[Blindmath] Mathematical document accessibility

Theodor Loots theo.loots at gmail.com
Fri Mar 13 06:37:47 CDT 2009


Hi Michael,

The liblouis project is currently in the process of adding BAUK support, so
I guess if you can contribute in any way, it will greatly be appreciated.

My greatest need concerning math documents is probably support for PDF's...
This however, is wishful thinking I presume...

t

-----Original Message-----
From: blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org] On
Behalf Of Michael Whapples
Sent: 13 March 2009 11:01 AM
To: Blind Math list for those interested in mathematics
Subject: Re: [Blindmath] Mathematical document accessibility

First of all to say I would primarily be aiming for BAUK as that is what 
I know. Please read the rest with that in mind.

Am I write in thinking that liblouis/liblouisxml still doesn't support 
BAUK maths? I remember having a look at adding it some time ago but 
either I didn't understand the table system of liblouis or it was just 
not going to be able to support BAUK maths (either way I wasn't able to 
do anything to it to get satisfactory results). As for connecting to 
something like liblouisxml, as I primarily work on linux I might be 
tempted to look at java's stuff for connecting with C++ (I think JNI), 
unless anyone else can tell me that com on linux is really easy to set up.

I have heard people mention UMCL but I haven't really seen any of its 
work, how does that compare?

Michael Whapples
On 13/03/09 05:45, Neil Soiffer wrote:
> I'm not aware of Java-based MathML-to-Braille translators, but there is
> liblious (C++, http://code.google.com/p/liblouis/) and UMCL (XSLT).  Both
> have COM bindings that allow you to call them from other languages.
> Essentially, that means you just need to give them the MathML and they
give
> you back a Braille translation.  I think that the COM part has only been
> compiled for Windows, but COM is supported on the Mac and probably linux
and
> they probably would work there also:
>
http://unix.ittoolbox.com/documents/component-object-model-com-development-o
n-mac-os-x-16688
>
> Neil Soiffer
> Senior Scientist
> Design Science, Inc.
> www.dessci.com
> ~ Makers of MathType, MathFlow, MathPlayer, MathDaisy, WebEQ, Equation
> Editor ~
>
>
> On Thu, Mar 12, 2009 at 9:29 AM, Michael Whapples<mwhapples at aim.com>
wrote:
>
>    
>> Hello,
>> After going quiet for a a bit I have decided as there's not much else
going
>> on for me I should get back to trying to work on my maths to Braille
>> translator (BrlTex), except I've decided to take a look at things before
>> diving back into it. In fact this may mean starting something new instead
of
>> trying to work on the old BrlTex ideas.
>>
>> The first question is where are things and what is actually needed? What
is
>> the state of mathml, accessibility of mathml, etc and is there still such
a
>> great need for LaTeX? I know also people new to LaTeX say it can be hard
to
>> get started with, so might a simpler authoring system be desireable (eg.
>> RestructureText (RST) from the python docutils (http://docutils.sf.net))
>> with may be an extension for math (may be using LaTeX inside a math
>> directive, I think that should be possible).
>>
>> Currently for BrlTex I am using plasTeX (http://plastex.sf.net). This
>> seems to work reasonably well for the LaTeX processing (I don't think I
had
>> any problems with it on well formed LaTeX files except for one which was
>> pretty awful to read anyway and did fail even with one of the main LaTeX
>> compilers (something like it worked with the latex command but not
pdflatex
>> or the other way round)). However I feel plasTeX will limit me to latex
>> files unless I create an internal representation system for BrlTex which
>> might get too much for me.
>>
>> The alternative, and why I asked about mathml, is that I now know java so
>> wondered what TeX/LaTeX stuff is there for java and I stumbled over
>> snuggletex (www.ph.ed.ac.uk/snuggletex) which is a LaTeX to mathml
>> translation library. Now if I were to create a mathml Braille translator
>> then I possibly get LaTeX support nearly for free by using snuggletex as
an
>> input filter. Any open source java based mathml Braille translators worth
me
>> looking at to save on my work? Also this design would permit dropping the
>> intermediate (between LaTeX and Braille) as a MathML file. Also with the
>> correct design then may be other outputs would be possible, eg. daisy
book
>> format, etc.
>>
>> Java is also tempting for other reasons, eg. swing and SWT for the GUI
are
>> cross platform compatible (I haven't found anything which really matches
>> either of these in python), other standard interface systems such as web
>> applications using J2EE (I know python can be used for web applications
but
>> I think it depends on what system you choose, there isn't a single
obvious
>> choice), etc.
>>
>> So any thoughts on the above or any other suggestions.
>>
>> Michael Whapples
>>
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