeX (e.g., jsMath) that may be good enough for their purposes, and hence would reduce the incentive to push MathML forward.

Looking at the larger picture, there are a number of active projects producing open source software for mathematics (e.g., Sage), open content projects for mathematics (e.g., PlanetMath and the mathematics articles on Wikipedia), and some emerging efforts around open collaboration in mathematics (e.g., the polymath project) that are in line with open source and open web practices and values. So there's a potential overlap in terms of technologies, values, and vision. However it still remains to be seen whether and where we really have anything to add here.