I'm thrilled to announce that MathPlayer 3 is ready to use. We've added lots of features and fixed lots of bugs since the preview release. The latest release brings greater support for IE9, allows you to take full advantage of the power of MathML 3, and provides the most advanced math to speech capabilities available. All of these add up to a much better experience viewing math on the web.
From the Design Science website you can read about the full list of new features in MathML 3. In this post, I want to talk about the three big new features in MathML 3:
Linebreaking & indentation. MathML 3 allows precise control over linebreaking and indentation. Here's an example were the "="s are aligned as are the factors:
Elementary math support. While MathML has been able to support higher level math for years, using MathML to create an addition problem with carries was a nightmare. Long division that shows the steps? Forget about it. MathML 3 and MathPlayer makes display of elementary math easy. Below are couple of examples of elementary math and the MathML needed for it. I've used images so that you can see the math in whatever browser you are using.
One great thing about MathPlayer's display of elementary math is that the math is accessible to people with print disabilities. We have an elementary math sample page where you can try out the display or speech for elementary Math in MathPlayer 3.
Support for right-to-left languages such as Arabic. Two examples are shown below:
|Square root||Long division|
Each of these features is a great addition. I'll be diving into more detail and giving more examples in future blog posts. The implementation of these features is not limited to MathPlayer; they are also implemented in our MathFlow composer products.
Design Science has a commitment to make math accessible to as wide a range of people as possible. It's something that I have personally put in a great deal of time on. MathPlayer 3 reflects Design Science's and my focus to open up new opportunities for accessibility. MathPlayer 3 includes the ability to generate braille in four different braille math codes including the Nemeth math code. It also includes the most advanced math to speech capabilities available. I'll be talking about the improved accessibility capabilities in several posts over the next months. Until then, here's a short summary of MathPlayer 3's new math-to-speech capabilities:
- MathPlayer 3 has thousands of new rules so that expressions sound more natural (e.g, "f of x" instead of "f open x close" and "meters per second" instead of "m over s")
- Support for people with different needs such as dyslexia vs blindness
- Different speech for people who are "fluent" in math vs. a new learner
- Specialized speech for different subject areas so that a bar over a symbol says "complex conjugate" in algebra, "line segment" in geometry, and "mean" in statistics
- Support for 15 different languages
MathPlayer works with Internet Explorer 6-9. It does not work well with IE10 though. There are too many bugs in IE10's support for plug-ins to make MathPlayer work in IE10. If you use Windows 8, you are forced to use IE10. If you use Windows 7, you may have been automatically upgraded to IE10, but it is easy to go back to IE9 in Windows 7. I'll talk about the future of MathPlayer and what you can do if you are stuck using IE10 in a future post.
There is so much new and exciting in MathPlayer 3 that I'll have a busy summer writing posts to talk about them! In the meantime, download MathPlayer and try it yourself. As always, let us know what you think and what you would like to see changed or added in the comment section below.