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RE: [css3-speech] Phonemes: request for feedback

From: Belov, Charles <Charles.Belov@sfmta.com>
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 2010 11:07:49 -0800
Message-ID: <E17F75B6E86AE842A57B4534F82D03769C33FC@MTAMAIL.muni.sfgov.org>
To: "www-style list" <www-style@w3.org>
Cc: "Daniel Weck" <daniel.weck@gmail.com>
Daniel Weck wrote on Friday, December 10, 2010 8:22 PM
> The "phonemes" property [1] described in the current Working 
> Draft of the CSS3 Speech Module covers functionality that is 
> arguably not related to styling. The concept of "phonemes" is 
> inherited from SSML [2], and indeed represents an important 
> aspect of speech synthesis.  
> However, the relevance of phonetic instructions in the 
> presentation layer needs to be discussed.
> 
> To bring concrete arguments into this discussion, I would 
> like to cite the ongoing revision of the DAISY open-standard 
> (format for Digital Talking Books and synchronized text/audio 
> publications). ANSI/NISO Z39.86-AI defines a markup grammar 
> [3] that 'adopts' SSML "phonemes"  
> to enable the provision of pronunciation instructions on XML 
> elements that are not within the SSML namespace. In other 
> words, this specification considers that phonetic 
> instructions are part of the data layer, not part of 
> styling/presentation. In this case, pronunciation information 
> is inlined within the content itself, but it could 
> alternatively be provided via some non-CSS out-of-band mechanism.
> 
> Additionally, the working group responsible for the ongoing 
> revision of the EPUB open-standard (the IDPF industry format 
> for electronic
> publications) is also in the process of drafting the adoption 
> of SSML elements for inline use within XHTML markup [4].
> 
> Due to the contentious nature of the "phonemes" property in 
> the current CSS3-Speech Working Draft, and because of the 
> planned release schedule of both aforementioned specification 
> works, I would like to strongly urge interested parties to 
> provide feedback as soon as possible.

I won't repeat my arguments from
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2010Oct/0466.html as
you've seen them.

Nevertheless, if phonetics were to be eliminated from CSS, they 
would need to be added to HTML to permit inlined phonetics.  
Overloading the title tag with this feature would lead to 
potentially inappropriate title tags for sighted website 
visitors.  I say potentially, since phonetics in a title 
attribute may well be appropriate for some websites.

I am also not clear upon reviewing the SSML spec how an HTML Web 
page would be able link to an SSML file the way HTML links to 
CSS.   From http://www.w3.org/TR/speech-synthesis/#S1:  "The 
markup may be produced either automatically, for instance via 
XSLT or CSS3 from an XHTML document, or by human authoring. 
Markup may be present within a complete SSML document (see 
Section 2.2.2) or as part of a fragment (see Section 2.2.1) 
embedded in another language, <em>although no interactions 
with other languages are specified as part of SSML 
itself.</em>" (Emphasis added)

But this seems to imply, if I am reading this correctly, that 
SSML could be embedded in an HTML or CSS document.  I would 
hope I don't have to repeat the SSML code itself in each HTML 
document.

I realize it is not CSS's concern whether phonemes are inlined 
in HTML or coded as SSML within or linked to HTML, but unless 
such capabilities exist or are planned, then my desire for 
phonetics within CSS have not been relieved.

Hope this helps,
Charles Belov
SFMTA Webmaster
Received on Monday, 13 December 2010 19:09:38 GMT

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