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Re: Notes on the say-as note

From: Eira Monstad <eiram@opera.com>
Date: Tue, 31 May 2005 18:55:05 +0200
To: "Pawson, David" <David.Pawson@rnib.org.uk>, www-voice@w3.org
Message-ID: <op.srnfx3lonwv5is@localhost.localdomain>

On Tue, 31 May 2005 15:54:20 +0200, Pawson, David  
<David.Pawson@rnib.org.uk> wrote:

>
>     -----Original Message-----
>     From: Eira Monstad
>
>     Since the intention is not to be iso-compliant in the first
>     place,
> Who'se intention please?

The intention of the working group who wrote the say-as note, according to  
the paragraph from the note I quoted in my message.

>    it
>      would make sense to do something that works
>     internationally. The datetime
>     format works fine for times intended to be
>     machine-readable, but is not
>     sufficient for human-readable documents in an international
>     perspective.
>
> I always thought ISO was international?

It is international in its way, but its intended use is different. ISO  
8601 is meant to be used for reliable data interchange, not to handle  
common usecases in texts intended for humans. The working group has  
apparently acknowledged this problem, since they have stated clearly in  
the say-as note that the time format is *not* intended to be iso 8601  
compliant. All I ask for is that the hour 24 is allowed, so that more  
Norwegian/Danish texts are covered, just like they allow non-iso 8601  
am/pm time formats to cover more English texts.

If the say-as time format were to be iso 8601 compliant, it would be  
unsuitable for a very large number of human-readable texts, thereby  
defying the purpose of the say-as element. The idea is to make the  
contained text easy to understand for a machine even though it was written  
for a human. If we limit the allowed contained text to just those formats  
that the computer would readily understand anyway, the usefulness of  
say-as becomes equally limited.

I agree that following iso 8601 is a very good idea if you are in control  
of the time string, but this is about recognizing time strings that were  
never intended to be machine readable in the first place.

> A reliable method of getting to any human readable format
> is to have a format which is easily machine readable, for
> transformation into the human targeted form?

I'm not sure if I understand your suggestion. How do you intend to do the  
above in the context of SSML and say-as? Remember that the transformation  
will not be into the human targeted form, but from human targeted form to  
machine readable. The document including the human targeted time string is  
typically written by some random non-techy author who is not and should  
not have to be limited by iso standards.

> regards daveP
> been there and done that guessing date and time formats.

Well, the whole idea is that by marking up the text, you won't have to  
guess what it means...


-- 
Eira Monstad
Core QA
Received on Tuesday, 31 May 2005 16:57:58 GMT

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