(Excerpt from "The MathML Handbook" by Pavi Sandhu)
In many cases, it is desirable to encode both the presentation and content markup for a mathematical expression. A MathML processing application can then use one type of markup or the other, depending on the context. For example, the presentation markup could be used for displaying the expression in a Web page while the content markup could be used for copying and pasting the expression into a computer algebra system for evaluation. This type of combined markup is called parallel markup because it contains multiple encodings of the same expression, in parallel branches of the main expression tree.
The mechanism used in MathML for providing multiple encodings of the same expression is the semantics element. The syntax of the semantics element was discussed under Semantic mapping elements. The first child of this element is a complete content markup or presentation markup expression. The second child can be an annotation-xml element that contains the same expression encoded in a different form. The form of the annotation is specified using the encoding attribute of the annotation-xml element. This attribute has the value MathML-Content for content markup and MathML-Presentation for presentation markup.
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