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

Re: More on <CAPTION> element etc

From: Joshue O Connor <joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie>
Date: Fri, 22 Jun 2007 12:31:09 +0100
Message-ID: <467BB2FD.1040900@cfit.ie>
To: Sander Tekelenburg <st@isoc.nl>
Cc: public-html@w3.org

Sander Tekelenburg wrote:
> Exactly which screen reader are you referring to here?

Well there are several. The main one used in Ireland is JAWS, that is
what most of the users I know use. But also WinEyes, Orca and NVDA are
also in use. Some users may have several.

> The term OSM appears to refer to a data storage model used by screen readers.
> I was referring to where that data has to come from -- a step earlier in the
> process. See <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Screen_reader#Off-screen_models>.
>> > apart from Dolphins
>> > Supernova which interacts directly with the DOM.
> That seems a much better approach. But as I understand it, Supernova still
> needs a GUI browser to provide it with that DOM. So there's still a layer
> inbetween, where data can get lost.

Yes. The browser could be considered to be a layer, then another layer
(OSM) which accepts data (HTML etc) that is then passed to the UA. Data
doesn't really get lost though. Content needs a structure or foundation
that is usually provided by the markup language. If not marked up
correctly it can appear to get lost but it is still there just more
difficult to interact with or interrogate using a screen reader.

>> Again most use the OSM. A screen reader will also work in various modes
>> > and for example only interact directly with the web page itself in what
>> > JAWS refers to as 'Forms mode'. This is to navigate forms, enter text
>> > into form fields etc.
> Exactly in what sense does it 'interact' with the HTML itself? AFAIK Jaws
> still needs IE or FIrefox.

Yes, but the screen reader usually does this in a 'virtual mode' using
the OSM layer (as such). It then needs to change mode when direct user
interaction with the browser is required, to enter data in a form field
for example, so it must leave its virtual mode and interact directly
with the browser.

>> It is usually in virtual mode, which is the screen
>> > reader using the OSM, which is in effect a virtualisation of the HTML
>> > page the author creates. The better the HTML, the better the virtualisation.
> But that 'virtualised HTML' still has to come from a GUI browser which is
> outputting for an entirely different envronment 


> the greatest HTML can
> easily get mangled to something quite poor there.

Potentially, but It actually works.


Received on Friday, 22 June 2007 11:31:34 UTC

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