# [Blindmath] Blindmath Digest, Vol 48, Issue 18

Vincent Martin vmartin at mindspring.com
Wed Jul 28 14:21:26 CDT 2010

Thanks, but you did send it to me.

-----Original Message-----
From: blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org] On
Behalf Of blindmath-request at nfbnet.org
Sent: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 1:00 PM
To: blindmath at nfbnet.org
Subject: Blindmath Digest, Vol 48, Issue 18

Send Blindmath mailing list submissions to
blindmath at nfbnet.org

To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/blindmath_nfbnet.org
or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to
blindmath-request at nfbnet.org

You can reach the person managing the list at
blindmath-owner at nfbnet.org

than "Re: Contents of Blindmath digest..."

Today's Topics:

1. Re: Maths on the web (yet again) (Roopakshi Pathania)
2. Re: Maths on the web (yet again) (Greg)
3. Re: Maths on the web (yet again) (Neil Soiffer)

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Message: 1
Date: Tue, 27 Jul 2010 11:35:13 -0700 (PDT)
From: Roopakshi Pathania <r_akshi_tgk at yahoo.com>
To: Blind Math list for those interested in mathematics
<blindmath at nfbnet.org>
Cc: Neil Soiffer <Neils at dessci.com>
Subject: Re: [Blindmath] Maths on the web (yet again)
Message-ID: <939855.77996.qm at web38708.mail.mud.yahoo.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1

Hi Neil,

A couple of points before I go to sleep.

- Can you give an example of a site using MathJax?
A quick check of the website doesn't lead me to any real world examples.
I've been wondering if Sage's site uses MathJax.
http://www.sagenb.org/pub

Regards
--- On Tue, 7/27/10, Neil Soiffer <NeilS at dessci.com> wrote:

