### Error Reporting

To fix bugs, you need to know about them first. Discovering bugs in itex2MML is particularly tricky, since nobody actually wants to *look* at the *gobbledygook* that is its MathML output. If the result renders OK in **Mozilla** and passes the W3C Validator, one tends to assume that it’s correct. Even when it doesn’t render properly, half the time the problem a bug in **Mozilla**’s MathML rendering code, rather than a bug in itex2MML.

One of the nifty features of the MathPlayer plugin for **IE/6** is that, unlike **Mozilla**, it does a crude, but effective, form of error-reporting. Whenever it encounters incorrect MathML syntax, it renders it as best it can, but then *colours the result red*.

It was thus that Grant Focas discovered a bug in itex2MML. A ‘unary’ minus sign was being converted to `<mo lspace="thinthinmathspace" rspace="0em">-</mo>`

instead of the syntactically correct `<mo lspace="verythinmathspace" rspace="0em">-</mo>`

. Many thanks to Grant and to the kind folks at DesignScience for bringing this to my attention.

I’ve fixed the problem in my itex2MML distribution, and anyone using the itexToMML plugin for MovableType, WordPress, B2Evolution, PyBloxsom or ecto should update their itex2MML executable to the latest version.

And I want to put out a request to all of you reading this blog or the String Coffee Table in **IE/6+MathPlayer**: if you see a snippet of mathematical text rendered in red, please let me know. Similarly, anyone reading in *any* MathML-enabled browser^{1}, please let me know if some equations don’t seem to render correctly.

^{1} That’s 40% of you, at last count. It could be 69% if the rest of the **IE/6** users would just download the **MathPlayer** plugin. I think I am going to gently nudge them in that direction. Yep, yet another annoying “nag” popup…

## Re: Error Reporting

I used to see reddened pieces here and there in formulas when using the MathML plugin to view the String Coffee Table. But since I usually use Mozilla instead, I don’t have a good up-to-date overview. A spot checked turned up one red formula in this comment, one in this.

What I find most annoying when reading the SCT with IE is that it messes up the left side margin of the text in long threads of nested comments.