[Blindmath] Mathematical document accessibility

Michael Whapples mwhapples at aim.com
Sun Mar 15 03:56:13 CDT 2009

Some of the problems for use of mathml are:

* MathML is very verbose, you would never want to work with the actual 
code itself when creating or reading a document. LaTeX is much better in 
that respect.
* If an individual is authoring in LaTeX, then translating from LaTeX to 
MathML is not always reliable, particularly for accessibility as 
understanding the meaning of LaTeX requires intelligence/knowledge of 
the subject.
* Reading MathML in a browser is not wonderflly supported. As far as I 
know MathPlayer offers the only accessible solution (the firevox plugin 
for firefox has MathML support although I found that lacked some 
symbols, etc). This means those of us who use other operating systems 
such as Linux have no web browser accessibility for MathML. Also while I 
must say the work done on accessibility in MathPlayer is a step forward 
I feel much better is possible but it requires work from the screen 
reader manufacturers for it to happen.

Those are the main ones to me, there probably are others. Something else 
I will say about MathML is the amount it is used, for one reason or 
another it doesn't seem to have taken off as the format for the web, 
plenty of places still seem to be using images on web pages for 
equations (the better ones having LaTeX source in the alt tag).

I hope that answers your question, I just wasn't quite sure what part of 
the thread you were referring to when asking that as the original 
message wasn't included.

Michael Whapples
On 15/03/09 06:58, Pranav Lal wrote:
> Hi all,
> What is wrong with using MathML? The Daisy Consortium seems to have adopted
> it officially so, more documents should be coming out in MathML.
> Pranav
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