> From: Neil Soiffer <NeilS at dessci.com>
> Subject: Re: [Blindmath] Maths on the web (yet again)
> To: andrew.stacey at math.ntnu.no, "Blind Math list for those interested in
mathematics" <blindmath at nfbnet.org>
> Date: Tuesday, July 27, 2010, 10:26 PM
> That's a very nice summary, and I
> agree with everything you say.? I do want
> to point to a new technology called "MathJax"? (see
> mathjax.org).? MathJax
> is a Javascript based renderer that will render MathML or a
> standard subset
> of TeX for math? (most people forget that TeX is a
> powerful programming
> language that allows its syntax and the meaning of commands
> to be changed or
> extended).? MathJax has the ability to be configured
> so that it will pass
> MathML or converted TeX to the browser (for Firefox or
> IE+MathPlayer).? One
> great thing about MathJax is the chicken and egg problem is
> "cracked" (sorry
> for the pun) -- MathML can now be rendered on all modern
> browsers, including
>
> If you are using IE+MathPlayer and have MathJax configured,
> then the math is
> accessible.? Of course, anytime you convert from one
> language to another,
> there are some assumptions that get made, etc, but MathJax
> means that even
> if you authored your wiki, blog, or general web page with
> TeX, it can still
> be accessible.? To author using MathJax, simply add
> the approppriate call to
> MathJax in the header for the page.? See mathjax.org
> for details and
> examples.
>
> There are some really exciting developments related to
> MathJax and MathML 3
> coming soon.? I'll be blogging about them over the
> next month or two.? At
> the risk of being too self-promoting, I invite everyone to
> check out the
> blog at http://accessiblemath.dessci.com/.
>
> Neil Soiffer
> Senior Scientist
> Design Science, Inc.
> www.dessci.com
> ~ Makers of MathType, MathFlow, MathPlayer, MathDaisy,
> Equation Editor ~
>
>
>
> On Tue, Jul 27, 2010 at 1:07 AM, Andrew Stacey
> <andrew.stacey at math.ntnu.no>wrote:
>
> > There's a new question and answer site starting up
> focussing on TeX and
> > LaTeX.
> > As was fairly predictable, one of the first questions
> > maths
> > on the web.? Having lurked here for a while, and
> taken part in the
> > discussion
> > on Terry Tao's blog a short while ago, I thought I'd
> try my hand at
> > this question.? However, as I'm neither blind nor
> an expert on such
> > matters,
> > there are no doubt things that I've gotten wrong.
> >
> > Since the website in question is at the moment in a
> private mode (anyone
> > can
> > http://stackmobile.com/site.php?site=tex.stackexchange,
> but only the
> > original
> > people who signed up can post stuff), and I've no idea
> how accessible the
> > site
> > it, I'm copying my answer below.? I will happily
> correct any mistakes I may
> anything that members of
> > this
> > list feel should be said.
> >
> > The markup language for this is Markdown.? I
> don't know how email readers
> > will
> > cope with that so here's a quick explanation of the
> key points.? Firstly,
> > list
> > numbering is automatic so all my list entries start
> with a 1.? Secondly,
> > emphasis and bold are done by surrounding the word or
> text in underscores
> > or
> > asterisks.? Thirdly, links are done like this:
> > headers are done using hashes.
> >
> > My answer now follows:
> >
> > When embedding mathematics into a webpage, there are
> two primary questions:
> >
> > 1. What format should be used to display it?
> > 1. Where should the conversion be done?
> >
> > In my opinion, each of these has a definite answer and
> a different solution
> > should only be used if the optimal solution really
> cannot be done.
> >
> > 1. **MathML**.? Reasons:
> >???1. It is the *only* **accessible**
> way of doing this.? Putting the
> > original LaTeX in an alt tag on an image is not
> accessible - it relies on
> > the recipient being able to understand raw LaTeX
> source code (more on this
> > in a moment).? Also, not all of those requiring
> accessible webpages use
> > screen readers, some simply need to enlarge the page.
> >???1. It is **styleable** (not sure if
> that's a word).? Since MathML is part
> > of the XHTML suite, it can be styled in the same
> fashion as the rest of the
> > document (namely, via CSS), so the resulting display
> is far more harmonious
> > than any other (try changing the background colour to
> something easier on
> > the eyes at one of those wordpress blogs and you'll
> see what I mean).
> >???1. It is **small**.? A quick
> test on my system with 515 simple files that
> > I happened to have lying around showed that PNGs
> weighed in at 175kB whilst
> > the MathML equivalents were a shade under 60kB.?
> The PNGs were not large
> > resolution, for example the PNG containing the Zeta
> symbol was a 9x13 image.
> >
> > 1. **Server-side**.? Reasons:
> >???1. It is **small**.? Instead of
> sending both the source _and_ the
> > instructions on how to compile it, you just send the
> result.
> >???1. It is **reliable**.? You can
> easily check that what you want the
> > person to see is what they should see.? In
> particular, a javascript solution
> > relies on two things being correct: the javascript
