[Blindmath] Mathematical document accessibility

Roopakshi Pathania r_akshi_tgk at yahoo.com
Mon Mar 16 12:34:45 CDT 2009




MathML may be hard from the coding aspect, but it is easier to read at least for a beginner.
Reading LaTeX using a simple editor like NotePad causes the focus to shift from understanding Mathematics to understanding the structure of an expression.
That is why you like Emacs, because it reads LaTeX in a completely different way. I can't say this from my personal experience as I'm a windows user, but because I have gone through T. V. Raman's (the creater of Emacspeak) thesis.

I wish I was that I was a Linux user only to use Emacspeak.
But, while I remain a windows user, I respect what MathML has done, not only for me, but for many other blind users who have yet to learn Mathematics.

Regards
--- On Sun, 3/15/09, Jason White <jason at jasonjgw.net> wrote:

> From: Jason White <jason at jasonjgw.net>
> Subject: Re: [Blindmath] Mathematical document accessibility
> To: blindmath at nfbnet.org
> Date: Sunday, March 15, 2009, 3:14 PM
> Michael Whapples <mwhapples at aim.com> wrote:
> >
> > * 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.
> [other excellent points omitted for brevity]
> 
> This is a serious disadvantage. If I run itex2mml (a TeX to
> MathML converter)
> and type in the TeX code for the quadratic formula, I get:
> $x= \frac{-b \pm \sqrt{b^2-4ac}}{2a}$
> <math xmlns='http://www.w3.org/1998/Math/MathML'
> display='inline'><mi>x</mi><mo>=</mo><mfrac><mrow><mo
> lspace="verythinmathspace"
> rspace="0em">−</mo><mi>b</mi><mo>±</mo><msqrt><mrow><msup><mi>b</mi>
> <mn>2
> </mn></msup><mo>−</mo><mn>4
> </mn><mi>ac</mi></mrow></msqrt></mrow><mrow><mn>2
> </mn><mi>a</mi></mrow></mfrac></math>
> 
> Now compare the TeX version on the first line with the
> MathML version starting
> on the second line, and consider which you would prefer to
> read or edit.
> 
> To generate MathML, you either have to convert it from
> another format such as
> TeX, or you are forced to use a wysiwyg editor. Since the
> second option raises
> accessibility problems of its own so far as mathematics is
> concerned, this
> leaves the first option, which involves writing in
> TeX/LaTeX anyway, so we're
> back where we started.
> 
> I should add that I don't favour wysiwyg editors. After
> having learned Emacs
> and Vi, it becomes obvious how painfully inefficient the
> editors provided by
> typical word processors are, even the ones with good
> keyboard support such as
> WordPerfect 5.1 and 6.0, which is what I was using before
> moving full-time to
> Linux.
> 
> 
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