# Re: [mediaqueries] MathML

From: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 3 Oct 2016 14:23:12 -0700
Message-ID: <CAAWBYDAZ=ufbijDFRk0RnB8p0-360qcDzm-1=DzvMZKgg08U_Q@mail.gmail.com>
To: Avneesh Singh <avneesh.sg@gmail.com>
Cc: Florian Rivoal <florian@rivoal.net>, www-style list <www-style@w3.org>, W3C Digital Publishing IG <public-digipub-ig@w3.org>, Peter Krautzberger <peter.krautzberger@mathjax.org>
On Mon, Oct 3, 2016 at 4:52 AM, Avneesh Singh <avneesh.sg@gmail.com> wrote:
> We have not defined this variant of MQ yet, but some of the facts that
> support it are:
> - Publishers are already using MathML in their production workflow. But they
> have to comment it due to lack of support on consumption side. so, MathML is

Yes, it was stated by at least one of the publishers (I don't recall
anyone's names, I'm sorry) that they use MathML to initially
*generate* the equation images (in MathJax, iirc), then they include
the generated images in their actual publications.  They argued that
even if they could detect support for MathML, they would continue
using their current production method, as it ensures the math is
displayed as intended, and given the current state of browser/ereader
MathML support, they can't just assume that their MathML will be
rendered correctly.

This is an argument *against* providing a math MQ.  It argues that
MathML is useful as an authoring format, but is not (given the quality
of the current supporting implementations) worth using as a
publication format.  We similarly don't support Photoshop file formats
on the web, despite them being extensively used in authoring image
content; we instead rely on a handful of image publication formats
(png, etc).

> - JAWS and NVDA, the two most popular Windows screen readers support MathML.
> It is also supported by Voiceover, but I remember the statement from Peter
> that support in Voiceover is not up to the mark. So, assistive technology
> support MathML. It would need some more refinements, but the support is
> there.

Per the discussion, this does not require MathML to be used to display
math; near the end several people discussed reasonable techniques for
using MathML (properly annotated) as a source of a11y info without it
having to be visually displayed.  So, this is also not an argument for
the MQ; at best, it's neutral on the matter.

> - The variant of MQ also give an option to fall back to alttext if the
> assistive technology does not support MathML.

This is already possible today with <img alt>, no?

~TJ

Received on Monday, 3 October 2016 21:24:07 UTC

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