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©Liddy Nevile



Scientific content



Triangle is a computer application intended primarily for today's blind students and professionals who need to read, write, and manipulate scientific text, do computations, and read graphs and figures. According to the website:

"TRIANGLE is a DOS computer application intended for use by print-impaired students and professionals in science, engineering, and math. TRIANGLE includes:

The Touch-and-Tell Program for audio and/or braille-assisted reading of tactile figures on an external digitizing pad, The keyboard or any assistive device/software that emulates a keyboard may be used for input.

TRIANGLE output may be viewed:


Chemistry is represented in a number of ways, some similar to mathematics in that the symbolic representation comes before the verbal version, but also sometimes using 3D images and models of chemical objects.

As with mathematics, the development of a mark-up standard that can be used to encode and decode expressions is very important. In addition, chemistry often has 2D and 3D representations of chemicals and chemical sturctures that need to be rendered on the screen. The chemistry equivalent to mathML is chemML. Again, as with mathematics, accessibility to chemML is not yet used but it can be generated now that chemML is available. It is a matter of the development of suitable stylesheets. Like mathML, chemML needs to be embedded in XML (or XHTML).

"XML is a very exciting web development. It will enable data exchange in applications that otherwise would be stifled. For example, in HTML chemical diagrams need to be inserted as a gif or jpeg graphic. This means that the user would have to reconstruct the formula from the graphic by hand. With ChemML though, it is the formula itself which provides the means to display the diagram and so the recipient has both diagram and formula."

See from Advanced Interactive Systems, "Report: A look at XML", Lesley Bullwer, April 2000


From "Chemical Markup Language. A Position Paper." Peter Murray-Rust ( and Henry S. Rzepa (, 2001-04-10 see

    "CML is designed to interoperate with several leading MLs and XML protocols and we have demonstrated the following

    1. XHTML for text and images
    2. SVG for line diagrams, graphs, reaction schemes, phase diagrams, etc.
    3. PlotML for graphs MathML for equations
    4. XLink for hypermedia (including atom-spectralPeak assignments, reaction mapping).
    5. RDF and Dublin Core for metadata
    6. XML Schemas for numeric and other data types

    There are other generic tools required in physical science including units, multidimensional arrays with varied datatypes, terminology and bibliography. There are no widely accepted MLs for these at present; we shall continue to develop our own to be used with CML but will use others if they become widespread. An example is physiochemical data held as SELF (Prof. Henry Kehiaian, IUPAC+CODATA) and now converted to SELFML (PMR+HK) as a IUPAC/CODATA project."

and later in the same paper:

    "6. CML and the publication process

    SGML or XML are now the de facto languages for technical publishing and chemical publishers are experienced in them. The CML DTD specifically supports the publication of "chemical" information and we have pioneered (with the RSC and the ACS) the use of CML in the process. The RSC office was able to manage XML/CML submissions and we therefore note that there is an ongoing and evolving process for electronic and paper publication. XML supports high-quality (e-)print through its XSL-FO specification; generic XML content is transformed to an abstract print format ("Formatting Objects") which is then automatically converted to HTML, PDF, PostScript, TeX or any other format.

    Chemical information is often rendered graphically and CML supports this through conversion to Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG). CML/SVG will support 2-D chemical presentation (molecules and reaction schemes) and can be integrated with XSL-FO.

    7. Implementability and software

    To ensure the specification can be implemented we have created test implementations, with OpenSource software. All implementations are modular and include:

    1. CMLDOM-JS: A Javascript implementation of the main components of CML JUMBO3-JS. A Javascript (in-browser) tool to retrieve and displaydocuments containing CML elements.
    2. SELFML-JS browser. This (Javascript) tool reads one or more SELFML files and displays them, including the embedded CML describing the compounds
    3. CMLDOM-J. A complete Java implementation of the CML-DOM, extensible to further refinements of CML, developed in parallel with the OMG project.
    4. JUMBO3-J. A Java browser for any document containing CML elements including 2D and 3D displays.
    5. Chimeral. Working examples of large CML-based documents and scientific articles which use an XSLT stylesheet component library and applets for viewing.
    6. OpenScience Projects. The OpenScience project to communally develop chemical software tools includes two which have been early adopters of CML; JMol and JChemPaint.
    7. JME Editor. We are collaborating with the developer of JME (Java Molecular Editor) to create a CML-aware 2D chemical structure editor.
    8. JMVS. This is a Java3D-based CML-compliant molecular visualiser.
    9. JChemDig and JChemAgent. Web-based robots which can traverse a remote Site, identify chemical content based on chemical MIME types and create a CML-based database of these files, including derived metadata.
    10. JChemValidate. An online resource for converting to and digitally signing CML documents."

Other devices and applications

Accessible Periodic Table (ATRC)


A haptic periodic table is under construction and will give students a 'feel' for the periodic table and the elements. It is a worthy attempt to use haptics to increase the dimensions of data available from the table, eg the weight of elements.

Last updated: 8 March 2002