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Re: [CSS21] WAI Issue 1: Relegation of Aural CSS to an informative appendix & the Deprecation of the aural media type [DRAFT]

From: T.V Raman <raman@google.com>
Date: Wed, 12 Dec 2007 08:00:22 -0800
Message-ID: <18272.1430.722124.111375@retriever.corp.google.com>
To: oedipus@hicom.net
Cc: raman@google.com, wai-xtech@w3.org, wai-liaison@w3.org, dsr@w3.org

Gregory --- You dont need to tell me why we need Aural CSS -- I
knew that 12 years ago;-)

As for what it will take to get browsers to implement things that
users need, that's a harder question to answer.

Gregory J. Rosmaita writes:
 > raman - thanks for the perspective and background on ACSS and the aural
 > versus the speech media type -- do you think that if aural CSS was 
 > capable of controlling all aural events, from onLoad sounds to other 
 > interactive or passive audio, there would be more buy-in by developers?
 > 
 > that's what i really would like to establish as the standard -- control 
 > over aural events through a stylesheet which also provides a normative 
 > means of adjusting speech properties, which would not only help with 
 > accessibility but with internationalization -- one need look no further 
 > than charles chen's explanation of why he developed CLiCk, Speak
 > (http://clickspeak.clcworld.net/) -- for the benifit of a user who can 
 > understand a natural language when spoken, but who cannot decipher the 
 > glyphs used to visually represent that language or when the glyphs 
 > aren't supported by the machine the user is using (predicated, of course,
 > that the proper markup has been used to indicate a natural language 
 > switch) but a speech-engine is...
 > 
 > personally, i'd like to use an aural stylesheet to provide a "verbose", 
 > "terse" or "earconic" (audio cues only) aural canvas, and can conceive 
 > of authors and site managers being attracted to overlaying an 
 > aural canvas appropriately themed to the season (and what the site is 
 > attempting to sell) by changing or switching a single stylesheet to 
 > overlay an aural template -- such as "back to school" "sun and fun at 
 > the beach" "winter wonderland" etc. -- for the whole site...
 > 
 > but the most important thing would be enabling user control over 
 > aural events, and the use of the native accessibility API and 
 > operating system's user preferences, that a user who cannot hear
 > can receive an appropriate equivalent alert of a type with which the 
 > user is used to interacting, such as "Show Sounds" or "Sound Sentry"
 > 
 > gregory.
 > -----------------------------------------------------------------
 > PEDESTRIAN, n. The variable (and audible) part of the roadway for
 > an automobile.         --  Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
 > -----------------------------------------------------------------
 > Gregory J. Rosmaita: oedipus@hicom.net and webmaster@ubats.org
 > UBATS: United Blind Advocates for Talking Signs: http://ubats.org
 > -----------------------------------------------------------------
 > 
 > ---------- Original Message -----------
 > From: "T.V Raman" <raman@google.com>
 > To: oedipus@hicom.net
 > Cc: wai-xtech@w3.org, wai-liaison@w3.org, dsr@w3.org
 > Sent: Tue, 11 Dec 2007 09:36:12 -0800
 > Subject: [CSS21] WAI Issue 1: Relegation of Aural CSS to an informative 
 > appendix & the Deprecation of the aural media type [DRAFT]
 > 
 > > Gregory, Here is some "historical" perspective on the
 > > speech/aural split  -- this is mostly from memory.
 > > 
 > > Sometime in the 2003 timeframe, Dave Raggett and I were looking
 > > to synchronize SSML and Aural CSS in the following sense:
 > > 
 > > Rendering rules expressed via Aural CSS when applied to XML
 > > markup should be able to produce SSML that delivers the desired
 > > aural presentation.
 > > 
 > > In going through that exercise, we hit a number of
 > > discrepancies, most of which came down to "SSML is mostly about
 > > speech" whereas Aural CSS  dealt with much more than speech.
 > > 
 > > Also, given the lack of implementation of Aural CSS within
 > > browsers, and given that to an extent Aural CSS had been
 > > dismissed by mainstream browsers as "that's for speech output, we
 > > dont do that",
 > > we felt that it was worthwhile splitting Aural CSS into two
 > > modules, speech and aural, where @media speech sould be aligned
 > > fully with SSML.
 > > 
 > > To what extent the current drafts reflect that desire is
 > > something I've not had the time to check.
 > > 
 > > Gregory J. Rosmaita writes:
 > >  > 
 > >  > [Reviewer's Note: this post refers to the Candidate 
 > > Recommendation draft  > of CSS 2.1, > 
 > > http://www.w3.org/TR/2007/CR-CSS21-20070719 > comments upon 
 > > which are due by 20 December 2007] >  > Given the following use case:
 > >  > 
 > >  > Aural rendering is used to provide supplemental contextual 
 > > and semantic  > markers for an individual with either limited 
 > > vision, or a limited  > view-port, such as that obtained by 
 > > using a screen-magnifier application,  > which displays strings 
 > > of text in isolated viewports, with earcons  > (purely  > aural 
 > > cues) set to "on", but without speech output.  Such a user uses  
