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Mathematics-related checkpoints

From: Jason White <jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.EDU.AU>
Date: Wed, 20 Jan 1999 14:00:29 +1100 (AEDT)
To: WAI Markup Guidelines <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.SUN.3.95.990120134632.691A-100000@ariel.ucs.unimelb.EDU.AU>
I have not reviewed the guidelines to establish where these checkpoints
would best fit, but the following suggestions come to mind in respect of
mathematical content:

1. When browsers provide support for viewing and processing it, use MathML
to represent mathematical expressions occurring in a document.

2. Until MathML is supported by browsers, images may be used to represent
mathematical content, so long as alternative text providing an ASCII
representation of the mathematics is supplied.

In the Techniques document, an example could be given of the latter
method, adopting the ASCII representation used in Donald E. Knuth's TeX
typesetting system. Rationale: an ASCII version can be read by today's
assistive technologies. Query whether there are characters in Unicode that
could be used in ALT text to represent the mathematical symbols and
whether these would provide a better interim solution (I suspect that they
would not be supported by current assistive technologies and that we will
need to fall back upon straightforward ASCII as mentioned above).

The two proposed checkpoints are modeled on the provisions related to
style sheets and the legacy problem associated with the use of tables for
layout purposes.
Received on Tuesday, 19 January 1999 22:00:36 UTC

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