> script _and_ the
> > implementation of javascript in the browser.?
> MathML just relies on the
> > MathML implementation in the browser.
> >???1. It is **fast**.? With
> server-side caching, you only need to process
> > the mathematics once and then it's done.
> >???1. It is **verifiable** (similar to
> reliable, I guess).? I don't fully
> > understand the differences between the _types_ of spec
> that w3c produce, but
> > MathML is certainly a recommendation.? Even
> though browser support is
> > variable, the variations are known because they can be
> measured using the
> > open standard, and thus can be taken into account.
> >
> > Server-side MathML is the optimal solution.? Of
> course, it's not always
> > possible and then other solutions are useful.
> >
> > There are various standard arguments against using
> server-side MathML and
> > other myths about mathematics in webpages that are
> worth taking a minute
> > over.
> >
> > ###Myths###
> > 1. Sending the raw LaTeX code in an alt tag makes
> images accessible.
> >
> >???When people say this, they mean that
> they can read $a^2 + b^2 = c^2$
> > and understand it.? Try them on something a
> little more complicated and
> > you'll soon see that this is complete rubbish.?
> For example, try having
> > someone **read out** the following to you:
> >
>
$\begin{array}\ell^0(\mathbb{R})&\;\mapsto&\;\ell^2(\mathbb{R})\\\downarrow &&\uparrow\\L^2(\mathbb{R})&\subseteq\,&L^\infty(\mathbb{R})\end{array}$.
> >? Of course, there's going to be people who will
> say, "_I_ can understand
> > that!" but _that's not the point_.? You write a
> webpage for other people and
> > the more complicated the LaTeX, the fewer the number
> of people who can
> >
> > 1. MathML is badly supported.
> >
> >???This is the classic
> chicken-and-egg.? MathML support is absolutely fine
> > in Firefox, in IE with the MathPlayer plugin, and in
> Amaya (what's that, I
> > hear you cry!).? Plus there are groups working on
> it for Opera and WebKit
> > who just _need a little encouragement_!? Sending
> them an email saying, "I
> > love your browser but until it has proper MathML
> support then I can't use
> > it" would provide them with a little more
> motivation.? Of course, there are
> > bugs in the implementations in Firefox and the others,
> but those are _known_
> > and so can be worked around.
> >
> > 1. MathML requires documents to be valid XHTML.
> >
> >???Actually, this isn't a myth.?
> It's absolutely true.? But surely your
> > pages were valid to begin with!? I'm a
> mathematician and my ideal document
> > is one that _cannot_ be misunderstood.? That's
> impossible, so I try for the
> > lesser goal of where any misunderstanding can be laid
> at the door of the
> > person reading it rather than me.? MathML, as
> it's an open standard, allows
> > me to reach that goal on webpages - at least
> technically, the contents are
> > more variable!
> >
> > Finally - on this part - for those that _still_ worry
> > Ola Nordmann, to be geographically correct) not being
> > webpage due to using an old version of IE and refusing
> to install plugins,
> > it is actually possible to have two versions of the
> mathematics on your
> > server and send MathML to those that can see it and
> PNGs to those that
> > can't, thus getting the best of both worlds.
> >
> > What about implementation?? Well, there you're in
> luck.? [iTeX](
> >
http://golem.ph.utexas.edu/~distler/blog/itex2MML.html<http://golem.ph.utexa
s.edu/%7Edistler/blog/itex2MML.html>)
> > can do it all, and in spades.? iTeX is a fast c++
> program that converts a
> > subset of LaTeX mathematical language into
> MathML.? The original package
> > comes with bindings for ruby, and I've extended this
> to PHP, Perl, and
> > Python.? By combining it with other packages, in
> particular [svgmath](
> > http://grigoriev.ru/svgmath/) or [gtkmathview](
> > http://helm.cs.unibo.it/mml-widget/), it
> is possible to further convert
> > the MathML to an image for broken browsers.?
> (Contact me for these
> > extensions; I haven't gotten round to writing them up
> yet - it's on my TODO
> > list!)
> >
> > For examples, see the [nlab](http://ncatlab.org) (pure MathML) and the
> >
[nforum](http://www.math.ntnu.no/~stacey/Vanilla/nForum<http://www.math.ntnu
.no/%7Estacey/Vanilla/nForum>)
> > (MathML, SVG, or PNG depending on what browser you are
> using).
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Blindmath mailing list
> > Blindmath at nfbnet.org
> > http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/blindmath_nfbnet.org
> > To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your
> account info for
> > Blindmath:
> >
> >
http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/options/blindmath_nfbnet.org/neils%40dessci.co
m
> >
> _______________________________________________
> Blindmath mailing list
> Blindmath at nfbnet.org
> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/blindmath_nfbnet.org
> To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your
> account info for Blindmath:
>
http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/options/blindmath_nfbnet.org/r_akshi_tgk%40yah
oo.com
>

