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Re: Comment on WAI-ARIA Role

From: Richard Schwerdtfeger <schwer@us.ibm.com>
Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2008 13:27:49 -0600
To: Richard Schwerdtfeger <schwer@us.ibm.com>
Cc: "Neil Soiffer" <Neils@dessci.com>, neil.soiffer@gmail.com, public-pfwg-comments@w3.org, w3c-wai-pf@w3.org, w3c-wai-pf-request@w3.org
Message-ID: <OFBACC5C23.9928AE65-ON862573FB.006ACF37-862573FB.006AEB2D@us.ibm.com>

Taking this one more step, The browser knows the media type and could
convey that information through the accessibility API. You could still use
EQUATION for both an image and MathML.


Rich Schwerdtfeger
Distinguished Engineer, SWG Accessibility Architect/Strategist
Chair, IBM Accessibility Architecture Review  Board
blog: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/page/schwer


                                                                           
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                                       Re: Comment on WAI-ARIA Role        
                                                                           
                                                                           
                                                                           
                                                                           
                                                                           
                                                                           




Hi Neil,

That is super - and something concrete. So, a plug-in potentially could
process the image. If we put it in, would you be willing to write us a best
practices section on it - even if it is not in full detail?

Rich


Rich Schwerdtfeger
Distinguished Engineer, SWG Accessibility Architect/Strategist
Chair, IBM Accessibility Architecture Review Board
blog: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/page/schwer
Inactive hide details for "Neil Soiffer" <Neils@dessci.com>"Neil Soiffer"
<Neils@dessci.com>

                                                                           
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                                             Re: Comment on WAI-ARIA Role  
                                                                           
                                                                           
                                                                           
                                                                           
                                                                           
                                                                           



We have been doing some experiments, but don't have a product for it.
However, MathType 6 does allow you to copy images from sources like
wikipedia which contain TeX and paste them into MathType. It recognizes
that the TeX and does the conversion to its internal format. So, while not
a web browser solution, there is a proof of concept out there. We have
gotten very positive feedback on this feature (it was added to our latest
release last fall).

Neil Soiffer
Senior Scientist
Design Science, Inc.
neils@dessci.com
www.dessci.com.
~ Makers of Equation Editor, MathType, MathPlayer and MathFlow ~


On Sun, Feb 24, 2008 at 2:23 PM, Richard Schwerdtfeger <schwer@us.ibm.com>
wrote:

      Hi Neil,

      Thank you for the request. WAI-ARIA 1.0 is very close to last call
      and we are trying to lock it down. Also, one of our key
      implementations, Firefox 3, is close to being locked down. So, we
      will discuss this but at this point it is very unlikely we can get
      this into 1.0. Also, if we were to add a new role there are a number
      of people waiting in the wings that would like to be considered and
      this would open up the flood gates.

      We have talked about the follow-on for 1.0 and we have been talking
      about extensibility for that. Is there a math handler that can do
      math interpretation from an image?

      I have to ask though: Would it not be better to create a taxonomy for
      Math than simply calling something a Math object type?

      Rich


      Rich Schwerdtfeger
      Distinguished Engineer, SWG Accessibility Architect/Strategist
      Chair, IBM Accessibility Architecture Review Board
      blog: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/page/schwer
                                                                           
 "Neil Soiffer" <?                                                         
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                                          Comment on WAI-ARIA Role         
                                                                           
                                                                           
                                                                           
                                                                           
                                                                           
                                                                           
                                                                           





      I work for Design Science, which is a W3C member. I am a member of
      the MathML Working Group and have been since its inception. I am also
      chair of the DAISY/Math Working Group. That WG developed a spec that
      added MathML to DAISY; it was approved about a year ago. Our company
      developed MathPlayer, the standard "plug-in" for IE to display MathML
      both visually and aurally. MathPlayer works with JAWS, Window-Eyes,
      TextHELP, and other AT to make math encoded with MathML accessible.
      It is capable of generating speech, synchronized highlighting, and
      braille from the MathML.

      I have a request for an additional "role" to further support math
      accessibility. First, some context...

      Because of browser implementation issues, MathML adoption has not
      been as widespread as it should otherwise be. A lot of people/sites,
      including wikipedia, still use images for math. However, the images
      often include alt text or embedded comments that could be used to
      make the image accessible. An idea that Design Science has been
      thinking about is writing JavaScript that grabs the alt text or
      embedded comments and provides some level of accessibility. For
      example, if the image contains embedded MathML and MathPlayer was
      installed, then the javascript could rewrite the page as one
      containing MathML and MathPlayer could take over display and
      interaction with AT. If MathPlayer wasn't installed (for example,
      someone is running Firefox on Linux), the JavaScript could still do
      the translation of MathML to speech and braille. It wouldn't be able
      to magnify or sync highlight. If TeX or some other known format was
      found, the JavaScript could translate it to MathML and then make it
      accessible.

      The same JavaScript accessibility issues arise with this idea as with
      other JavaScript -- AT doesn't know about the JavaScript and doesn't
      know that the image (or div/span for JSMath) is really math. If it
      did know, then it could call on our interfaces (or eventually some
      standard expert handler interface) and get an appropriate string to
      speak or string to send to the braille display (math has it own
      braille codes and they are not identical to what is spoken).

      Now for the suggestion... ARIA should have a way to say 'this element
      is actually math'. My non-expert suggestion for how to do this would
      be to add a "math" role to the list of known roles. 'math' would be
      similar to 'grid' in that it represents document structure and
      contains other elements. Ideally, an extensible mechanism would be
      desirable, but math is an obvious case that maps onto an existing W3C
      standard and would enhance existing pages that don't use MathML.

      As a real life example from Wikipedia [
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nth_root], the first image in the XHTML
      could potentially be made accessible if AT knew about it by adding a
      role attribute as
      <img class="tex" alt="\sqrt[n]{a}" role="math" src="
      http://upload.wikimedia.org/math/9/a/2/9a2b6d33f3d62a1e8bd99c76f3cb79f5.png.
      ">

      [Note: the alt text is present on the Wikipedia page. The TeX was
      used to generate the image in the first place]

      Adding role="math" says that the alt text or comments in the image
      contains information that can be used for accessibility purposes. It
      alerts AT software so that they can call on some expert math handler
      to get information about how to handle the element.

      Neil Soiffer
      Senior Scientist
      Design Science, Inc.
      neils@dessci.com
      www.dessci.com.
      ~ Makers of Equation Editor, MathType, MathPlayer and MathFlow ~








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Received on Tuesday, 26 February 2008 19:28:08 GMT

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