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Re: voice modes used for orientation (was Re: Raw minutes of 15 June UA Guidelines)

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 19 Jun 2000 02:27:09 -0400 (EDT)
To: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
cc: "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <unagi69@concentric.net>, Harvey Bingham <hbingham@ACM.org>, User Agent Guidelines Emailing List <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>, Anne T Gilman <atgilman@io.com>, "Nick RAGOUZIS (Interfacility)" <nick@interfacility.com>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.20.0006190222440.30251-100000@tux.w3.org>
Simpletext (for the Macintosh) has a speak command (has had for years). That
does provide tone inflection for quotes (and such things).

the Microsoft Windows logo program testing is available apparently - Heather
Swayne posted the following URI to the AU list, but I have not yet had time
to check it out...



Charles McCN

On Sun, 18 Jun 2000, Al Gilman wrote:

[some reflections on alerts and messaging]  
  I am sure this is all spelled out as dialogistics in the HCI literature
  somewhere -- aside from that literature not covering the screen reader case.
  Does the Microsoft Logo Program literature get this analytic about a
  reference model for UI design?  Is anyone else aware of HCI literature that
  covers the concepts I am groping toward?
  PS:  Does EmacSpeak or any screen reader do anything as far as prosodic
  inflection for quotes and parenthetical remarks buried in a text?  Or is
  this just covered in your tuning of "punctuation verbosity"?
  At 12:17 AM 2000-06-18 -0400, Gregory J. Rosmaita wrote:
  >aloha, harvey!
  >in response to my minuted comments:
  >          GR: Frequently, there are about 6 different voices used
  >                 for orientation.
  >you asked,
  >Gregory, I'd like that list of uses included, in the note, as recognizably
  >useful distinctions that voice characteristics can provide.
  >as a general rule, screen-readers allow users to set distinct vocal 
  >characteristics -- which are roughly akin to the "Appearance" property 
  >sheet of the "Display Properties" available to users via the Control Panel 
  >in the Windows environment -- as an orientational mechanism, that is 
  >capable of instantly communicating to the user the context in which he or 
  >she is working and/or the source of the synthesized speech being spouted at 
  >him or her...:
  >one of the main uses of these differentiation mechanisms is to distinguish 
  >whether the application cursor or the speech cursor is active...  the 
  >speech cursor provides a gross navigational mechanism that not only allows 
  >the user to grope about available screen space in order to reconnoiter the 
  >application window, but which usually also serves to move the pointing 
  >device's point-of-regard, which is often necessary to activate or 
  >deactivate an object or discrete area of the screen in the absence of a 
  >keyboard equivalent, or when the sub-window fails to receive focus, isn't 
  >keyboard focusable, or is a custom control which neither the application 
  >nor the screen reader recognize as a control, but simply as a graphic...
  >each "voice mode" contains a range of vocal characteristics (including, but 
  >not limited to, volume,  rate, person, pitch and punctuation verbosity, 
  >which can be usually further sub-divided into "All", "Most", "Some", or 
  >"None"), in order to provide as broad a range of individual tailoring as 
  >possible -- some users, for example, prefer to only switch genders as an 
  >orientation mechanism, some switch only the "cutely named" synthesized 
  >voice, some solely the pitch or rate, but most use a combination of the 
  >configuration options available to them, so as to provide as instantaneous 
  >an orientational mechanism as possible...
  >the 6 most voice modes are:
  >         Global
  >         Keyboard (i.e. keyboard input echo vocal characteristics)
  >         Application Cursor
  >         Speech Cursor
  >         Messages
  >         Prompts
  >note that some screen-readers treat "Messages" (such as announcing "Page 5 
  >of 15" when one moves across a page boundary in a word processor) and 
  >"Prompt" (labels attached to controls) as a single entity, while others 
  >offer a wider range of flexibility...
  >during the teleconference, i mentioned another vocal characteristic, 
  >Uppercase Indication, which, while (usually) not a discrete voice mode, is 
  >a voice characteristic which is often grouped with the voice modes listed 
  >above....  some synthesizers offer only incremental control over pitch, 
  >others issue earcons (usually in the form of a tone for a capital letter or 
  >a double tone to indicate all caps), or say "cap" or "all caps", or some 
  >combination of the 3...
  >note: the information contained in this emessage is generalized from my 
  >personal and professional experience with screen readers, primarily in the 
  >Windows and DOS environments, although i did double-check my facts using 
  >the 4 Windows and 5 DOS-based screen readers which i have loaded on my 
  >laptop...  i have also been fortunate enough to use both emacspeak in 
  >real-life situations and to play around a bit with outSpoken on a 
  >mac...   while the outSpoken approach is similar to that employed by 
  >Windows-based screen readers, both emacspeak and aster employ spatial 
  >effects as orientational vocal characteristics, whereas most other speech 
  >synthesizers which do support spatial effects do so mostly for novelty's 
  >sake (one offering a female voice "in a hall", "in space" and "in an 
  >ACCOUNTABILITY, n.  The mother of caution.
  >                         -- Ambrose Bierce, _The Devil's Dictionary_
  >Gregory J. Rosmaita      <unagi69@concentric.net>
  >Camera Obscura           <http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/index.html>
  >VICUG NYC                <http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/vicug/>
  >Read 'Em & Speak         <http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/books/>

Charles McCathieNevile    mailto:charles@w3.org    phone: +61 (0) 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative                      http://www.w3.org/WAI
Location: I-cubed, 110 Victoria Street, Carlton VIC 3053
Postal: GPO Box 2476V, Melbourne 3001,  Australia 
Received on Monday, 19 June 2000 02:27:14 UTC

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