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proposed ARIA role for math [DRAFT 1]

From: Gregory J. Rosmaita <oedipus@hicom.net>
Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2008 01:46:11 +0000
To: w3c-wai-pf@w3.org, public-pfwg-comments@w3.org, "Neil Soiffer" <Neils@dessci.com>
Cc: neil.soiffer@gmail.com, brewer@w3.org
Message-Id: <20080227013912.M83636@hicom.net>

proposed ARIA role for math [DRAFT 1]


ARIA 1.0 is intended as a solution for today's problems, as well as 
providing a means of supporting newer, more mature and/or accessible 
options for today's technology.  MathML has been a W3C technical 
recommendation since 1998/1999 [1]; it is time -- and well within PF's 
purview -- to address this by introducing a specific role="math" into 
ARIA 1.0

therefore, i formally propose the following:

<proposed cite="def-role-math">

Role: math

   Definition: contains a string of mathematics (expressed as ASCII 
   or "rich" text, such as TeX), an image of a mathematical formula, 
   or other such embedded content which is most accessibly expressed 
   using MathML; this role enables a plug-in mechanism to provide 
   compliant MathML, as well as enabling support for MathML in 
   "mainstream" user agents.


i think we've waited long enough for "robust" and "mainstream" MathML 
support -- i know that my definition isn't the best, but between neil, 
raman, jason, janina, kenny, aaron, michael, marc and jon (and anyone 
else who might care to join in), a more "proper" definition could be 
quickly honed for inclusion in ARIA 1.0, as well as laying the ground
work for an abstracted "formula" or "equation" or some such abstracted 
meta-role, if, indeed, one can be found.  today's issue is enabling 
the use of existing technologies, and MathML is first amongst equals 
in that regard

neil advanced a convincing argument for such a role, and his post was 
enthusiastically endorsed by others, including some who'd like to use 
MathML in their XML backplane and/or educational environments; it also
received an immediate positive reaction from an implementor, which 
shows that if we define it it will be supported; moreover, what is at 
stake is enabling the widespread implementation and use of MathML, 
which fits the profile of the educational grant under which work on 
ARIA has been partially funded [2]

it is an issue that should be brought to conclusion now, rather than 
delayed for the next iteration of ARIA -- the technologies and the 
possibilities exist, and therefore i believe that addition of a math 
role is important enough to warrant it being added to ARIA now, even 
if bug or issues need to be logged with the maintainers of IAccessible 
and AT-SPI -- and from what RichS reported, MSAA's ROLE_EQUATION could 
serve a dual use


[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-MathML/
[2] http://www.w3.org/TR/wai-aria/#ack_funders
He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils; 
for time is the great innovator.      -- Sir Francis Bacon
            Gregory J. Rosmaita: oedipus@hicom.net
        Camera Obscura: http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/
    Oedipus' Online Complex: http://my.opera.com/oedipus/
United Blind Advocates for Talking Signs: http://ubats.org
Received on Wednesday, 27 February 2008 01:46:45 UTC

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