Book errata - index

Book errata: compatibility issues

I've written these pages using the latest cutting edge standards: XHTML 1.1, SVG 1.1, and MathML 2.0. Unfortunately, this is where "cutting edge" becomes "bleeding edge", in that very few web browsers seem to support these standards.

I should clarify that I am strongly opposed to websites which say "Designed for Internet Explorer", or "Designed for Netscape Navigator", etc. I think that it is important to adhere to common standards so that the pages are accessible to all. However, in this case it is the browser manufacturers who are imposing the limitations rather than me. I personally use Internet Explorer 6 as my main web browser, so it's inconvenient for me that it won't display these pages. Hopefully these are problems which will go away in the future...

Anyway, on with the list:


Internet Explorer 6: This can't handle XHTML 1.1; it just displays an error where the page should be. It can handle MathML in isolation, or with older versions of XHTML 1.1 (not applicable here). The Adobe plug-in can display SVG, but it doesn't support the <foreignObject> tag, which means that other XML (such as MathML) can't be embedded inside SVG.

Amaya 8.2: This can handle XHTML 1.1 and SVG 1.1 fine (aside from some minor colour issues in SVG). It has limited support for MathML; there are no errors, but it has trouble with the <mfenced> tag.

Netscape 7.1: This can display XHTML 1.1 and MathML 2.0, but not SVG.
N.B. I think you can basically ignore the "fonts needed" messages that appear, but it won't do any harm to install them.

Opera 7.23: This can display XHTML 1.1. When it encounters MathML, it simply ignores the markup, so there are no errors, but the output is incorrect. It can't display SVG.

Firebird 0.7, Mozilla 1.5: These can display XHTML 1.1, but they crash if they encounter MathML. Neither of them can handle SVG directly.

Apple Mac

Safara 1.0.1 (v85.6): This can display XHTML 1.1, but it crashes if it encounters MathML. It can't handle SVG directly.


Use Netscape with IE/Adobe in the background to view SVG. I have written my SVG to work around the limitation that I mentioned above.

When I say that a browser can't handle SVG directly, that means that the images won't be displayed on the page you're viewing, but you won't see any errors (I've provided alternate text that you'll see instead of the images). I've linked to the separate SVG files, and the browsers will then let you download the SVG files to your hard drive, or open them with another application.

I've converted the XML errata lists into LaTeX format, so that I can provide pdf (Acrobat) and ps (PostScript) versions. However, this has led to a drop in image quality, which I apologise for.

These are only the browsers I know about, so if you're using a different one (or a different operating system, e.g. Unix), please let me know whether you can view the pages successfully.

This page was last updated on 2004-02-09 by John C. Kirk

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