Content elements

(Excerpt from "The MathML Handbook" by Pavi Sandhu)

This chapter contains an alphabetical listing of all the content elements and describes each element's syntax, description, and attributes.

The entry for each element has the following parts:

  • Syntax: gives the syntax of the element showing the type of content it can contain.
  • Description: gives the meaning of the element and any additional information relevant to its use.
  • Attributes: gives the name of each attribute, its allowed values, and default value. For brevity, attributes common to all content elements are not listed explicitly in the entry for each element. They are listed only once, in this section, and implied everywhere else.

Common attributes

The following six attributes are accepted by all content elements:

  • class, style, and id: are used with CSS and XSL stylesheets.
  • xref: is used in parallel markup (see under Combining presentation and content markup: Parallel markup for more details.)
  • xlink:href: is used for defining links.
  • other: is used for specifying nonstandard attributes that are not part of the MathML specification but may be supported by specific processing applications.

These attributes are not included in the entry for each element but are implied.

Changing the default semantics

The attributes definitionURL and encoding are used to modify the semantic meaning of a content element. These attributes are accepted by all content elements that represent operators or functions as well as by the elements csymbol, declare, and semantics. The syntax and usage of these two attributes are explained in this section so that they can be omitted in the entry for each element.

The value of the definitionURL attribute is a URL that contains information about the semantic meaning to be associated with a particular content element. The encoding attribute specifies the format in which the semantic information is given.

For example, the content element times by default represents the operation of multiplying two numbers. However, by using the following markup, you can modify its semantics so that it refers to the cross-product of two vectors:

A x B

  <times definitionURL="" encoding="text"/>
  <ci type="vector"> A </ci>
  <ci type="vector"> B </ci>

Here, the URL specified as the value of definitionURL must contain a definition of the vector product encoded as plain text. Note that the type attribute of the <ci> element is used to specify that the identifiers A and B represent vectors.

Listing of content elements


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