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RE: JAWS doing em / strong Re: *Complex* Tables, Forms, Labeling, I'm still confused

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 14 Nov 2002 10:49:57 -0500 (EST)
To: Jon Hanna <jon@spin.ie>
cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0211141042540.24929-100000@tux.w3.org>

Well, it is less insane than it might seem, in the sense that it can be made
to work. Interpreting visual inforamation as representative of some structure
is what sighted people do all the time - so subconsciously in many cases that
they forget that is how they operate, and assume that what is important in
conveying information is only the visual representation.

This is how screen readers worked at the beginning. Now it is more common for
them to try and get access to underlying information structure, and more
common for the underlying information to have a structure, we expect it to
happen all the time and think anything else is crazy. The reality is that
anything else is ub-optimal, but perfection is sometimes the enemy of good
enough, and by definition people will generally settle for what they consider
good enough.

It can be made to work like this because people can write or use a style
sheet that provides the visual presentation that triggers this kind of
behaviour reliably. That's a bit more convoluted than just having an audio
style sheet to begin with (and JAWS does have something with the
functionality, if not the interoperability, of Audio style sheets in the CSS
sense), but it can work. Or people can use a different screen reader -
emacspeak provide AudioCSS support, OutSpoken triggers from font
characteristics, etc. Playing with different models helps us understand what
works well in real conditions. Not playing around with different ideas just
means we stagnate...



On Thu, 14 Nov 2002, Jon Hanna wrote:

>> Actually JAWS 4.5 does support these tags to some degree.  The
>> user can ask
>> for the indicated font of text on a web page by pressing insert+f.  Text
>> marked with <strong>...</strong> will be indicated as bold.  Text marked
>> with <em>...</em> will be indicated as italic.
>Am I correct in understanding this as meaning that JAWS indicates an element
>not directly linked to visual formatting by telling the user about a
>possible visual formatting?
>If so, am I alone in thinking this is insane?

Charles McCathieNevile  http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  tel: +61 409 134 136
SWAD-E http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/Europe ------------ WAI http://www.w3.org/WAI
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Received on Thursday, 14 November 2002 10:50:02 UTC

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