[nobe-l] Fwd:Reading and Writing Math

David Andrews dandrews at visi.com
Sun Apr 15 19:33:02 UTC 2012

>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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