Re: math: URI scheme and protocol handler


Thanks for your feedback. The plugin approach has already been implemented by Design Science and the effort to maintaining a plugin to process the existing <math> elements for MathML has been painful. As a result, currently the plugin does not work with IE 11, it's buggy with IE 10 and is not available on any other browsers. Because this is a small market, no one else has the resources to take this approach either.

This is why I'm suggesting an alternate approach that is easier to develop for and maintain.


Gerardo Capiel
VP of Engineering

On Apr 28, 2014, at 12:09 AM, "mike amundsen" <<>> wrote:

This is a great idea -- and the protocol element of URIs is not the correct vector for executing it.

IMO, the best place for this is as an element: <mathspeak>....</mathspeak>.

An alternative (atho more complex) would be to use the "rel" attribute of an HTML link: <a rel="mathspeak">...</a>

Just as "rel='stylesheet'" has a special meaning in browsers, rel="mathspeak" can be used as the launch for a browser plug-in that knows how to process math expressions. Another reason to use rel="mathspeak" (and not the protocol element of a link) is that the href value *could* be used to point to an external address that knows how to process "mathspeak" strings. IOW, you can support "mathspeak" speech internally (with a plug-in) or, if no plug-in is available, use the href to point to an available processor.


skype: mca.amundsen

On Mon, Apr 28, 2014 at 2:55 AM, Gerardo Capiel <<>> wrote:
I created a short YouTube video to demonstrate why a protocol handler with a math: URI scheme can provide an alternative and simple user experience for a blind or vision impaired user for exploring mathematical expressions.  In the video, 1) we turn on VoiceOver (the OS X screen reader / assistive technology), 2) we navigate a page that contains text and a mathematical expression, 3) we decide that we want to use another application other than Safari to explore and understand the math expression and click on the math expression which has an anchor tag around it (e.g., <a href="math:<math>something</math>">), 4) the operating system launches the application registered to handle math: protocol requests, 5) the application provides tools for exploring the math, 6) after using the application, the user quits the application and seamlessly returns back to the web browser where they left off.

I hope this helps to illustrate why a protocol handler provides a more seamless experience with the current state of browser implementations than a media type could today.


Gerardo Capiel
VP of Engineering

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Received on Monday, 28 April 2014 13:53:12 UTC