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

From: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Date: Sat, 9 Feb 2002 11:50:35 +0000 (GMT)
Message-Id: <200202091150.g19BoZY25115@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> One of our accessibility-course delegates has come up with something =
> that has me stumped at this stage:  they want to represent greek letters =

For heavy maths, I think I would suggest the current best approach
would be to author in TeX  or eqn/troff formats and provide both
source and PDF versions.  These are mark up languages that are designed
for maths, if reasonably laid out, will degrade to plain text in the
same way that HTML does (HTML seems to have been influenced by them
in some ways).

(I suspect that they are actually less noisy than Math-ML when treated
as plain text.)

If HTML is mandated, for heavy maths, I would suggest capturing an
image of the relevant part of the PDF page and including the TeX or
eqn source as alt text, although one might consider using the Greek
entities, rather than the original names for those characters.

I suspect that, even if Math-ML gets widespread support in visual
browsers, it will not be supported in assistive technology except as
raw XML.  While it may make machine processing and scaleable visual
presentation easier, it may not have much impact on accessiblity.

Of course, if browsers implemented HTML 4, you could start with 
a MATH-ML <object>, fallback to a TeX <object>, fallback to a GIF <object>,
and finally fall back to "plain" text.
Received on Saturday, 9 February 2002 10:40:28 UTC

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