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Re: Math in the Page Authoring Guidelines

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@access.digex.net>
Date: Wed, 9 Dec 1998 14:42:53 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <199812091942.OAA05811@access5.digex.net>
To: gardner@physics.orst.edu (John Gardner)
Cc: jongund@staff.uiuc.edu, nir@nirdagan.com, w3c-wai-gl@w3.org, raman@adobe.com, gardner@physics.orst.edu
The expression complexity of visual symbolic language for
mathematics breaks the complexity management guidelines for
spoken information.  I see a lot of equations in print with too
many productions in them to be spoken comprehensibly in one
sentence.  It's like one needs to sic a composition teacher on
them and get the argument restated as a sequence of shorter
sentences.

Another way to state this is: "Here is another domain, like
translating programs between programming languages, where a
purely syntactic transformation may yield less-than-desirable
results."

The risk associated with expression complexity is greater in
speech than in print.  Loss of tracking kicks in at a lower
expression complexity.  Articulating some mathematical utterance
as speech may work better if a whole article is compiled, and not
just the text (including math symbol structures) transliterated.

The shape of the compile process would be something like a) build
a knowledge base from the whole article including symbolic
exhibits and verbal voice-over b) segment it into feasible verbal
paragraphs for readout from the knowledge base, c) code-generate
the latter into fluent verbal language.  Or tolerable.

Al
Received on Wednesday, 9 December 1998 14:43:05 GMT

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