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Re: Comment on WAI-ARIA Role

From: Richard Schwerdtfeger <schwer@us.ibm.com>
Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2008 13:21:10 -0600
To: "Neil Soiffer" <Neils@dessci.com>
Cc: neil.soiffer@gmail.com, public-pfwg-comments@w3.org, w3c-wai-pf@w3.org, w3c-wai-pf-request@w3.org
Message-ID: <OF78BC627F.F7859A4A-ON862573FB.006A27DC-862573FB.006A4F2A@us.ibm.com>

Hi Neil,

That is super - and something concrete. So, a plug-in potentially could
process the image. If we put it in, would you be willing to write us a best
practices section on it - even if it is not in full detail?

Rich


Rich Schwerdtfeger
Distinguished Engineer, SWG Accessibility Architect/Strategist
Chair, IBM Accessibility Architecture Review  Board
blog: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/page/schwer


                                                                           
             "Neil Soiffer"                                                
             <Neils@dessci.com                                             
             >                                                          To 
             Sent by:                  Richard                             
             neil.soiffer@gmai         Schwerdtfeger/Austin/IBM@IBMUS      
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                                       public-pfwg-comments@w3.org,        
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             02/25/2008 03:34          w3c-wai-pf-request@w3.org           
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                                       Re: Comment on WAI-ARIA Role        
                                                                           
                                                                           
                                                                           
                                                                           
                                                                           
                                                                           




We have been doing some experiments, but don't have a product for it.
However, MathType 6 does allow you to copy images from sources like
wikipedia which contain TeX and paste them into MathType.  It recognizes
that the TeX and does the conversion to its internal format.  So, while not
a web browser solution, there is a proof of concept out there.  We have
gotten very positive feedback on this feature (it was added to our latest
release last fall).

Neil Soiffer
Senior Scientist
Design Science, Inc.
neils@dessci.com
www.dessci.com.
~ Makers of Equation Editor, MathType, MathPlayer and MathFlow ~


On Sun, Feb 24, 2008 at 2:23 PM, Richard Schwerdtfeger <schwer@us.ibm.com>
wrote:

  Hi Neil,

  Thank you for the request. WAI-ARIA 1.0 is very close to last call and we
  are trying to lock it down. Also, one of our key implementations, Firefox
  3, is close to being locked down. So, we will discuss this but at this
  point it is very unlikely we can get this into 1.0. Also, if we were to
  add a new role there are a number of people waiting in the wings that
  would like to be considered and this would open up the flood gates.

  We have talked about the follow-on for 1.0 and we have been talking about
  extensibility for that. Is there a math handler that can do math
  interpretation from an image?

  I have to ask though:  Would it not be better to create a taxonomy for
  Math than simply calling something a Math object type?

  Rich


  Rich Schwerdtfeger
  Distinguished Engineer, SWG Accessibility Architect/Strategist
  Chair, IBM Accessibility Architecture Review  Board
  blog: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/page/schwer

                                                                           
 "Neil Soiffer" <?                                                         
 Neils@dessci.com>                                                         
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                                                                   Subject 
                                             Comment on WAI-ARIA Role      
                                                                           
                                                                           
                                                                           
                                                                           
                                                                           
                                                                           
                                                                           





  I work for Design Science, which is a W3C member.  I am a member of the
  MathML Working Group and have been since its inception.  I am also chair
  of the DAISY/Math Working Group.  That WG developed a spec that added
  MathML to DAISY; it was approved about a year ago.  Our company developed
  MathPlayer, the standard "plug-in" for IE to display MathML both visually
  and aurally.  MathPlayer works with JAWS, Window-Eyes, TextHELP, and
  other AT to make math encoded with MathML accessible.  It is capable of
  generating speech, synchronized highlighting, and braille from the
  MathML.

  I have a request for an additional "role" to further support math
  accessibility.  First, some context...

  Because of browser implementation issues, MathML adoption has not been as
  widespread as it should otherwise be.  A lot of people/sites, including
  wikipedia, still use images for math.  However, the images often include
  alt text or embedded comments that could be used to make the image
  accessible.  An idea that Design Science has been thinking about is
  writing JavaScript that grabs the alt text or embedded comments and
  provides some level of accessibility.  For example, if the image contains
  embedded MathML and MathPlayer was installed, then the javascript could
  rewrite the page as one containing MathML and MathPlayer could take over
  display and interaction with AT.  If MathPlayer wasn't installed (for
  example, someone is running Firefox on Linux), the JavaScript could still
  do the translation of MathML to speech and braille.  It wouldn't be able
  to magnify or sync highlight.  If TeX or some other known format was
  found, the JavaScript could translate it to MathML and then make it
  accessible.

  The same JavaScript accessibility issues arise with this idea as with
  other JavaScript -- AT doesn't know about the JavaScript and doesn't know
  that the image (or div/span for JSMath) is really math.  If it did know,
  then it could call on our interfaces (or eventually some standard expert
  handler interface) and get an appropriate string to speak or string to
  send to the braille display (math has it own braille codes and they are
  not identical to what is spoken).

  Now for the suggestion...  ARIA should have a way to say 'this element is
  actually math'.  My non-expert suggestion for how to do this would be to
  add a "math" role to the list of known roles.  'math' would be similar to
  'grid' in that it represents document structure and contains other
  elements.  Ideally, an extensible mechanism would be desirable, but math
  is an obvious case that maps onto an existing W3C standard and would
  enhance existing pages that don't use MathML.

  As a real life example from Wikipedia [?
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nth_root], the first image in the XHTML
  could potentially be made accessible if AT knew about it by adding a role
  attribute as
  <img class="tex" alt="\sqrt[n]{a}" role="math" src="
  http://upload.wikimedia.org/math/9/a/2/9a2b6d33f3d62a1e8bd99c76f3cb79f5.png.
  ">

  [Note:  the alt text is present on the Wikipedia page.  The TeX was used
  to generate the image in the first place]

  Adding role="math" says that the alt text or comments in the image
  contains information that can be used for accessibility purposes.  It
  alerts AT software so that they can call on some expert math handler to
  get information about how to handle the element.

  Neil Soiffer
  Senior Scientist
  Design Science, Inc.
  neils@dessci.com
  www.dessci.com.
  ~ Makers of Equation Editor, MathType, MathPlayer and MathFlow ~




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Received on Tuesday, 26 February 2008 19:21:32 UTC

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