------------------------------

Message: 2
Date: Tue, 27 Jul 2010 13:57:12 -0400
From: "Greg" <gwblindman1 at gwblindman.org>
To: "Blind Math list for those interested in mathematics"
<blindmath at nfbnet.org>
Subject: Re: [Blindmath] Maths on the web (yet again)
Message-ID: <41A9191D67964DC4A465A85C1424C5D6 at GregsToshiba>
Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed; charset="iso-8859-1";

hello,
Where do I get math player?
Thanks,
Greg Wocher
----- Original Message -----
From: "Neil Soiffer" <NeilS at dessci.com>
To: <andrew.stacey at math.ntnu.no>; "Blind Math list for those interested in
mathematics" <blindmath at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Tuesday, July 27, 2010 12:56 PM
Subject: Re: [Blindmath] Maths on the web (yet again)

> That's a very nice summary, and I agree with everything you say.  I do
> want
> to point to a new technology called "MathJax"  (see mathjax.org).  MathJax
> is a Javascript based renderer that will render MathML or a standard
> subset
> of TeX for math  (most people forget that TeX is a powerful programming
> language that allows its syntax and the meaning of commands to be changed
> or
> extended).  MathJax has the ability to be configured so that it will pass
> MathML or converted TeX to the browser (for Firefox or IE+MathPlayer).
> One
> great thing about MathJax is the chicken and egg problem is "cracked"
> (sorry
> for the pun) -- MathML can now be rendered on all modern browsers,
> including
>
> If you are using IE+MathPlayer and have MathJax configured, then the math
> is
> accessible.  Of course, anytime you convert from one language to another,
> there are some assumptions that get made, etc, but MathJax means that even
> if you authored your wiki, blog, or general web page with TeX, it can
> still
> be accessible.  To author using MathJax, simply add the approppriate call
> to
> MathJax in the header for the page.  See mathjax.org for details and
> examples.
>
> There are some really exciting developments related to MathJax and MathML
> 3
> coming soon.  I'll be blogging about them over the next month or two.  At
> the risk of being too self-promoting, I invite everyone to check out the
> blog at http://accessiblemath.dessci.com/.
>
> Neil Soiffer
> Senior Scientist
> Design Science, Inc.
> www.dessci.com
> ~ Makers of MathType, MathFlow, MathPlayer, MathDaisy, Equation Editor ~
>
>
>
> On Tue, Jul 27, 2010 at 1:07 AM, Andrew Stacey
> <andrew.stacey at math.ntnu.no>wrote:
>
>> There's a new question and answer site starting up focussing on TeX and
>> LaTeX.
>> As was fairly predictable, one of the first questions is about putting
>> maths
>> on the web.  Having lurked here for a while, and taken part in the
>> discussion
>> on Terry Tao's blog a short while ago, I thought I'd try my hand at
>> this question.  However, as I'm neither blind nor an expert on such
>> matters,
>> there are no doubt things that I've gotten wrong.
>>
>> Since the website in question is at the moment in a private mode (anyone
>> can
>> http://stackmobile.com/site.php?site=tex.stackexchange, but only the
>> original
>> people who signed up can post stuff), and I've no idea how accessible the
>> site
>> it, I'm copying my answer below.  I will happily correct any mistakes I
>> may
>> have made, or emphasis that I've mislaid, or add anything that members of
>> this
>> list feel should be said.
>>
>> The markup language for this is Markdown.  I don't know how email readers
>> will
>> cope with that so here's a quick explanation of the key points.  Firstly,
>> list
>> numbering is automatic so all my list entries start with a 1.  Secondly,
>> emphasis and bold are done by surrounding the word or text in underscores
>> or
>> Fourthly,
>> headers are done using hashes.
>>
>>
>> When embedding mathematics into a webpage, there are two primary
>> questions:
>>
>> 1. What format should be used to display it?
>> 1. Where should the conversion be done?
>>
>> In my opinion, each of these has a definite answer and a different
>> solution
>> should only be used if the optimal solution really cannot be done.
>>
>> 1. **MathML**.  Reasons:
>>   1. It is the *only* **accessible** way of doing this.  Putting the
>> original LaTeX in an alt tag on an image is not accessible - it relies
>> on
>> the recipient being able to understand raw LaTeX source code (more on
>> this
>> in a moment).  Also, not all of those requiring accessible webpages use
>> screen readers, some simply need to enlarge the page.
>>   1. It is **styleable** (not sure if that's a word).  Since MathML is
>> part
>> of the XHTML suite, it can be styled in the same fashion as the rest of
>> the
>> document (namely, via CSS), so the resulting display is far more
>> harmonious
>> than any other (try changing the background colour to something easier on
>> the eyes at one of those wordpress blogs and you'll see what I mean).
>>   1. It is **small**.  A quick test on my system with 515 simple files
>> that
>> I happened to have lying around showed that PNGs weighed in at 175kB
>> whilst
>> the MathML equivalents were a shade under 60kB.  The PNGs were not large
>> resolution, for example the PNG containing the Zeta symbol was a 9x13
>> image.
>>
>> 1. **Server-side**.  Reasons:
>>   1. It is **small**.  Instead of sending both the source _and_ the
