Accessibility in Maple

Presentation by Andrew Smith, Maplesoft GUI Team

Core Products:


  • Easy-to-use desktop computer algebra system
  • Features include powerful symbolic and high-precision numeric capabilities
  • Currently in Release 9.5
  • Available for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and various flavors of Unix
  • We'll focus on Maple today


  • Web server version of the Maple mathematics engine
  • Deploy live technical knowledge over the Web
  • Embed dynamic formulas, mathematical models, and diagrams
  • Web applications built on MapleNet can use JavaScript, Java Applets, and Maple's own MapletTM technology

Maple T.A.

  • Web-based testing and assessment environment
  • Use the power of Maple to automatically evaluate and grade student responses
  • Students can use palettes and a mathematical expression editor facility to enter responses using conventional notation
  • Learners who are familiar with Maple syntax can optionally use that when creating responses

A little history...

  • Founded in 1988
  • The result of an advanced research project at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada
  • Currently over three million users worldwide
  • Most Maple users are academic
  • Currently a number of users successfully combining Maple with screen readers and Braille terminals in their work and research

Accessibility and Maple

  • All versions of Maple since Maple 7 have been compatible with assistive technologies
  • Currently a number of users successfully combining Maple with screen readers and Braille terminals in their work and research
  • Incremental improvements in accessibility with each new version, thanks to feedback from our user community
  • BUT aging cross-platform user interface technology limited options for providing a new and more accessible feature set

Enter Maple 9

  • The beginning if a major initiative to modernize the Maple user interface
  • Introduced a new standard worksheet interface
  • A complete re-implementation of the Maple UI using Java technology
  • Opened the door for the development of a more feature-rich product
  • Can now begin to leverage the accessibility features of the Java platform
  • For compatibility, Maple still ships with the previous UI, now dubbed "Classic"

Accessibility in Maple 9

  • Zoom and color controls can be used to improve the experience for low-vision users
  • Although traditional mathematical notation can be used, the full power of the mathematics engine is equally available through Maple's programming language
  • The Maple language is a concise, text-based language that requires no special symbology

In conclusion...

  • With the transition to the new standard interface, we have the opportunity and mandate to make Maple an even more accessible product
  • GAMA Summit is a chance to hear from the experts
  • Check out for more information about Maple products