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RE: Thorny one - representing greek letters and formulae in an english page

From: Lloyd G. Rasmussen <lras@loc.gov>
Date: Fri, 08 Feb 2002 16:52:10 -0500
Message-Id: <3.0.5.32.20020208165210.008634f0@sun8.LOC.GOV>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
It works just fine in Lynx, IE 5.5 and HPR 3.02 as long as you do the
entities properly, as 
&#99;&#97;&#116;.  
  I would expect to get sigma and Sigma right, but I don't think anything
available today can say "sum of" or "the summation from i=0 to n of".  But
this problem is being prodded from several directions, and I would expect
some working solutions within the next 5 or 10 years, if not sooner.  Right
now, people have to poke around in the equations with inadequate tools, and
much of the time those equations are written in PDF.  Up with MathML!  Down
with glyphs!

At 08:32 PM 2/8/02 -0000, you wrote:
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>> Why? To what end? That is the question you always need to start
>> with. What is the purpose of these greek letters?
>
>Agreed. I'm not sure of the answer for all possible scenarios, but
>Greek should be written in Greek, using either Unicode or a standard
>Greek character set (if only because writing large amounts any other
>way will drive you mad, so you'd need to write something to
>transliterate for you).
>
>If you do use entities be aware that some of the mathematical symbols
>are not the same entities as the Greek letters that share the same
>glyph, e.g. &Sigma; is a capital sigma, but &sum; is a sum, even
>though they normally look the same.
>
>In theory at least (and perhaps someone can fill us in on the
>practice) screen readers could pronounce &Sigma; "sigma" or "capital
>sigma" if standing alone, or as part of a Greek word. &sum; would be
>pronounced "sum of" or "sum".
>
>Out of interest, could someone tell me if all screen-readers
>pronounce "&99;&97;&116;" as "cat"?
>
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Braille is the solution to the digital divide.
Lloyd Rasmussen, Senior Staff Engineer
National Library Service f/t Blind and Physically Handicapped
Library of Congress    (202) 707-0535  <lras@loc.gov>
<http://www.loc.gov/nls>
HOME:  <lras@sprynet.com>       <http://lras.home.sprynet.com>
Received on Friday, 8 February 2002 16:51:13 GMT

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