>> instructions on how to compile it, you just send the result.
>>   1. It is **reliable**.  You can easily check that what you want the
>> person to see is what they should see.  In particular, a javascript
>> solution
>> relies on two things being correct: the javascript script _and_ the
>> implementation of javascript in the browser.  MathML just relies on the
>> MathML implementation in the browser.
>>   1. It is **fast**.  With server-side caching, you only need to process
>> the mathematics once and then it's done.
>>   1. It is **verifiable** (similar to reliable, I guess).  I don't fully
>> understand the differences between the _types_ of spec that w3c produce,
>> but
>> MathML is certainly a recommendation.  Even though browser support is
>> variable, the variations are known because they can be measured using the
>> open standard, and thus can be taken into account.
>>
>> Server-side MathML is the optimal solution.  Of course, it's not always
>> possible and then other solutions are useful.
>>
>> There are various standard arguments against using server-side MathML and
>> other myths about mathematics in webpages that are worth taking a minute
>> over.
>>
>> ###Myths###
>> 1. Sending the raw LaTeX code in an alt tag makes images accessible.
>>
>>   When people say this, they mean that they can read $a^2 + b^2 = c^2$
>> and understand it.  Try them on something a little more complicated and
>> you'll soon see that this is complete rubbish.  For example, try having
>> someone **read out** the following to you:
>>
$\begin{array}\ell^0(\mathbb{R})&\;\mapsto&\;\ell^2(\mathbb{R})\\\downarrow &&\uparrow\\L^2(\mathbb{R})&\subseteq\,&L^\infty(\mathbb{R})\end{array}$.
>>  Of course, there's going to be people who will say, "_I_ can understand
>> that!" but _that's not the point_.  You write a webpage for other people
>> and
>> the more complicated the LaTeX, the fewer the number of people who can
>>
>> 1. MathML is badly supported.
>>
>>   This is the classic chicken-and-egg.  MathML support is absolutely fine
>> in Firefox, in IE with the MathPlayer plugin, and in Amaya (what's that,
>> I
>> hear you cry!).  Plus there are groups working on it for Opera and WebKit
>> who just _need a little encouragement_!  Sending them an email saying, "I
>> love your browser but until it has proper MathML support then I can't use
>> it" would provide them with a little more motivation.  Of course, there
>> are
>> bugs in the implementations in Firefox and the others, but those are
>> _known_
>> and so can be worked around.
>>
>> 1. MathML requires documents to be valid XHTML.
>>
>>   Actually, this isn't a myth.  It's absolutely true.  But surely your
>> pages were valid to begin with!  I'm a mathematician and my ideal
>> document
>> is one that _cannot_ be misunderstood.  That's impossible, so I try for
>> the
>> lesser goal of where any misunderstanding can be laid at the door of the
>> person reading it rather than me.  MathML, as it's an open standard,
>> allows
>> me to reach that goal on webpages - at least technically, the contents
>> are
>> more variable!
>>
>> Finally - on this part - for those that _still_ worry about Joe Blogs (or
>> Ola Nordmann, to be geographically correct) not being able to read your
>> webpage due to using an old version of IE and refusing to install
>> plugins,
>> it is actually possible to have two versions of the mathematics on your
>> server and send MathML to those that can see it and PNGs to those that
>> can't, thus getting the best of both worlds.
>>
>> What about implementation?  Well, there you're in luck.  [iTeX](
>>
http://golem.ph.utexas.edu/~distler/blog/itex2MML.html<http://golem.ph.utexa
s.edu/%7Edistler/blog/itex2MML.html>)
>> can do it all, and in spades.  iTeX is a fast c++ program that converts a
>> subset of LaTeX mathematical language into MathML.  The original package
>> comes with bindings for ruby, and I've extended this to PHP, Perl, and
>> Python.  By combining it with other packages, in particular [svgmath](
>> http://grigoriev.ru/svgmath/) or [gtkmathview](
>> http://helm.cs.unibo.it/mml-widget/), it is possible to further convert
>> the MathML to an image for broken browsers.  (Contact me for these
>> extensions; I haven't gotten round to writing them up yet - it's on my
>> TODO
>> list!)
>>
>> For examples, see the [nlab](http://ncatlab.org) (pure MathML) and the
>>
[nforum](http://www.math.ntnu.no/~stacey/Vanilla/nForum<http://www.math.ntnu
.no/%7Estacey/Vanilla/nForum>)
>> (MathML, SVG, or PNG depending on what browser you are using).
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Blindmath mailing list
>> Blindmath at nfbnet.org
>> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/blindmath_nfbnet.org
>> To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for
>> Blindmath:
>>
>>
http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/options/blindmath_nfbnet.org/neils%40dessci.co
m
>>
> _______________________________________________
> Blindmath mailing list
> Blindmath at nfbnet.org
> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/blindmath_nfbnet.org
> To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for
> Blindmath:
>
http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/options/blindmath_nfbnet.org/gwblindman1%40gwb
lindman.org

