[Blindmath] FW: Recent posts from Design Science News

Lewicki, Maureen mlewicki at bcsd.neric.org
Thu Oct 10 12:41:24 UTC 2013

Your thoughts, Folks? I am not familiar with this but it sounds like bad news for accessibility

Maureen Murphy Lewicki
Maureen Murphy Lewicki
Teacher of Visually Impaired
Bethlehem Central School
332 Kenwood AvenueDelmar, NY 12054
(518) 439-7460
Fax (518) 475-0092
"The real problem of blindness is not the loss of eyesight.  The
real problem is the misunderstanding and lack of education that
exists.  If a blind person has the proper training and
opportunity, blindness can be reduced to a mere physical
nuisance."Kenneth Jernigan

From: Weinstock, Gwen
Sent: Thursday, October 10, 2013 8:38 AM
To: Lewicki, Maureen
Subject: FW: Recent posts from Design Science News

From: noreply+feedproxy at google.com<mailto:noreply+feedproxy at google.com> [noreply+feedproxy at google.com] on behalf of Design Science News [newsblog at dessci.com]
Sent: Thursday, October 10, 2013 8:13 AM
To: Weinstock, Gwen
Subject: Recent posts from Design Science News
Recent posts from Design Science News<http://news.dessci.com/>

[Link to Design Science News]  <http://news.dessci.com/>


Microsoft cripples the display of math in IE10 & 11<http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DesignScienceNews/~3/6nqx-VpbPgg/microsoft-cripples-display-math-ie10-11.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email>

Posted: 09 Oct 2013 09:25 AM PDT
[IeNoMathml] <http://designscience.typepad.com/.a/6a00e54f0d27e28834019affe1def0970c-pi> For the past 12 years, IE users have benefited from our free MathPlayer plugin<http://www.dessci.com/en/products/mathplayer/> to display and speak math on the web. MathPlayer has been downloaded over a million times and billions of expressions have been rendered by it on the web. Additionally, tens of million expressions have been spoken allowing people with disabilities from dyslexia to blindness to get access to math. However, MathPlayer cannot be made to work with IE 10 or IE11 until Microsoft decides it is worth their attention.

Until they address the problems, it means an end to accessible math in IE -- IE goes from being the best solution for math accessibility to having no math accessibility. It also means that websites that deliver math need to use the JavaScript-based MathJax<http://www.mathjax.org> solution if the math is going to render in IE. MathJax is a great solution and works with MathPlayer now, but without MathPlayer, the display is many times slower than if MathPlayer is used. So with every page containing math that you view, you are paying a price for the lack of MathML support in IE.

Why MathPlayer doesn't work in IE10 and IE11

We wish we could make MathPlayer work with IE10 and IE11, but we can't. A half a year ago when we released MathPlayer 3, IE10 simply had too many bugs for us to be able to say MathPlayer worked with it. A recent update to IE10 fixed a number of bugs so that MathPlayer now works tantalizingly well except that math inside of a span or table causes IE10 to crash. The crash is in IE10, not MathPlayer -- earlier versions of IE work well with the same MathPlayer code. Unfortunately, these two cases occur quite often, so MathPlayer isn't usable in IE10. Microsoft is aware of the bug but indicated that fixing the problem was not a priority for them.

There is a different reason why we can't make MathPlayer work with IE11: Microsoft disabled the plug-in technology MathPlayer uses to display math in IE called a binary behavior. Behaviors allow third party developers to extend the capabilities of the browser. It is a powerful idea, but unfortunately Microsoft disabled support for binary behaviors<http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ie/bg182625%28v=vs.85%29.aspx#legacyAPIs>.

What can you do?

If math and accessible math on the web is important to you, make some noise! Write a blog post, share this story with your friends and colleagues, contact Microsoft directly and get your friends and colleagues to do so also. If they get enough direct feedback from customers - not other software developers, they will hopefully give this matter the attention it deserves. You can report Internet Explorer issues directly to them at http://connect.microsoft.com/IE. If you can contact their Technical Support Staff by telephone your report will carry even more weight. You can contact Microsoft Technical Support at (800) 936-5700.

In the meantime, if you need math accessibility or don't want to wait extra time for pages to display math, don't upgrade to IE10 or IE11. That also means not upgrading to Windows 8.x because Windows 8.x only supports IE10 and IE11.

With your help, we hope that IE returns to being the best browser for viewing math.

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