Re: math: URI scheme and protocol handler


Thank you for your questions. The use case is very similar to the mailto URI scheme and protocol handler. We desire a mechanism to launch from a Web browser an application to handle a mathematical expression.

This idea was prompted by the need for an alternative approach to enable Assistive Technology applications to provide blind students navigation of complex mathematical expressions via Text-To-Speech. The current approach by the leading solution provider, Design Science, is to use an Internet Explorer plugin. This approach no longer works as of IE 11 due to changes in the IE security model and has not been extended to any other browsers.

As part of my work in the DIAGRAM Center, I have discussed this math: protocol handler with Design Science and other vendors wishing to provide Assistive Technology solutions and they are very interested as it simplifies implementation, particularly across multiple browsers and operating systems.

We also realized that this idea could benefit all students, as it provides a simple mechanism for students to explore mathematical expressions on the Web in math notebooks, such as IPython, or applications such as graphing calculators or MATLAB.

You can find more details at:

Let me know if this helps or you need more details.



Gerardo Capiel
VP of Engineering

On Apr 27, 2014, at 11:49 AM, "Paul Prescod" <<>> wrote:

Please clarify the requirements. Math expressions can already be expressed in a hypothetical markup language like this.

<math-expression  href="http://...."/>


<math-expression href="data:..."/>

The role of the URI scheme is not to convey the semantics or data type of the resource but rather to supply information on the network location of the resource.

So I am skeptical that this URI scheme is needed. If we went down this path then we would need a URI scheme for images, zip files, documents, movies and so forth.

On Apr 26, 2014 11:28 PM, "Gerardo Capiel" <<>> wrote:


I'm proposing the creation of a W3C Community Group to discuss a math: URI scheme and Web browser protocol handler. The 'math' URI scheme and protocol handler can be used by Web browsers and other applications to transport mathematical expressions to other applications, such as Assistive Technologies or graphing calculators.  If you are interested this proposal, please join:  Below is the provisional URI Scheme Registration Template:

   URI scheme name
      math - The math: URI scheme can be used by Web browsers and other applications to transport mathematical expressions to other applications, such as Assistive Technologies or graphing calculators.

   URI scheme syntax
      Applications launched via the math protocol take as a parameter either a URL to a resource containing a mathematical expression in MathML or other formats or the actual math expression in uncompressed or compressed form. For example:

   URI scheme semantics

   Encoding considerations

   Applications/protocols that use this URI scheme name
      Applications should register the math: protocol handler with this scheme.

   Interoperability considerations

   Security considerations
      None known.

      Gerardo Capiel,<>

   Author/Change controller
      Gerardo Capiel,<>


Gerardo Capiel
VP of Engineering

Received on Sunday, 27 April 2014 18:57:11 UTC