W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > wai-xtech@w3.org > December 2007

[CSS21] alternatives to 'cue' sounds counter-response

From: Gregory J. Rosmaita <oedipus@hicom.net>
Date: Fri, 28 Dec 2007 19:28:40 +0000
To: wai-xtech@w3.org, wai-liaison@w3.org
Message-Id: <20071228192332.M91366@hicom.net>

aloha, all!

in the post archived at:


AlG submitted PF's request for more specific verbiage concerning 
alternatives to 'cue' sounds -- which was provided by the PFWG --
was met with a tepid nonchalant response on the www-style list, to

Al, CSS2.1 is currently a Candidate Recommendation, not a Last Call
Working Draft; furthermore Appendix A is only informative. Your
proposed text doesn't seem to say anything different from what is
there, it only adds more examples. I can suggest that the CSS3 Speech
editor consider adding some more example text to the CSS3 Speech
but I'm not convinced that we need to make this change for CSS2.1.

i propose counter-responding with the following, which i will log as a 
personal proposal should it fail obtain consensus within the PFWG, as i 
believe this to be an extremely important issue, and have been seconded
in that sentiment by several within PF:

The PF WG understands that CSS 2.1 is a CR and not in LC -- if CSS 2.1 
were in LC, the objection would not be editorial, but substantial -- 
namely, the restoration of the "aural" properties of CSS 2.0 to NORMATIVE 
status, and retention of the media type selector "aural" over the newer, 
more limited, and unwarranted division of the aural palette to "speech"

The proposed change in wording is significant, as it underscores that when
aural events alone are fired, they can be communicated to a user without 
a sound card or the ability to hear (temporarily or permanently) to use 
the underlying operating systems' mechanism for "show sounds" to receive 
the uni-modal alert.

It is disappointing enough to those of us whose experience of the web is 
exclusively aural that the aural media type should be deprecated and 
banished to an aptly named "appendix" -- a vestigial organ -- and that an 
artificial bifurcation between aural events and speech properties should 
be perpetuated by the change in the media type nomenclature.

It may not seem important to the editors of the CSS 2.1 to address the 
explicitly proposed textual addition from the PF WG, but it is extremely 
important to the PFWG that since the aural canvas is addressed, that it 
be addressed in a manner that explicitly mandates that when a modality-
specific cue or event is fired, an equivalent event be expressed to the 
end user in a means which that end user CAN process/understand.


This may be a "small" point from the CSS 2.1 editors' point-of-view, but
from the WAI's point-of-view the added verbiage is as essential as getting
the editors to correct the inaccessibility of the index to CSS 2.1

SELF-EVIDENT, adj.  Evident to one's self and to nobody else.
                    -- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
    Gregory J. Rosmaita: oedipus@hicom.net
         Camera Obscura: http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/
Oedipus' Online Complex: http://my.opera.com/oedipus
Received on Friday, 28 December 2007 19:29:01 UTC

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