[Blindmath] Displaying Math in IE 10 and 11

David Andrews dandrews at visi.com
Mon Oct 14 16:37:36 UTC 2013

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cripples the display of math in IE10 & 11

Posted: 09 Oct 2013 09:25 AM PDT
For the past 12 years, IE users have benefited
from our free
plugin 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 <http://www.mathjax.org>MathJax
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

disabled support for binary behaviors.

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
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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