------------------------------

Message: 3
Date: Tue, 27 Jul 2010 12:22:38 -0700
From: Neil Soiffer <NeilS at dessci.com>
To: Roopakshi Pathania <r_akshi_tgk at yahoo.com>
Cc: Blind Math list for those interested in mathematics
<blindmath at nfbnet.org>
Subject: Re: [Blindmath] Maths on the web (yet again)
Message-ID:
<AANLkTi=Cd9f3=dwOUGw0EKScSA_u5+rwC=4NhsDBeW-q at mail.gmail.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1

Do a search for "Powered by MathJax".  If they use the MathJax logo, that
search will find it.  You could also search for "mathjax.js", but I think a
lot of the 10,000 hits that has refer to how to use MathJax.

I should have mentioned that MathJax (which is a follow on to jsMath), is
switch.  Also the MathJax logo is new within the last month or so, so even
among early adopters, it's use is rare.  There's a number of high power
supporters/sponsers of MathJax, so in the coming year, you'll see more and
more pages/blogs/wikis using MathJax.

Neil Soiffer
Senior Scientist
Design Science, Inc.
www.dessci.com
~ Makers of MathType, MathFlow, MathPlayer, MathDaisy, Equation Editor ~

On Tue, Jul 27, 2010 at 11:35 AM, Roopakshi Pathania
<r_akshi_tgk at yahoo.com>wrote:

