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RE: some WAI comments on SSML

From: Daniel Burnett <burnett@nuance.com>
Date: Fri, 8 Aug 2003 17:04:34 -0700
Message-ID: <ED834EE1FDD6C3468AB0F5569206E6E91AF309@MPB1EXCH02.nuance.com>
To: <w3c-wai-pf@w3.org>
Cc: <www-voice@w3.org>, <wai-liaison@w3.org>

Dear Al/WAI-PF,

Thank you for your review of the most recent SSML draft.  Our responses
are below.

If you believe we have not adequately addressed your issues with our
responses, please let us know as soon as possible.  If we do not hear
from you within 14 days, we will take this as tacit acceptance.  If
you believe you will need more time for review, we would appreciate
an estimate of how much time you will need.

Again, thank you for your input.

-- Dan Burnett
Synthesis Team Leader, VBWG

[VBWG responses are embedded, preceded by '>>>']

-----Original Message-----
From: Al Gilman [mailto:asgilman@iamdigex.net]
Sent: Wednesday, January 22, 2003 8:43 PM
To: www-voice@w3.org
Cc: w3c-wai-pf@w3.org; wai-liaison@w3.org
Subject: some WAI comments on SSML 




These comments were developed in the Protocols and Formats working group.
They have had some of the rough edges knocked off them in that process,
but are certainly open to clarification and refinement.  We don't claim
to have absorbed all the context for the current document completely.

If there is anything in these comments which is not clear, or appears to be
un-implementable, we would welcome the opportunity to discuss these points
with you before you make a final determination on a disposition.

Thank you for your consideration of these comments.

Al Gilman, Chair
W3C/WAI Protocols and Formats Working Group


1.  Pronunciation Lexicon

The Voice Browser working group contemplates perhaps producing a format
specification for a pronunciation lexicon document type which would be used
with SSML and other formats.

Some of our applications depend on using [something like SSML] together with
a lexicon to reach an acceptable level of speech quality.

We look forward to the availability of that piece of the system.

You asked for comments as to whether there should be able to be lexicon
references proper to elements not the root element.  Yes, this should be
possible.  We look forward to the use of lexicon support for not only
pronunciation but also semantic interpretation.  See for example

  Checkpoint 4.3 Annotate complex, abbreviated, or...

  Interoperable Language System (ILS)

Block quotes of technical material would benefit from their own lexicon
bindings, particularly if in one SSML document there are such block
quotes from different disciplines.

>>> Proposed disposition:  Rejected
>>> Thank you for your feedback on this issue. After extensive
>>> discussion, we were unable to find sufficient use cases to
>>> warrant the addition of lower-level lexicon changes to the
>>> specification at this time. Also, as we discussed with you
>>> in Boston in March, the addition of semantic information to
>>> the lexicon format is a topic best reserved for discussion
>>> when the standardized lexicon format discussion resumes in
>>> the Voice Browser Working Group. It will not be addressed as
>>> part of SSML. We would also encourage you to discuss your
>>> semantic information interests with our Semantic Interpretation
>>> subgroup to help both groups come to a better understanding of
>>> how our work might fit together.

2.  [editorial] Use of the term "final form."  Don't.  It will just raise
more questions than it answers, it would appear.

>>> Proposed disposition:  Accepted
>>> We will rephrase this.

3. VoiceXML took the 'audio' element from SSML,  As a result of the Last
Call review of VoiceXML 2.0 this element got changed a bit.  Please bring
the 'audio' element as used in SSML into agreement with the definition in
VoiceXML 2.0, including the specification language defining and describing
the 'desc' element.


>>> Proposed disposition:  Rejected
>>> We believe the audio element is up to date. In what way is it not?

4. Please consider the addition of a conformance clause defining a base
profile of voice adaptation capabilities, as required to be sure to produce
recognizable speech under  all conditions of hearing impairment which can
readily or reasonably be worked around through the adjustment of speech
characteristics readily implemented in the speech synthesis engine.  Compare
with parameters identified for user control in the User Agent Accessibility
Guidelines Checkpoints 4.9 through 4.13


And that SSML processors will, for all languages that they support, follow the
xml:lang indications in the markup.  Compare with:


>>> Proposed disposition:  Accepted with changes
>>> Regarding conformance language for SSML profiles: we have
>>> decided not to develop profiles for the first round of the
>>> Voice Browser Group's specifications. However, we understand
>>> the need motivating your request. In seems to us that much of
>>> the functionality you might want could easily be achieved by
>>> a pre-processor, if not all. We would welcome an appendix
>>> describing how to use a pre-processor for such cases. For
>>> capabilities that cannot be achieved via a pre-processor,
>>> we would welcome help with a profile for the next version
>>> of SSML and a set of authoring guidelines for SSML 1.0 today
>>> that we can include as either a separate appendix or as part
>>> of the "pre-processor" appendix mentioned above. In addition,
>>> we would strongly encourage you to send in requirements such
>>> as this now for use in the requirements phase for the successor
>>> to VoiceXML 2.0
>>> Regarding xml:lang indications: SSML processors are already
>>> required to follow the xml:lang indications in the markup for
>>> all languages that they support.
Received on Friday, 8 August 2003 20:12:14 UTC

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