(Fwd) Aural CSS for authors

Forwarded message:
From:     Self <Single-user mode>
To: w3c-wai-er-ig@w3c.org
Subject: Aural CSS for authors
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 1999 09:30:39

Hello again,

Hope everything's going OK.  I haven't got too much further with the 
access gateway apart from sorting out one or two more problems and I'm 
about to get lots of exams so probably won't be doing too much in the 
near future.  One rather interesting thing is someone sent me some 
Javascript to do dynamic HTML that works on IE4 and Netscape 4 (any 
platform); it intercepts clicks on images and magnifies them.  He wrote 
it for picture gallery pages but didn't realise how useful it can be to 
partially sighted people who have the appropriate browsers (and because 
it includes Netscape we don't all have to go over to Microsoft).  This 
is a real gem and it's the only DHTML I've ever come across that's 
actually useful, so I put it in the gateway as an extension.

Anyway the point.  I was talking to someone who had written a short 
story and wanted to control the speech synthesisers of blind people who 
were reading the page, so the different characters came out differently 
and so on.  I mentioned aural CSS, thinking that there might be a 
browser out there somewhere that actually supports it, but the problem 
was that this didn't help the author much.  Authors of web pages aren't 
going to use things like aural CSS unless they can hear for themselves 
what their creations will sound like.  And most authors of web pages 
cannot afford to buy expensive specialist equipment for such one-off 
use.  What would be really ideal is if there were somewhere online that 
you can point at your web page and that will render it using aural CSS 
and return the wave file (with any background sounds mixed in).  It 
might get a bit overloaded though so perhaps it could send it via email 
in its own time.  Or at the very least it would be good if there were 
somewhere online where you could adjust all the voice parameters and 
hear it say a short phrase of your own choosing, but this might not be 
enough for that kind of author to tell if the page is OK.

Because I do not have the technology or the right software, I cannot 
provide a service like this myself, but does anyone have any interesting 
links or can I just throw it into the melting pot?  I'm afraid I'll have 
to leave you lot to melt it though because I must get on.


-- Silas S Brown, St John's College Cambridge UK http://epona.ucam.org/~ssb22/

"In the net that they hid, their own foot has been caught" - Psalm 9:15

Received on Tuesday, 20 April 1999 04:40:05 UTC