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Re: behavior of @math with HTML output

From: Vincent Lefevre
Subject: Re: behavior of @math with HTML output
Date: Fri, 14 Oct 2022 21:43:21 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/2.2.7+47 (8681885b) vl-149028 (2022-10-10)

On 2022-10-14 08:40:58 -0700, Raymond Toy wrote:
> For one example of a texinfo doc using Mathjax, see
> https://maxima.common-lisp.dev/.  In particular, you can look at
> https://maxima.common-lisp.dev/docs/maxima_79.html.  A maxima user (who
> might be blind?) says that the MathJax-enabled formulas work really well
> with a screen reader.  Mathjax appears to support accessibility well.
> I don't have lynx and actually have no interest in using a text-only
> browser.

Here's what I get for bessel_y with lynx:

          bessel_y is defined as                                               ▒
          \[Y_v(z) = {{\cos(\pi v)\, J_v(z) - J_{-v}(z)}\over{\sin{\pi         ▒
          v}}} \]                                                              ▒
          when \(v\) is not an integer. When \(v\) is an integer \(n\),        ▒
          the limit as \(v\) approaches \(n\) is taken.                        ▒

With w3m, this is very similar.

But even in Firefox, this is very poorly supported: variables, such as
n in "integer n", are rendered as SVG instead of normal text.

The consequences are:
  * These variables do not look the same as in the prototype.
    And the SVG is not scaled correctly: these variables are
    much smaller than the normal text.
  * These variables cannot be selected, e.g. for copy-paste.

SVG can be changed to CHTML, which fixes the font size, but the
rendering is ugly, and the variables still cannot be selected.
I'm wondering why MathML (presentation markup) isn't available,
as according the test at


it seems to be well supported by Firefox. It is as nice as SVG,
these doesn't seem to be scaling issues, and the text can be

However, MathML wouldn't solve the issue with lynx. A better solution
would be w3m instead of lynx. I suppose that MathML could be converted
to plain HTML with XSLT.

Vincent Lefèvre <vincent@vinc17.net> - Web: <https://www.vinc17.net/>
100% accessible validated (X)HTML - Blog: <https://www.vinc17.net/blog/>
Work: CR INRIA - computer arithmetic / AriC project (LIP, ENS-Lyon)

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