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Re: math: URI scheme and protocol handler

From: Paul Prescod <paul@prescod.net>
Date: Tue, 29 Apr 2014 01:42:09 -0700
Message-ID: <CAAKstZKh_+f7RWhwVq_qR=M3+efwvSgXk_Xz3Gf0NUFUi8iwsg@mail.gmail.com>
To: Gerardo Capiel <gerardoc@benetech.org>
Cc: "uri@w3.org" <uri@w3.org>
Thank you, that video clarified.

The way the browsers are implemented, it is more seamless to launch an
external application with some data using a URL protocol rather than a


I have done this myself in the past.

I don't know what to say: the implementation defects of the browsers are at
odds with how web architecture is supposed to work. URL handlers are not
supposed to be application-launchers. They are supposed to describe the
actual protocol for downloading or manipulating data. Think of the mess
that will arise if every file format also needs a standardized URI format
as a way of working around browser behaviours.

If you do not worry about a formal standardization process at the W3C then
nobody will care that you are using URIs in this way.

The systemic fix is that HTML should have a way of stating that the target
file is designed to be "transient" and the user should not be harassed
about a filename for storage. If the user wants to save the data then they
could do a "Save As" from the viewer app.

On Sun, Apr 27, 2014 at 11:55 PM, Gerardo Capiel <gerardoc@benetech.org>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.
>  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jajYsEikdI4
>  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
>  Gerardo Capiel
> VP of Engineering
> benetech
>  650-644-3405 - Twitter: @gcapiel <http://twitter.com/gcapiel> - GPG:
> 0x859F11C4
> Fork, Code, Do Social Good: http://benetech.github.com/
Received on Tuesday, 29 April 2014 08:43:00 UTC

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