[Blindmath] Specification for MathML to speech text (and aside on YAML)

J.Fine j.fine at open.ac.uk
Wed May 4 11:51:05 CDT 2011


First, thank you for discussing what makes good speech text for mathematics.  I'm now in the middle of writing a specification, which has two main parts.  The first is examples of good speech text.  The second is MathML which should generate this speech text.  They correspond to user and technical requirement respectively, of course.

I'm using the concept of verbose and concise speech text.  For example, x SubGroup i EndSubGroup is verbose speech text, while x Sub i is concise speech text.  Finding examples and rules for concise speech text will require experience and judgement, of course.  And they will depend on the user and the computing context.  So please forgive me if I get it wrong.

My work is open source (courtesy of my employer, the Open University) and is available on bitbucket at

By the way the bitbucket pages don't have a skip to main content link, and a lot of navigation at the top.

As an aside, I've used YAML to markup the examples.  Here's some YAML data

  name: simple-subscript
  verbose: x SubGroup i EndSubGroup
  concise: x Sub i
  data: |
    .mi x
    .mi i

To me it seems that YAML could be fairly accessible to screen reader users.  But my opinion is not important, as I'm sighted.  Finally, here's a link to the YAML wikipedia page

Best regards

Dr Jonathan Fine
Technical Developer (LTS)
Tel 01908 6 59891
Email: J.Fine at open.ac.uk

The Open University is incorporated by Royal Charter (RC 000391), an exempt charity in England & Wales and a charity registered in Scotland (SC 038302).

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