Some of you know that I’ve been making notes from my graduate course in Population Genetics available online for nearly 20 years (http://darwin.eeb.uconn.edu/uncommon-ground/eeb348/notes/). What a smaller number of you know is that I use LaTeX to write my notes and pdfLaTeX to produce PDFs from the LaTeX source. So far as I can tell (using ANDI), the PDFs produced in this way provide some elements that aid accessibility, but I am exploring options to produce HTML from the same source that might produce documents that are accessible to more readers. For my first experiment, I used the LaTeX file from 2019 that produced notes on resemblance among relatives. Here are links to three versions of the notes:
- The PDF from 2019: http://darwin.eeb.uconn.edu/eeb348-notes/quant-resemblance.pdf
- HTML produced via Pandoc with MathJAX embedded: http://darwin.eeb.uconn.edu/pages/quant-resemblance-pandoc.html
- HTML produced via LaTeXML: http://darwin.eeb.uconn.edu/pages/quant-resemblance-latexml.html
Both approaches to producing HTML are straightforward.
pandoc --standalone --mathjax -o quant-resemblance-pandoc.html quant-resemblance.tex
latexml --includestyles --dest=quant-resemblance.xml quant-resemblance.tex latexmlpost --dest=quant-resemblance-latexml.html quant-resemblance.xml
With the default options, I like the look of the LaTeXML version better, but it also includes CSS customizations and the Pandoc version doesn’t. It’s probably possible to include customized CSS with Pandoc, but I haven’t had a chance to investigate that yet. I also haven’t had a chance to consult anyone who knows how to judge accessibility of documents. When I’ve had a chance to do that. I’ll return with a report. (Don’t hold your breath. I am a dean, so I don’t have a lot of time on my hands.)
Here’s my to-do list, so that I don’t forget:
- Check CSS styling for Pandoc.
- Show the results to an accessibility expert at UConn and get some feedback on the different approaches.
- See what happens with figures when they’re included in a LaTeX document.
If you have additional questions, let me know, and I’ll add them to the list.