 > > > aural cues, provided by such extant mechanisms as: >  > 
 > > http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS21/aural.html#cue-props > 
 > > http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS21/aural.html#mixing-props > 
 > > http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS21/aural.html#spatial-props >  > to 
 > > supplement that user's constrained point of view.  Note that 
 > > this use  > case includes those who fall under the purview of 
 > > such organizations as  > Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic 
 > > (http://www.rfbd.org) >  > Note that some users will benefit 
 > > from viewing portions of the screen  > using a screen-magnifier 
 > > and aural cues; but that there are also those  > who not only 
 > > need isolated portions of the visual canvas rendered for  > them,
 > >   > but whose understanding and ability to interact with the 
 > > document  > benefits  > greatly from supplemental synthesized speech;
 > >  > 
 > >  > How, then, can speech be seperated from audio?  The Style WG 
 > > should be  > wary of the seperation of speech and pure aural 
 > > rendering rules, as  > there is one modality being addressed: 
 > > the aural canvas, whether that  > includes speech-synthesis or 
 > > purely earconic sounds. >  > The question, therefore, is this: 
 > >  What is the point of changing the  > media type from aural to 
 > > speech?  Speech synthesizers are aural  > renderers,  > but they 
 > > rely on a third party application (optimally, a DOM-aware user 
 > >  > agent) in order to obtain the content, flow, etc. of the 
 > > speech-output.   > If a user agent supports speech, as does 
 > > FireVox, it also needs to  > support  > the purely aural 
 > > (earconic) portions of the media rule; speech  > synthesizers 
 > > are not user agents, they are more akin to browser helper  > 
 > > objects (BHO) than they are to user agents per se. >  >  > SUMMATION:
 > >  > 
 > >  > The deprecation of the aural media type in favor of the 
 > > speech  > media type, is unacceptable, as there are valid use 
 > > cases where an  > individual benefits from supplemental earcons 
 > > that sound while  > viewing the visual canvas through a screen-
 > > magnifier type view-port,  > without speech output, but with 
 > > support for a pure audio  > (non-speech) overlay; likewise,
 > >  there is the use case of an  > individual who benefits from 
 > > supplemental speech, as well as a  > limited viewport and aural 
 > > orientational and contextual cues.   >  > Why is it necessary 
 > > for Aural CSS2.1 to remain normative?  The  > aural cascade will 
 > > enable an author to offer visitors is a choice  > between 
 > > "verbose" "terse" and "earconic" overlays. SSML may be  > where 
 > > the money and resources are currently devoted, but Aural CSS  > 
 > > is far superior for speech-output dependent computer users (that 
 > >  > is, the average end user) because things aren't hard coded, 
 > > but  > are subject to user over-rides. It's obviously a lot 
 > > easier to  > wizardize a "modify this site's aural styling", 
 > > which would allow  > the end user the final say over what is 
 > > spoken and how, than to  > edit an SSML document's document source.
 > >  > 
 > >  > An added benefit of retaining the purely aural portions of 
 > > ACSS  > is that, if both speech and purely aural styling are 
 > > addressed  > in the same stylesheet, it reduces the burden on 
 > > the author,  > allows for end-user override, and it increases 
 > > the probability  > of the implementation of both forms of 
 > > painting to the aural  > canvas. >  >  > PROPOSED RESOLUTION: >  
 > > > 1. The PF WG requests that the editors and Working Group de-
 > > deprecate the  >    "aural" media type and deprecate the 
 > > "speech" media type >  > 2. The PF WG requests that Appendix A 
 > > be renamed to Chapter/Section 19  > and  >    made normative > 
 > >  >  >  > --------------------------------------------------------
 > > -------- > CONSERVATIVE, n.  A statesman who is enamored of 
 > > existing evils, > as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes 
 > > to replace them  > with others.         -- Ambrose Bierce, _The 
 > > Devil's Dictionary_ > -------------------------------------------
 > > --------------------- >              Gregory J. Rosmaita, 
 > oedipus@hicom.net
 > >  >   Camera Obscura: http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/index.html
 > >  > --------------------------------------------------------------
 > > -- >
 > > 
 > > -- 
 > > Best Regards,
 > > --raman
 > > 
 > > Title:  Research Scientist      
 > > Email:  raman@google.com
 > > WWW:    http://emacspeak.sf.net/raman/
 > > Google: tv+raman 
 > > GTalk:  raman@google.com, tv.raman.tv@gmail.com
 > > PGP:    http://emacspeak.sf.net/raman/raman-almaden.asc
 > ------- End of Original Message -------

-- 
Best Regards,
--raman

Title:  Research Scientist      
Email:  raman@google.com
WWW:    http://emacspeak.sf.net/raman/
Google: tv+raman 
GTalk:  raman@google.com, tv.raman.tv@gmail.com
PGP:    http://emacspeak.sf.net/raman/raman-almaden.asc
Received on Wednesday, 12 December 2007 16:01:04 GMT

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