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Re: Accessible chat

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Sun, 25 Apr 1999 02:04:37 -0400 (EDT)
To: Jutta Treviranus <jutta.treviranus@utoronto.ca>
cc: Jan Erik Hårvei <jan.erik.haarvei@funkweb.no>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.10.9904250149330.4686-100000@tux.w3.org>
Some fairly random thoughts:

One of the problems with chat is threading it - knowing what is going on if
it moves too fast to keep up. Strategies which provide a solution for this
would be very cool.

IRC is old and well-tested technology based on text. Directing IRC output
into a simple HTML conversion should be pretty simple. There is a standard
way to mark the speaker and the words spoken, for example, where I am talking
to speaker1 and speaker2 there may be something like the following:

speaker1 -> hello there
speaker2 -> hi, how are you?
speaker1 -> well thanks
** Charles joins
-> hi all
speaker1 -> hi me
* Charles waves to speaker1

There are simple formatting conventions which could be used by an HTML
conversion tool to provide conversion on the fly. A more complex tool could
add information to allow threading, filtering and so on by a database. I
guess a speech synthesiser could be used to build a streaming audio file on
the fly, using Audio Styling to distinguish various speakers. A person could
refresh an HTML version as often as they could keep up, using a marker based
on the time to ensure they remain in the place they were, or to give them
only the new conversation with a different link allowing them to get archives
for the last six minutes (or twelve hours, or whatever). The use of an
appropriately positioned input would allow for input via HTML.

dealing with graphic whiteboards is more complex and requires tracking the
changes made to the whiteboard and describing them. This is kind of tricky
using current technology.

charles McCN

On Thu, 22 Apr 1999, Jutta Treviranus wrote:

  We have a similar challenge with our SNOW site. What we have done is
  created a Java Swing-based chat and used the IBM SVK to provide text to
  speech. If you wish, we can give you more detail about what we have done
  and the access problems we encountered when using other chat programs that
  led us to resort to re-writing a simple chat.
  Jutta Treviranus
  ATRC, University of Toronto
  At 5:19 PM +0200 4/22/99, Jan Erik Hårvei wrote:
  >FunkWeb Ltd is currently involved in several large projects where part
  >of the requirements are that accessible chat solutions be incorporated,
  >either by way of IRC or with java/html. We have explored several
  >possibilities, but have trouble deciding on a solution.
  >One of these projects aims at building a free-for-all virtual
  >meta-community for the disabled, where information about disabilities
  >and chronic illness, medical news, health related material, legal
  >information, links to other resources etc. is to form the body of
  >content. The service will contain a news service based on intelligent
  >agent-technology, member home-page areas, chat, mailing-lists,
  >web-boards etc. It's imperative that these services are accessible to
  >all users. All web-pages will be published based on SQL-database
  >technology, distinguishing between lay-out and content. Content will be
  >published in a graphic as well as a text-only version.
  >Does anybody have any ideas on how to make chat-solutions accessible?
  >Jan Erik Harvei
  >Managing Director
  >FunkWeb Ltd
  >e-mail: jan.erik.haarvei@funkweb.no
  >FunkWeb Ltd was established in 1997 to employ multimedia to create jobs
  >for the disabled. The company is owned by The Norwegian Federation for
  >the Disabled. We currently have thirty participants enrolled in a
  >three-year IT & multimedia education programme, and have established a
  >multimedia production unit as well as an office for job adaptation and
  >-training for the disabled.
  >Our vision is a society where the disabled and chronically ill
  >participate on equal terms.

--Charles McCathieNevile            mailto:charles@w3.org
phone: +1 617 258 0992   http://www.w3.org/People/Charles
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative    http://www.w3.org/WAI
MIT/LCS  -  545 Technology sq., Cambridge MA, 02139,  USA
Received on Sunday, 25 April 1999 02:05:07 UTC

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