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Re: [External] Re: New fundamental test book and covers

From: Avneesh Singh <avneesh.sg@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 7 Dec 2018 14:26:56 +0530
Message-ID: <F426522F2ED0431A9464DAF3CBE80C5E@DESKTOPG923ARA>
To: "Laurent Le Meur" <laurent.lemeur@edrlab.org>, "W3C EPUB 3 Community Group" <public-epub3@w3.org>

This discussion is difficult to understand for me, as it mixes many levels (best practices for creating ebooks and best practices for developing reading systems).  

Avneesh: Right now the focus is to improve the content and not push changes in reading systems. 

Here is the view of a reading system developer : an accessible UA has 2 main "views"
1- a library view
2- a reading view

The library view (native of html) is composed from a set of metadata extracted from each publication. The cover is the visual clue if it exists (if not, most UAs create a placeholder where the cover should be); the title and authors may or may not be *displayed* below/above/around the cover; if the UA is accessible, the title and authors are always included (visible or not) so that a Screen Reader can see them. 
Is there an interest to add a description of the cover in this view? IMHO it would be cluttering the UX.

Avneesh: If title and author are available with adequate accessibility in this view, additional description is not required.

The reading view is accessed by a user when he "open" the ebook. At this point, many ebooks start with a cover page (*). The user knows which book he has just opened, to the title of the book is less interesting here (The TOC should a least give this info, plus see below about publication info), but a detailed description of the cover is interesting for visually disabled people -> it may become a best practice to include such a page in the reading order, but see below.

Avneesh: Indeed, image description is placed in reading view.

A good UA may also have a third view, a publication info view (this is the case for the new EDRLab desktop app at least). Such view shows the metadata associated with the publication (EPUB metadata), including the cover of the book, its title, authors and more (as much as the publishers sees fit). The view should be accessible and the details description of the cover should be found there -> this is definitely what I would push as a best practice for reading systems. 

Avneesh: Great to know about this view in new Readium. yes image description in this view will be useful.

(*) the proper display of this cover page is a pain in practice, as discussed in https://github.com/readium/readium-css/issues/55 


Laurent Le Meur

  Le 7 déc. 2018 à 05:40, Avneesh Singh <avneesh.sg@gmail.com> a écrit :

  Good to see that accessibility of cover image has generated such a good discussion.
  Clarifying the objective of this example sent by George.

  In EPUB 3, cover was not accessible, we recognized it while development of WP, and worked on making it accessible.

  But EPUB 3.x is still lagging behind in this, so the objective is to provide a "work around" for providing accessible cover in the existing environment and existing state of reading systems. This is why the focus is on content and not on updating reading systems.
  It is difficult to come up with precise set of guidelines that will fit all kind of EPUB publications. So, I think that our approach should be to define some principles and allow content creators to develop best practices or their content based on the principles. The principles that we discussed were:
  The main principle is that a cover should solve the same purpose for person with disability as it would do for any other person. for example, if a cover image is used for marketing or generating interest in the potential readers, the alt text should provide the same information to person with disability.
  We encourage providing extended description, but it is not a hard requirement because many publishers are still at the level of providing meaningful alttext.

  Title of the publication is exposed by reading systems, but metadata for author may or may not be exposed in accessible way.
  So, title and author should be provided to ensure that both are available to readers. In the fundamental test book example, this info is the first piece in alt text, which is followed by description of the image.

  So, the intent is to provide a simple example build on a set of principles, that can work in existing environment and existing reading systems.

  With regards
  -----Original Message----- From: Johnson, Rick
  Sent: Friday, December 7, 2018 9:03
  To: deborah.kaplan@suberic.net ; 'W3C EPUB 3 Community Group'
  Subject: Re: [External] Re: New fundamental test book and covers

  I don't see a way to move beyond #3 (the status quo).

  #2 - The complexities of making something optional on a title by title basis, determining who is making it optional (publisher? Distributor? Author? Reader?  Can a teacher make it optional for a textbook, but only for specific classes? And on, and on...), and then inserting it into the reading order (is it maintained in the same place for every book on subsequent launches?  Can it be placed in arbitrary places?  Who determines this?), while requiring a reading system to solve this in order to be conformant, is too onerous.

  #1 - The complexities of reverse engineering every AT and how to insert non-standard alt markup for it to be treated like standard alt markup, and requiring reading systems to do this (and maintain it as new AT emerge, and existing ones update) in order to be conformant, is too onerous.

  We are left with #3.


  On 12/6/18, 4:54 PM, "deborah.kaplan@suberic.net" <deborah.kaplan@suberic.net> wrote:

    I feel like metadata is a red herring here, because while it's one of the use cases, the examples I gave (comics and picture books) are of cases where the art should be described, as meaningful images. This means there is a clear use case for cover alt being available to a book reader, regardless of options for encoding metadata. This means there are three plausible solutions:

    1. Require reading systems to report any cover alt to AT, in some way, perhaps with visually hidden text marked as doc-cover.

    2. Require reading systems to make the cover available to all readers, as well as AT, as an optional page that can be read in the reading order.

    3. Tell content creators that if content from the cover is meaningful to the reading experience, they need to including it as a page in the reading order. (This is more or less what we do now.)

    Three is the status quo and results in an inconsistent and confusing state of affairs.  Two is what I've always wished we do, but I have heard plenty of others in publishing who dislike having the cover in the reading order.  We ideally should do one or two.

Received on Friday, 7 December 2018 08:57:22 UTC

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