W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > January to March 1999

Re: emotica, ASCII art and accessibility - some suggestions

From: cait hurley <cait@london.virgin.net>
Date: Fri, 15 Jan 1999 17:30:29 +0000
Message-Id: <>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
...in which case, we should lobby in a nice way to established screen
reader companies. 

Does anyone have a list and we can co-ordinate a "Hey, wouldn't this be a
good idea, and guess what - we've worked out how you can do it as well"
type semi-campaign.

... er, or something similar! 

At 12:17 15/01/99 -0500, you wrote:
>You got my vote! I may be the one that complained but I really am all for
>more accessibility not less.  If my screen reader said smile and wink
>instead of gobbeldegook it would be great.
>I don't know if there are screen readers that do that
>-----Original Message-----
>From: waz@easynet.co.uk <waz@easynet.co.uk>
>To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
>Date: Friday, January 15, 1999 11:05 AM
>Subject: emotica, ASCII art and accessibility - some suggestions
>>In terms of proposing ASCII representations for things in online
>>communication, without regard to whether or not the 'Air Hug' suggestion
>>is something that will or will not catch on, the following things
>>occurred to me:
>>Things divide into two categories here - the small scale, 'inline'
>>emoticon type ASCII stuff, like smileys, and the large scale graphical
>>extravaganzas of full-blown multi-line ASCII artwork. Neither one is
>>intrinsically accessible, and in terms of the second, I believe that the
>>fact that there are as many accessiblity problems as there are with
>>other kinds of graphics will not stop anyone from using it. ASCII art is
>>out there and will not die - it is a shame that it is in the category of
>>artwork that cannot necessarily be appreciated by all, but perhaps those
>>who cannot see it will come to regard it in the same way that I
>>personally regard opera - I ignore it and save time. The sensible
>>compromise seems to me to suggest that ASCII art should only be used in
>>sites and documents that either relate to ASCII art itself or that have
>>some other kind of intrinsic accessibility issue. A special kind of PRE
>>tag would be good, with an ALT of some sort, and then we could use ASCII
>>art, and would have some way of making it accessible and dealing with
>>the large online legacy of currently inaccessible-due-to-ascii-artwork
>>Meanwhile, the inline emoticons and smileys are so widely distributed
>>online as to have attained, as far as I can tell, the equivalent of
>>language status, in a sense, so it isn't a question of telling people to
>>stop using them, because they wont. Perhaps a solution might be to get
>>screen readers to have a list of the most commonly used ones and
>>translate them accordingly. Such a list could be managed centrally by
>>the WAI, in the form of a simple text file, with each line containing
>>the emoticon and the description seperated by tabs (or something), which
>>screenreaders could update the latest version of on a regular basis and
>>use to translate every :), :-) X| and ~;) they come across. and it
>>should be two way - with an 'insert' smiley option - after all, why
>>shouldn't users of screenreaders be able to use 'winking smiley' or
>>whatever as well as anyone.
>>Maintaining this file would be a reasonable amount of work, I imagine,
>>especially as there may not be universal agreement on the best way to
>>translate each of the major emoticons into each language required, but
>>it seems to me worthwhile in the sense that I feel strongly that
>>solutions to accessibility issues ought to try to bring everyone in to
>>what is already there, not to reduce what is already there to what
>>everyone can already see, as well as making sure that all the new stuff
>>is universally accessible too.
>>I would be happy to help sort this out to the extent that I am able,
>>though I am not an expert on either emoticons or screenreaders -
>>certainly there already exist many listings of 'yer basic online
>>emoticons' - and I thought I'd seen one on the w3c site itself once
>>(though I can't find it right now) - surely it's just a question of
>>finding a list to build a canonical central list from, making sure the
>>suggestion gets directed at screenreader writers and sorting it out with
>>next versions of screenreader software. do no current screenreaders have
>>a 'set this sequence of characters to mean this phrase' option? forwards
>>or backwards?
>>Apologies if this has all been hashed over before.
>>cheers etc.,
>>> The idea of an 'Air Hug' may be great but ..those slashes and dots are
>>> very helpful for those of us who use screen readers. I would not like to
>>> their use expanded.
>>> Marti
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: Robert C. Neff <rcn@fenix2.dol-esa.gov>
>>> To: 'w3c-wai-ig@w3.org' <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
>>> Date: Friday, January 15, 1999 8:27 AM
>>> Subject: suggestion
>>> >To those who are not familiar with the slang "Air Hug", here is an
>>> > If you appreciate what someone has done and this act warrants a hug but
>>> >are separated by distance (short, long, or over the internet) and cannot
>>> >render the hug. You can extend your arms and pretend to hug and say "Air
>>> >Hug"
>>> >
>>> >As I have not seen an ascii representation for an "Air Hug",  I propose
>>> >\../ > and for a "GREAT BIG AIR HUG" < \\..// >
>>> >
>>> >Obviously I am in a good mood!
>>> >
>>> >Rob
>>> >

Cait Hurley                                     0171 479 4420
Producer, Member Services                       ICQ:  1257510	
http://www.virgin.net/vnet/                pager:01523 149804
Received on Friday, 15 January 1999 12:30:34 UTC

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