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Re: How to describe Flowcharts, Schematics, etc

From: Steven McCaffrey <smccaffr@MAIL.NYSED.GOV>
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 1999 14:18:41 -0400
Message-Id: <s7bc124d.058@MAIL.NYSED.GOV>
To: CHRIS.KREUSSLING@ny.frb.org, dave.pawson@virgin.net
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Hi Dave, Karl, Len, Charles etal:

"...(say) a hyperlinked HTML version
for the VI members of the group,..."
What is this version like?  If a blind person tabbed from link to link, what would be spoken by a screen reader (i.e. what is the linked text?)
A static HTML version  would be o.k. for input to a more interactive program but not sufficient for output for blind 
users to gain equivalent access to the underlying information structure.  A good exercise is to try to comprehend a chart/diagram you have not seen before by having it described to you (i.e read aloud) by a friend/colleague, without, of course, looking at it yourself.  The words (labels of nodes) and relational information (e.g. (abstract tree data structure terminology)"is a child of  or (more concretely) for an organizational chart  "works for") goes past your ears.  Visual information allows the viewer to refresh his/her memory simply by focusing her/his eyes on any deisired portion of the picture.  To gain the same flexibility, you would have to ask your friend/colleague, or computer, to read something of interest, at the desired level of detail, again. Thus the need for interactivity.

Steven McCaffrey
Information Technology Services

>>> "Dave Pawson" <dave.pawson@virgin.net> 08/18 2:16 PM >>>
> The Object Management Group <www.omg.org> has done a lot of work in this area.
In particular, I think their Meta-Object Facility (MOF) and XML Metadata
Interchange (XMI) may be applicable.
> MOF is a Meta-Meta-Modelling Language: a syntax and semantics for describing
other meta-models: org charts, schematics, computer systems, whatever. XMI is an
XML format for exporting and importing arbitrary meta-models to and from MOF.
Through XMI, any meta-modeling language could be converted into any other
meta-modeling language.
> *In theory* any model could be converted into XMI for storage on a server and
transmission over the Web, e-mail, whatever. A User Agent can parse the XMI to
read the model and present it to the user. To present a different class or set
of models, you develop a meta-model, XML DTD, and XMI transforms. Optionally,
you develop stylesheets for different presentation media.

Now we are talking! <grin/>

I knew there would be other uses for XMI.
I had said if I could draw the flowchart, I can
model it in XML.
Why invent my own DTD when omg have done
it for me.

Love the idea.

Love to see a simple implementation
so that when my colleagues say
can I have a copy, I use the XSL transforms
to convert from the XMI to the graphical
form for sighted colleagues,
and to (say) a hyperlinked HTML version
for the VI members of the group, just
as I do with the rest of the presentation
which is text based!

Love the ideas, now how to select from
the crap set of graphical symbols in
the UML guide graphical set <yuk/>
to use them for
QFD charts, QPD diagrams, system
symbolic diagrams .........

regards, and tks for a great idea, DaveP
Received on Thursday, 19 August 1999 14:22:30 UTC

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