# Re: [mediaqueries] MathML

From: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2016 13:18:36 -0700
Message-ID: <CAAWBYDCKvMF6LfB=A6hMUgT_Z2jV=gmfQGmbku-qgCqhuXbGAA@mail.gmail.com>
To: Paul Topping <pault@dessci.com>
Cc: Avneesh Singh <avneesh.sg@gmail.com>, 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 Tue, Oct 4, 2016 at 11:36 AM, Paul Topping <pault@dessci.com> wrote:
> Except when the person using the UA needs math accessibility. Accessibility requires that the rendering be customized for the individual. The text to be spoken for a mathematical expression is different for a student learning math than for a scientist who already understands the math. This is mostly easily achieved via client-side implementation, though it is technically feasible to implement such a feature at the server with perhaps degradation in quality and higher latency. Since the user has to navigate around the math, latency is a particular issue. For practical reasons, delivering MathML to the UA works best. Finally, this is a classic chicken-and-egg problem. Publishers want to deliver MathML but, as most are in education, they also have to serve all users and can't usually dictate the user's browser.

As I stated in my earlier message, using MathML for a11y only is
already possible, and can be done without having to care about the
UA's support for displaying MathML.  (You simply visually hide it, so
that whether or not it's rendered isn't detectable.)  There are many
ways to render the MathML to a different display format - HTML, SVG,
raster image - some of which can offer good a11y interaction for
sighted users too.

And again, per the discussion that Florian outlined at the top of this
thread, and I offered further details of, "publishers want to deliver
MathML" does *not* appear to be a universal sentiment, at all.  They
want good-looking equations and accessibility. MathML *theoretically*
provides both of them in a single package, but in practice it often
fails at the first (or at least requires extensive testing across all
the target UAs), and it's possible to use MathML merely as an
authoring format, rendering to a different display format and then
including the MathML in a hidden fashion for a11y, thus achieving
publisher goals without requiring an additional MQ.

On Tue, Oct 4, 2016 at 12:57 PM, Joe Trenton <joe.trenton.iiii@gmail.com> wrote:
> Are high-quality applications out there that produce SVG out of MathML?

Yes; MathJax in particular gives pretty great results. (And once
you've generated it in MathJax, you can be sure that it'll display
correctly across browsers, as SVG rendering is predictable. Or MathJax
can output to HTML, or <canvas> for a raster image.)

~TJ

Received on Tuesday, 4 October 2016 20:19:25 UTC

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