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RE: Larry's Speakeasy, MathSpeak and Math on the Web.

From: Jimmy Cerra <jimbofc@yahoo.com>
Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2002 15:48:55 -0400
To: "'Michael Bowen'" <fizzbowen@mindspring.com>, <www-math@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000901c1e57f$c1f76db0$0100a8c0@locutus>
Mr. Bowen,

> You probably already know this, but there exists at least one document (I
> believe it's the Handbook of Spoken Mathematics, sometimes informally referred
> to as "Larry's Speakeasy") that describes a standard way of reading
> mathematical expressions in an unambiguous manner.

Well I'm not yet a professional, and I didn't know about that book!  I did some
searching on the internet, but I could not find an online copy.  :(


> ...but can give reference and publication data (offline) to anyone that is
> interested, given some time to locate it. This should be helpful to anyone
> considering writing an audio rendering agent for mathematics, or a mathematics
> add-on to an existing HTML audio rendering agent.

Yes yes yes, I agree (for a change :).  What are those references (off to the
library for me)!


> The Handbook is routinely used by organizations such as Recording for the
> Blind and Dyslexic that translate written textbooks into spoken language.

Like I said before, I couldn't find an online version of Larry's Speakeasy, but
I did come across something similar: MATHSPEAK
(http://www.rit.edu/~easi/easisem/talkmath.htm).  I haven't had time to read and
think about it in depth, but I find the similarities between MATHSPEAK and
MathML (especially MML-Presentation) remarkable.  Is that language one of the
influences in our favorite W3C recommendation for math on the web?

I'm definitely going to read more on MATHSPEAK and perhaps build a translator
from MathML to MATHSPEAK (for experience in the project I'm working one).

---
Jimmy Cerra




-----Original Message-----
From: www-math-request@w3.org [mailto:www-math-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of
Michael Bowen
Sent: Tuesday, April 16, 2002 1:57 AM
To: www-math@w3.org
Subject: RE: MathML-Presentation specs criticized.

At 18:46 2002/04/15, Jimmy Cerra wrote:

>To be a universal mathematics data format, there must be a single way to
>encode the meaning of the equation while also allowing for multiple
>layouts.  Paradoxically, the layout is part of the content, so the
>presentation language should allow multiple layouts of the same code.
>
>(Here's a good (I hope) example.  Visual rendering agents might style an
>mfrac element as two rows separated by a bar.  However, a blind person's
>audio rendering agent might style the mfrac element by saying the
>(insert natural language here) translation of the numerator + "over" +
>the denominator.  The blind person would be confused if it was rendered
>as the numerator + "1 pixel solid bar" + denominator.)

You probably already know this, but there exists at least one document (I
believe it's the Handbook of Spoken Mathematics, sometimes informally
referred to as "Larry's Speakeasy") that describes a standard way of
reading mathematical expressions in an unambiguous manner. The Handbook is
routinely used by organizations such as Recording for the Blind and
Dyslexic that translate written textbooks into spoken language. I don't
have a copy of this useful publication with me, but can give reference and
publication data (offline) to anyone that is interested, given some time to
locate it. This should be helpful to anyone considering writing an audio
rendering agent for mathematics, or a mathematics add-on to an existing
HTML audio rendering agent.
Received on Tuesday, 16 April 2002 15:48:58 GMT

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