[Blindmath] Reading and Writing Math

John J. Boyer john.boyer at abilitiessoft.com
Sat Apr 14 10:53:24 CDT 2012


Naturally, I am also very much interested in a Braille implementation. 
Math with 8 dot Braille sounds interesting. This code might also be used 
in BrailleBlaster to replace the current plan of having a default math 
entry mode in something close to LaTex. 

John B.

On Sat, Apr 14, 2012 at 03:34:59PM +0000, Birkir Gunarsson wrote:
> John
> 
> Brilliant piece of work. I am reviewing it.
> I'd be happy to alpha test (not that I am a math genius, but I am
> currently working on an Icelandic translation of MathPlayer with a
> math PHD guy, who has gotten very interested in spoken math as a
> result, and would be a very good sounding board for this notation in
> my opinion).
> I'd also be happy to broadcast this work through my position within
> the European Blind Union (on their Access to Technology Committee, and
> write a few articles for them), for what it is worth, which may not be
> much.
> So are you actively working with Neil and Design Science to have this
> notation work out-of-the-box with MathType's LaTeX set of translators
> already, or is that something you are planning to do?
> I have always believed in the power of 8-dot braille when it comes to
> math, sadly with very very few supporters, apart from yourself. I am
> glad to see things are moving on this front. Having 255 different
> patterns vs 63 (leaving out the widespace) just offers so many more
> possibilities and helps eliminate all the difficulties of mapping a
> print math character or notation to multiple braille symbols and back,
> something that is a significant shortcoming, in my view, of all the
> major braille math notations.
> -B
> 
> On 4/14/12, John Gardner <john.gardner at orst.edu> wrote:
> > Hello Ryan, the translators are written in Python, simply because it is the
> > only language I know well enough.  It could certainly be written in other
> > languages, but if in Javascript, it probably needs to be optimized lots
> > better than I could do it.   I'm no software engineer for sure.
> >
> > John
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org] On
> > Behalf Of Ryan Hemphill
> > Sent: Friday, April 13, 2012 5:09 PM
> > To: john.gardner at orst.edu; Blind Math list for those interested in
> > mathematics
> > Cc: Brad Momberger
> > Subject: Re: [Blindmath] Reading and Writing Math
> >
> > This is very interesting.
> >
> > As I stated on this board upon getting in, I am working on a Browser/Screen
> > Reader/Platform (Win/Mac) compatible reader that also translates into
> > Braille (unicode).  While I like your idea, do you plan on providing any
> > open source that will do your translation in JavaScript?  If so, we could
> > consider eventually dove-tailing your work into our product at some point
> > and would be happy to give it a shot.
> >
> > Ryan
> >
> > On Fri, Apr 13, 2012 at 2:54 PM, John Gardner <john.gardner at orst.edu> wrote:
> >
> >> Hello all, sorry to be slow in joining the recent threads on
> >> reading/writing math -I've been travelling.  In my view, the
> >> fundamental difficulty in "making math accessible" is that there is no
> >> compact user-friendly linear format for doing so.  Latex is widely
> >> used but is certainly not compact, and MathML is nearly impossible to
> >> read/write in raw form.  A good braille math code may be great for
> >> reading math (provided of course you are one of that small minority
> >> who can read it) but all current codes are too fragile to use for
> >> authoring.  After years of talking about this problem, I have finally
> >> decided to try to do something about it.  I call it LEAN Math. LEAN is
> >> actually an acronym for Linear Editing and Authoring Notation.
> >>
> >> In essence LEAN defines a set of special unicode characters for
> >> special things like start-fraction, middle-of-fraction, end-fraction,
> >> sub-, super-, under-, over-script indicators, etc.  One can view it as
> >> a very compact form of Latex or MathML.  It is inspired by Triangle
> >> and Lambda notations but fully unicode based.  I have written a MathML
> >> to LEAN and LEAN to MathML translator and, and it is possible now to
> >> display and author anything that can be written in MathML 3.0
> >> (presentation format only for now).
> >>
> >> When fully debugged, the LEAN system will be introduced first in
> >> combination with MathType in MS Word as a fully audio-accessible
> >> reader/editor.  I intend to make it available within a few months.
> >> And it will be free and open source.  Presently  it is useful only in
> >> audio, but one could develop 8-dot braille notation that makes it
> >> braille accessible too.
> >>
> >> I am writing a paper on LEAN that will be available in preprint form
> >> within a couple of weeks.  I hope that some people on this list will
> >> be willing to have an early look at this new notation and provide
> >> feedback before the paper is submitted.  It sure would be good to get
> >> the notation right at the very start!  You can find a zip file at
> >> http://www.access2science.com/mathml/LEANMath.zip that contains a Word
> >> file with explanations, a Windows font, and screen reader speak files
> >> for Window-Eyes and NVDA.  I'll be happy to make a Jaws file if
> >> somebody can tell me the location of the speak file in Jaws.  I'll be
> >> looking for alpha testers of the translator soon as well, but I still
> >> have some polishing and debugging to do first.
> >>
> >> John Gardner
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
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> >>
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> >
> >
> >
> > Shipping is a Feature...Perhaps the Most Important Feature.
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-- 
John J. Boyer; President, Chief Software Developer
Abilitiessoft, Inc.
http://www.abilitiessoft.com
Madison, Wisconsin USA
Developing software for people with disabilities





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