W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > August 2007

Re: Screen-reader behaviour

From: Ben 'Cerbera' Millard <cerbera@projectcerbera.com>
Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2007 03:00:42 +0100
Message-ID: <001a01c7eb72$beace730$0201a8c0@ben9xr3up2lv7v>
To: "Philip Taylor \(Webmaster\)" <P.Taylor@Rhul.Ac.Uk>
Cc: "HTMLWG" <public-html@w3.org>

Philip Taylor wrote:
> Suppose that, within
> a single document, I have instances of book titles, ship's
> names, scientific names, and foreign words and phrases,
> all of which are conventionally indicated in printed
> English by the use of italics.

If italicising this text is sufficient for sighted users to tell they are 
"special" terms, why would unsighted users need anything extra? ATs could 
read <i> in a slightly different voice. Or just read it normally and let the 
surrounding context make clear it's a special term, similar to what a 
sighted user of a monochrome display would experience.

The capitalisation of things like Mary Rose make clear they the name of 
something (at least in English). No markup is necessary in this case. ATs 
could modulate their inflections through the sentence to indicate 
capitalisation changes as well as with punctuation like commas and 
semi-colons. (From what I've read, the more sophisticated ones already do 
this to some extent.)

Foreign words can be marked up with an element that has a lang="" attribute. 
Multi-lingual ATs already make use of that attribute, although they have 
[bugs] with it.

I think we should gather feedback from users over the coming years to see 
wheat the real problems are. My suspicion is that super-fine granularity of 
markup is an issue of theoretical purity and does not affect real users in 
day-to-day browsing. But that is just a suspicion.


Ben 'Cerbera' Millard
Collections of Interesting Data Tables
Received on Friday, 31 August 2007 02:01:10 UTC

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