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RE: Active lobbying: Math

From: Bill Kasdorf <bkasdorf@apexcovantage.com>
Date: Fri, 21 Aug 2015 17:54:44 +0000
To: Julie Noblitt <julien@benetech.org>, Charles LaPierre <charlesl@benetech.org>
CC: "Belfanti, Paul" <paul.belfanti@pearson.com>, Deborah Kaplan <dkaplan@safaribooksonline.com>, Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org>, "W3C Digital Publishing IG" <public-digipub-ig@w3.org>, Anh Bui <anhb@benetech.org>
Message-ID: <CO2PR06MB5723B6042046F9DCF5C7BEADF650@CO2PR06MB572.namprd06.prod.outlook.com>
Thanks, Julie! That is GREAT, to get that kind of concrete—and especially credible, coming from O'Reilly—data.

Speaking of the tagline, I have been thinking along these lines for relating to the Suits:

"MathML. Do the math."

Feel free to modify that to "MathML Cloud. Do the Math." ;-) Unless that's so obvious that you're already using that!


From: Julie Noblitt [mailto:julien@benetech.org]
Sent: Friday, August 21, 2015 12:50 PM
To: Charles LaPierre; Bill Kasdorf
Cc: Belfanti, Paul; Deborah Kaplan; Ivan Herman; W3C Digital Publishing IG; Anh Bui
Subject: Re: Active lobbying: Math

Bill, so well said -- love that tagline! It has to make economic sense, and we have evidence that it can. We have been working with O'Reilly Media on their implementation of MathML Cloud, and their director of publishing technology told us that their Illustration team cleans up all author-supplied artwork during book production, with math equation image production being an extension of that work. After they integrated MathML Cloud into their workflow, that image generation was automated (along with generation of associated descriptions and MathML) -- it has resulted in a savings of 5-10 hours of work per book for math-heavy titles.


Julie Noblitt
Community Manager, The DIAGRAM Center
Mon-Th: 650-352-1092

Follow us on Twitter: @DIAGRAMC

From: Charles LaPierre
Sent: Friday, August 21, 2015 9:17 AM
To: Bill Kasdorf
Cc: Belfanti, Paul; Deborah Kaplan; Ivan Herman; W3C Digital Publishing IG; Anh Bui; Julie Noblitt
Subject: Re: Active lobbying: Math

Well said Bill!!


Charles LaPierre

On Aug 21, 2015, at 8:51 AM, Bill Kasdorf <bkasdorf@apexcovantage.com<mailto:bkasdorf@apexcovantage.com>> wrote:


Picking up on both Paul's comment—"signal their intent to publish content in these standards _at volume_"—and Ivan's—"after all we are all geeks and not suits"—clearly we need a SUITS FOR MATHML movement!!! ;-)

Seriously, though. . . . It is so easy for the suits to say "yeah, of course the geeks want this, the geeks want everything. I've got a business to run."

Suits need numbers. Preferably preceded by glyphs like $, €, £, ¥, etc.

I'm not saying that will be easy to come up with. But here's an anecdote from my personal experience:

--I have always been an advocate of MathML. But I'm an idealist and standards maven.

--Ditto for accessibility.

--Even so, when I was asked to lead the AAP EPUB 3 Implementation work a year or two ago, I have to admit I was surprised and puzzled to see MathML keep rising to the top of the priorities. "Really?" I thought. "How many publishers even publish math?" [Note that my reaction was more suit-like than geek-like. So now you know that the reason you more often see me in a suit than a t-shirt. In fact I can pretty much guarantee you've never seen me in a t-shirt.]

--So in my work with that AAP initiative, I was talking to a key guy at the American Printing House for the Blind, who put some numbers, with one of those glyphs in front of them, in front of me. "Bill, when a student in a class needs a math book, it can take six months and $50,000 to get that book accessible for her. [A legal obligation, btw.] By which time the class is over. If the math in that book had been MathML it would have cost a small fraction of that and we could have gotten the book to her quickly. There are hundreds of books like that."

--"Shit!!!" I thought. "Now I get it!"

Of course now we are off in an even more remote corner of the world, from the suit's point of view: a book _with math_ for a tiny percent of the potential readers of that book. And the suits that are exposed to the legal liability are not the Publisher Suits, they're the University Suits.

That's the challenge we have. I am not trying to be Debby Downer here; I'd like to be just the opposite.

But for SUITS FOR MATHML to succeed, we need a way to say "this makes business sense, it's costing money and creating a dangerous legal liability to not have this problem solved, and I am going to [in Paul's words] make MathML available in volume [in the case of Publisher Suits; or] I am going to make a commitment of staff and resources to help solve this problem [in the case of University Suits] if I can see that this problem is being adequately addressed by the industry."
We need to move beyond shame and conscience, unfortunately. That hasn't worked. So again, to +1 Paul and Ivan, we need to get commitments, and we need to get those commitments from the suits.

--Bill Kasdorf

From: Belfanti, Paul [mailto:paul.belfanti@pearson.com]
Sent: Friday, August 21, 2015 10:25 AM
To: Deborah Kaplan
Cc: Ivan Herman; W3C Digital Publishing IG
Subject: Re: Active lobbying: Math

I think one important step would be for a broad range of stakeholders to issue joint public statements in support of MathML and EDUPUB and signal their intent to publish content in these standards at volume. This will create both business certainty and opportunity for those who can properly play/display this content and create competitive dynamic to support rich, accessible content.

Paul Belfanti
Director, Content Architecture
Core Platforms & Enterprise Architecture
office: +1 201-236-7746
mobile: +1 201-783-4884

On Fri, Aug 21, 2015 at 9:46 AM, Deborah Kaplan <dkaplan@safaribooksonline.com<mailto:dkaplan@safaribooksonline.com>> wrote:
On Fri, 21 Aug 2015, Ivan Herman wrote:
Yes, if we can actively lobby, with the weight of the publishing market behind us, to have browser vendors implement a particular feature, that would be a win. For everybody. And that should indeed be the topic of our discussions, too.

(see changed subject line)

I am hijacking this thread because of this comment by Ivan. This is great to hear that you feel this way, Ivan. And in that case, given that it is a truth universally acknowledged in this IG that native browser and reading system support for MathML would be a big win for the publishing sector, how would we go about designing and presenting that case, and then going on to actively lobby for the vendors to implement it?


Received on Friday, 21 August 2015 17:55:24 UTC

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