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Re: RE Checkpoint 3.4 again

From: gregory j. rosmaita <oedipus@hicom.net>
Date: Tue, 31 Jul 2001 15:40:06 -0400 (EDT)
To: Anne Pemberton <apembert@erols.com>
cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org, kynn@reef.com
Message-ID: <Pine.BSI.3.95.1010731134337.15582C-100000@ns.hicom.net>
aloha, anne!

no, by "digital talking books" or DTB, i don't mean "books in an
electronic format", such as those available via project gutenberg, but an
international XML-based specification that is intended to replace audio
cassettes for those who (in the words of the National Library Service for
the Blind) "are prevented from reading by a visual or physical handicap"

information on the digital talking book project can be found at:
1. http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/books/dtb.html (collection of resources)

2. http://www.daisy.org/ (home of the DAISY Consortium - the international
initiative that is developing and prototyping the DTB)

3. http://www.loc.gov/nls/dtb.html (the Library of Congress' DTB pages)

as for text-heavy versus illustration heavy books, wouldn't it be more
practical (from both a site maintainer's and a user's point of view) to 
have an "illustrated" view of a text and a non-illustrated view of the
text?  this is something that could easily be accomplished with the HWG
(HTML Writers' Guild's) initiative which is converting plain ASCII
texts from Project Gutenberg's collection into valid, well-formed XML
applications -- more information about the conversion project is available
from the HWG's web site: http://www.hwg.org (i tried the HWG search
engine, but couldn't turn up anything other than brief announcements of
the project, and the "Get Involved" portion of the HWG site was down when
i attempted to find a direct URI to information about the project --
perhaps kynn can help with this)

my point is, why force illustrations down individuals' throats when they
either: (a) can't use them; (b) don't want to download them; or (c) just
isn't interested in them?  instead of insisting that all content be
illustrated, why not fight for implementations of mechanisms (such as
those extant in the XML world) which enable the importation of iconic
material into non-illustrated materials -- especially those that might be
able to perform the task through automated look-ups, as thumb-nailed by
kynn and al, or through an assertion language, such as RDF, which would
allow you (anne) to make assertions about non-illustrated content, which
could be transformed (using XSLT) into the illustrated document instance
you desire...

anne, no one is saying "don't use illustrations" -- what i and joe and
others are saying is "give the user the choice, and use markup that
enables look-ups and substitutions, transformations and annotations, so
that graphics can be added to content even when they aren't extant in the
document source of the document being rendered"

one of the underlying principles of the WAI and the W3C is that web is
about choices -- no one can possibly presume to speak for another user and
accurately articulate what constitutes "accessibility" for that
individual...  in my opinion, the advocates of an illustrated web would be
better served working with the evaluation and repair group on assertion
languages and transformation engines than tilting at the windmill of

what is the next (il)logical step -- insistence that all element and
attribute names and values be tokenized at the Technical Recommendation
level and represented as "normative" graphics in W3C Technical
Recommendations?  there's already a technology/tool which does that,
anyway -- it is called an "authoring tool" with graphical tagsets... 

CYNIC, n.  A blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are,
not as they ought to be.  Hence the custom among the Scythians of 
plucking out a cynic's eyes to improve his vision.
                         -- Ambrose Bierce, _The Devil's Dictionary_
Gregory J. Rosmaita, oedipus@hicom.net
            Camera Obscura: http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/index.html

On Tue, 31 Jul 2001, Anne Pemberton wrote:
> At 02:46 AM 7/31/01 -0400, gregory j. rosmaita wrote:
> >, but that's why digital talking books are being developed -- to provide
> >absolute equivalency between the print and digitalized edition...  for some
> >people, that will open up new channels of learning that printed books, no
> >matter how heavily illustrated, might never have otherwise been able to
> >open -- rather than _only_ having the content of a book read to them, and/or
> >illustrated for them, individuals (who can and who desire to) will _also_ be
> >able to visually track the progress of the synchronized audio track, while
> >those such as myself will be able to use the synchronized tracking to cut
> >and paste quotations with confidence...
> If by "digital talking books", you mean digital books, as in the Guttenburg 
> project, they have been under development since the early or mid eighties ....
> If you think about it, you can increase the audience served by digital 
> books if the books, when possible, are illustrated. There is no reason that 
> heavily illustrated books cannot be put on the web, and serve more people 
> than if only the text were provided.
Received on Tuesday, 31 July 2001 15:40:15 UTC

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