W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-gl@w3.org > July to September 2001

Re: RE Checkpoint 3.4 again

From: Anne Pemberton <apembert@erols.com>
Date: Tue, 31 Jul 2001 16:28:34 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: "gregory j. rosmaita" <oedipus@hicom.net>
Cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org, kynn@reef.com

         Digital Talking Books do sound like a nice step up from what was 
begun at Guttenburg ... Glad to hear about it, and will check it out 
further when I get online (gotta leave the phone line free for a while) ... 
I'll also pass it on to an online friend who is blind, to make sure she 
keeps up with it. She loves digital books even with the messy ascii 
formatting in Guttenburg ...

         About adding illustrations, they will be there to provide a choice 
to the user. Those users who don't want them can turn them off, but those 
who want them cannot turn them on if they aren't there to begin with.

         No, an iconic substitution scheme does not serve the same group of 
people as the illustrations. Iconic substitution depends on technology 
development, including illustrations does not. An iconic substitution 
scheme depends on the user learning the scheme ... which involves more 
problems than illustrations. The illustrations are the simplest solution 
and will reach a very wide range of people with disability beyond those 
with learning or cognitive disabilities ... Deaf persons and low vision 
people are among those with disabilities who will benefit more from 
illustrations than an iconic substitution scheme.

         Greg, as I've said before, my dearest hope is that someday the 
need for graphics and multi-media will stand proudly in Guideline 1, as a 
beacon shining forth .... but I'm delighted to compromise by putting it 
softly in 3.4 and see how it plays in history ...


At 03:40 PM 7/31/01 -0400, gregory j. rosmaita wrote:
>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.

Anne Pemberton

Received on Tuesday, 31 July 2001 16:39:14 UTC

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