>
> Hi Neil,
>
> A couple of points before I go to sleep.
>
> - Can you give an example of a site using MathJax?
> A quick check of the website doesn't lead me to any real world examples.
> I've been wondering if Sage's site uses MathJax.
> http://www.sagenb.org/pub
>
>
> Regards
> --- On Tue, 7/27/10, Neil Soiffer <NeilS at dessci.com> wrote:
>
> > From: Neil Soiffer <NeilS at dessci.com>
> > Subject: Re: [Blindmath] Maths on the web (yet again)
> > To: andrew.stacey at math.ntnu.no, "Blind Math list for those interested in
> mathematics" <blindmath at nfbnet.org>
> > Date: Tuesday, July 27, 2010, 10:26 PM
> > That's a very nice summary, and I
> > agree with everything you say.  I do want
> > to point to a new technology called "MathJax"  (see
> > mathjax.org).  MathJax
> > is a Javascript based renderer that will render MathML or a
> > standard subset
> > of TeX for math  (most people forget that TeX is a
> > powerful programming
> > language that allows its syntax and the meaning of commands
> > to be changed or
> > extended).  MathJax has the ability to be configured
> > so that it will pass
> > MathML or converted TeX to the browser (for Firefox or
> > IE+MathPlayer).  One
> > great thing about MathJax is the chicken and egg problem is
> > "cracked" (sorry
> > for the pun) -- MathML can now be rendered on all modern
> > browsers, including
> > on iphones and ipads!
> >
> > If you are using IE+MathPlayer and have MathJax configured,
> > then the math is
> > accessible.  Of course, anytime you convert from one
> > language to another,
> > there are some assumptions that get made, etc, but MathJax
> > means that even
> > if you authored your wiki, blog, or general web page with
> > TeX, it can still
> > be accessible.  To author using MathJax, simply add
> > the approppriate call to
> > MathJax in the header for the page.  See mathjax.org
> > for details and
> > examples.
> >
> > There are some really exciting developments related to
> > MathJax and MathML 3
> > coming soon.  I'll be blogging about them over the
> > next month or two.  At
> > the risk of being too self-promoting, I invite everyone to
> > check out the
> > blog at http://accessiblemath.dessci.com/.
> >
> > Neil Soiffer
> > Senior Scientist
> > Design Science, Inc.
> > www.dessci.com
> > ~ Makers of MathType, MathFlow, MathPlayer, MathDaisy,
> > Equation Editor ~
> >
> >
> >
> > On Tue, Jul 27, 2010 at 1:07 AM, Andrew Stacey
> > <andrew.stacey at math.ntnu.no>wrote:
> >
> > > There's a new question and answer site starting up
> > focussing on TeX and
> > > LaTeX.
> > > As was fairly predictable, one of the first questions
> > > maths
> > > on the web.  Having lurked here for a while, and
> > taken part in the
> > > discussion
> > > on Terry Tao's blog a short while ago, I thought I'd
> > try my hand at
> > > this question.  However, as I'm neither blind nor
> > an expert on such
> > > matters,
> > > there are no doubt things that I've gotten wrong.
> > >
> > > Since the website in question is at the moment in a
> > private mode (anyone
> > > can
> > > http://stackmobile.com/site.php?site=tex.stackexchange,
> > but only the
> > > original
> > > people who signed up can post stuff), and I've no idea
> > how accessible the
> > > site
> > > it, I'm copying my answer below.  I will happily
> > correct any mistakes I may
> > > have made, or emphasis that I've mislaid, or add
> > anything that members of
> > > this
> > > list feel should be said.
> > >
> > > The markup language for this is Markdown.  I
> > don't know how email readers
> > > will
> > > cope with that so here's a quick explanation of the
> > key points.  Firstly,
> > > list
> > > numbering is automatic so all my list entries start
> > with a 1.  Secondly,
> > > emphasis and bold are done by surrounding the word or
> > text in underscores
> > > or
> > > asterisks.  Thirdly, links are done like this:
> > > headers are done using hashes.
> > >
> > > My answer now follows:
> > >
> > > When embedding mathematics into a webpage, there are
> > two primary questions:
> > >
> > > 1. What format should be used to display it?
> > > 1. Where should the conversion be done?
> > >
> > > In my opinion, each of these has a definite answer and
> > a different solution
> > > should only be used if the optimal solution really
> > cannot be done.
> > >
> > > 1. **MathML**.  Reasons:
> > >   1. It is the *only* **accessible**
> > way of doing this.  Putting the
> > > original LaTeX in an alt tag on an image is not
> > accessible - it relies on
> > > the recipient being able to understand raw LaTeX
> > source code (more on this
> > > in a moment).  Also, not all of those requiring
> > accessible webpages use
> > > screen readers, some simply need to enlarge the page.
> > >   1. It is **styleable** (not sure if
> > that's a word).  Since MathML is part
> > > of the XHTML suite, it can be styled in the same
> > fashion as the rest of the
> > > document (namely, via CSS), so the resulting display
> > is far more harmonious
> > > than any other (try changing the background colour to
> > something easier on
> > > the eyes at one of those wordpress blogs and you'll
> > see what I mean).
> > >   1. It is **small**.  A quick
> > test on my system with 515 simple files that
> > > I happened to have lying around showed that PNGs
> > weighed in at 175kB whilst
> > > the MathML equivalents were a shade under 60kB.
> > The PNGs were not large
> > > resolution, for example the PNG containing the Zeta
> > symbol was a 9x13 image.
> > >
> > > 1. **Server-side**.  Reasons:
> > >   1. It is **small**.  Instead of
> > sending both the source _and_ the
> > > instructions on how to compile it, you just send the
> > result.
> > >   1. It is **reliable**.  You can
> > easily check that what you want the
> > > person to see is what they should see.  In
> > particular, a javascript solution
> > > relies on two things being correct: the javascript
