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smileys vs. ASCII art (editorial FWIW)

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 1999 08:47:07 -0500
Message-Id: <199903231343.IAA23010@relay.interim.iamworld.net>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
From yesterday's minutes:

      e) ASCII art has to be carefully defined (e.g., to
         not include a smiley, which, in certain circles,
         is just a accessible as an abbreviation, and in
         other circles, just as obscure. This is 
         arguably different than using characters 
         to create an image.

Suggestion:

Make the subject of this rule more narrow by qualifying the term "ASCII
art."  For example say, "for multiline ASCII art, <what to do>."

Smileys and multiline ASCII art share the following characteristics:

a) is constructed on the fly out of the same characters concurrently used
to convey natural language which has a sonic equivalent.

b) has no phonetic interpretation.

In other words, it

a) occurs in a context where text-to-speech processing may assume it is
articulable as speech, and

b) is not appropriate for text-to-speech transformation by the standard
relationships of the enclosing natural language.

If we "define ASCII art" to exclude smileys, I fear we will have numerous
readers who fail to retain and apply the local definition.  Since the
reader who does not pay close attention to our definitions may still
interpret "ASCII art" as applying to smileys, it is the better part of
valor to state the guideline in a way which explicitly narrows what we are
talking about.
Received on Tuesday, 23 March 1999 08:43:45 GMT

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