Frédéric Wang is an independent developer who works on open source efforts such as Mozilla's MathML support and MathJax. Recently, he launched a Mathematics in ebooks crowdfunded project. The stated goal of this project is "improving rendering quality in WebKit and Gecko so that EPUB publishers can rely on it." WebKit is the HTML engine used internally in many ebook readers, including Readium, the EPUB ebook reader produced under the aegis of IDPF. Currently, ebook readers often use MathJax to provide MathML support. If Frédéric's project is successful, it will increase the MathML performance and reliability in all browsers and ebook readers based on Gecko and WebKit layout engines.
Design Science has been involved with MathML since its inception in 1998. We are pleased that MathML is now included as an integral part of standards such as HTML5 and EPUB 3, and we are excited to support Frédéric's work in this project. XML Prague was kind enough to match our contribution of €500 for a total €1000 investment toward the mathematics in ebooks development project. For all of us with an interest in communicating math digitally, either via the web or by ebooks, Frédéric Wang's work should have important implications. The expected outcome of this project is better and faster math rendering both on the web and in EPUB reading systems.
Design Science's Autumn Cuellar presented A MathML Progress Report this morning at XML Prague. During the presentation, she identified browser and ereader support of MathML as one key area of MathML tool support needing improvement. You can download her full presentation from our website. Please see Fréd's Mathematics in ebooks site for more information on his progress.