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RE: [mediaqueries] MathML

From: Paul Topping <pault@dessci.com>
Date: Wed, 5 Oct 2016 15:55:50 +0000
To: Florian Rivoal <florian@rivoal.net>
CC: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>, Avneesh Singh <avneesh.sg@gmail.com>, www-style list <www-style@w3.org>, "W3C Digital Publishing IG" <public-digipub-ig@w3.org>, Peter Krautzberger <peter.krautzberger@mathjax.org>
Message-ID: <B6C5B1ABA88AF446821B281774E6DB71B77C6368@FERMAT.corp.dessci>
True enough. I had the wrong idea about media queries and went off target. Sorry about that.

Still, I argue against MathML being excluded in pretty much any web mechanism on principle. Making knowledge available to computational processes is always preferred as it is hard to know ahead of time to what use such knowledge will be put. When considering whether or not to expose some UA capability or property via MQ, the criteria should be that it is well-defined and an important aspect of the UA. I'll admit that MathML has some challenges in terms of being well-defined with its implementation in UAs being so variable and the MathML spec so complex and open to interpretation, but I'm sure they can be solved. Given a suitable definition of "UA implements MathML", there should be no question that it exposes an important UA characteristic. Since MathML is part of HTML5, it could be argued that it should have an MQ even if all UAs report no implementation using it.

Paul

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Florian Rivoal [mailto:florian@rivoal.net]
> Sent: Tuesday, October 04, 2016 4:46 PM
> To: Paul Topping <pault@dessci.com>
> Cc: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>; Avneesh Singh
> <avneesh.sg@gmail.com>; www-style list <www-style@w3.org>; W3C Digital
> Publishing IG <public-digipub-ig@w3.org>; Peter Krautzberger
> <peter.krautzberger@mathjax.org>
> Subject: Re: [mediaqueries] MathML
> 
> 
> > On Oct 5, 2016, at 03:36, Paul Topping <pault@dessci.com> wrote:
> >
> > Except when the person using the UA needs math accessibility.
> Accessibility requires that the rendering be customized for the individual. The
> text to be spoken for a mathematical expression is different for a student
> learning math than for a scientist who already understands the math. This is
> mostly easily achieved via client-side implementation, though it is technically
> feasible to implement such a feature at the server with perhaps degradation
> in quality and higher latency. Since the user has to navigate around the math,
> latency is a particular issue. For practical reasons, delivering MathML to the
> UA works best. Finally, this is a classic chicken-and-egg problem. Publishers
> want to deliver MathML but, as most are in education, they also have to
> serve all users and can't usually dictate the user's browser.
> 
> Fair enough, but you absolutely do not need a media query to do that. A
> media query lets you, on the client side, decide what CSS to apply based on
> the capabilities of the reading device / browser.
> 
> If you want to ship MathML and make it accessible to the screen readers, you
> can just do it. No need to query about the capabilities of the reading device.
> 
>  - Florian
Received on Wednesday, 5 October 2016 15:56:46 UTC

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