> > script _and_ the
> > > implementation of javascript in the browser.
> > MathML just relies on the
> > > MathML implementation in the browser.
> > >   1. It is **fast**.  With
> > server-side caching, you only need to process
> > > the mathematics once and then it's done.
> > >   1. It is **verifiable** (similar to
> > reliable, I guess).  I don't fully
> > > understand the differences between the _types_ of spec
> > that w3c produce, but
> > > MathML is certainly a recommendation.  Even
> > though browser support is
> > > variable, the variations are known because they can be
> > measured using the
> > > open standard, and thus can be taken into account.
> > >
> > > Server-side MathML is the optimal solution.  Of
> > course, it's not always
> > > possible and then other solutions are useful.
> > >
> > > There are various standard arguments against using
> > server-side MathML and
> > > other myths about mathematics in webpages that are
> > worth taking a minute
> > > over.
> > >
> > > ###Myths###
> > > 1. Sending the raw LaTeX code in an alt tag makes
> > images accessible.
> > >
> > >   When people say this, they mean that
> > they can read $a^2 + b^2 = c^2$
> > > and understand it.  Try them on something a
> > little more complicated and
> > > you'll soon see that this is complete rubbish.
> > For example, try having
> > > someone **read out** the following to you:
> > >
> >
>
$\begin{array}\ell^0(\mathbb{R})&\;\mapsto&\;\ell^2(\mathbb{R})\\\downarrow &&\uparrow\\L^2(\mathbb{R})&\subseteq\,&L^\infty(\mathbb{R})\end{array}$.
> > >  Of course, there's going to be people who will
> > say, "_I_ can understand
> > > that!" but _that's not the point_.  You write a
> > webpage for other people and
> > > the more complicated the LaTeX, the fewer the number
> > of people who can
> > > instantly read it.
> > >
> > > 1. MathML is badly supported.
> > >
> > >   This is the classic
> > chicken-and-egg.  MathML support is absolutely fine
> > > in Firefox, in IE with the MathPlayer plugin, and in
> > Amaya (what's that, I
> > > hear you cry!).  Plus there are groups working on
> > it for Opera and WebKit
> > > who just _need a little encouragement_!  Sending
> > them an email saying, "I
> > > love your browser but until it has proper MathML
> > support then I can't use
> > > it" would provide them with a little more
> > motivation.  Of course, there are
> > > bugs in the implementations in Firefox and the others,
> > but those are _known_
> > > and so can be worked around.
> > >
> > > 1. MathML requires documents to be valid XHTML.
> > >
> > >   Actually, this isn't a myth.
> > It's absolutely true.  But surely your
> > > pages were valid to begin with!  I'm a
> > mathematician and my ideal document
> > > is one that _cannot_ be misunderstood.  That's
> > impossible, so I try for the
> > > lesser goal of where any misunderstanding can be laid
> > at the door of the
> > > person reading it rather than me.  MathML, as
> > it's an open standard, allows
> > > me to reach that goal on webpages - at least
> > technically, the contents are
> > > more variable!
> > >
> > > Finally - on this part - for those that _still_ worry
> > about Joe Blogs (or
> > > Ola Nordmann, to be geographically correct) not being
> > able to read your
> > > webpage due to using an old version of IE and refusing
> > to install plugins,
> > > it is actually possible to have two versions of the
> > mathematics on your
> > > server and send MathML to those that can see it and
> > PNGs to those that
> > > can't, thus getting the best of both worlds.
> > >
> > > What about implementation?  Well, there you're in
> > luck.  [iTeX](
> > >
http://golem.ph.utexas.edu/~distler/blog/itex2MML.html<http://golem.ph.utexa
s.edu/%7Edistler/blog/itex2MML.html>
> <http://golem.ph.utexas.edu/%7Edistler/blog/itex2MML.html>)
> > > can do it all, and in spades.  iTeX is a fast c++
> > program that converts a
> > > subset of LaTeX mathematical language into
> > MathML.  The original package
> > > comes with bindings for ruby, and I've extended this
> > to PHP, Perl, and
> > > Python.  By combining it with other packages, in
> > particular [svgmath](
> > > http://grigoriev.ru/svgmath/) or [gtkmathview](
> > > http://helm.cs.unibo.it/mml-widget/), it
> > is possible to further convert
> > > the MathML to an image for broken browsers.
> > (Contact me for these
> > > extensions; I haven't gotten round to writing them up
> > yet - it's on my TODO
> > > list!)
> > >
> > > For examples, see the [nlab](http://ncatlab.org) (pure MathML) and the
> > >
[nforum](http://www.math.ntnu.no/~stacey/Vanilla/nForum<http://www.math.ntnu
.no/%7Estacey/Vanilla/nForum>
> <http://www.math.ntnu.no/%7Estacey/Vanilla/nForum>)
> > > (MathML, SVG, or PNG depending on what browser you are
> > using).
> > >
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > Blindmath mailing list
> > > Blindmath at nfbnet.org
> > > http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/blindmath_nfbnet.org
> > > To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your
> > account info for
> > > Blindmath:
> > >
> > >
>
http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/options/blindmath_nfbnet.org/neils%40dessci.co
m
> > >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Blindmath mailing list
> > Blindmath at nfbnet.org
> > http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/blindmath_nfbnet.org
> > To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your
> > account info for Blindmath:
> >
>
http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/options/blindmath_nfbnet.org/r_akshi_tgk%40yah
oo.com
> >
>
>
>
>

------------------------------

_______________________________________________
Blindmath mailing list
Blindmath at nfbnet.org
http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/blindmath_nfbnet.org

End of Blindmath Digest, Vol 48, Issue 18
*****************************************