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Re: Is this a good hack?

From: Phill Jenkins <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>
Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2002 04:37:51 -0600
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Cc: IBM-HPR@talklist.com, jukka.korpela@tieke.fi, sethmr@bellatlantic.net
Message-ID: <OFD53B179E.11A378BF-ON86256B6D.003405D9@raleigh.ibm.com >
HPR has many reading modes; items, headings, form controls, tables, etc.
When using the "Item reading mode", HPR will speak a chunk of information
and then stop, for example, a paragraph, a list item, or some other chunk
of information and will speak again when the user presses the "next" [right
arrow] key.

But I think what you are asking for is that the default reading mode -
which just starts reading the page when it loads - is for HPR to better
honor the tagging and not just the punctuation.  In my opinion most blind
users don't use this mode very often. Blind users more often will try to
get a quicker overview of the page by using the various reading modes.
Most sighted web master I worked with do, however, expect HPR to just start
reading their page in a pleasing way based on the visual presentation that
they see while it is reading.  We've debated in the past how HPR could
better pause between heading and paragraph, between unordered list items,
between text in DIVs. In other words, where there is no punctuation at the
end of the text, what should the behavior of the speech synthesizer be?

Thanks for bringing it to our attention again.  May I also suggest that
specific question regarding HPR can be sent to the HPR list, which I copied

Phill Jenkins,  (512) 838-4517
IBM Research Division - Accessibility Center
11501 Burnet Rd,  Austin TX  78758    http://www.ibm.com/able

Seth Rothberg <sethmr@bellatlantic.net>@w3.org on 02/26/2002 07:12:37 AM

Please respond to sethmr@bellatlantic.net

Sent by:  w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org

To:   jukka.korpela@tieke.fi, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject:  Re: Is this a good hack?

Hi Jukka,

Thanks for your in depth answer. I'm sorry, though, because  I might have
saved you some work and time by saying in the original post that my
are marked up with <p> and in HPR the paragraphs are, in my estimation,
read run together.

Using an ordered list doesn't change the way HPR reads, it just sounds out
that 1, 2, 3, that may make it easier to tell the different items apart.

Thanks again,


On Tuesday 26 February 2002 01:44 am, jukka.korpela@tieke.fi wrote:
> Seth Rothberg wrote:
> > I've spent the morning playing with a part of a web page
> > that contains a  bunch of what I call news tidbits. Visually,
> > it's easy to distinguish between the items.
> Which markup did you use? <div>...</div> around each tidbit, or
> <br> between them, or something else? If you use <div> or <br>,
> then there will be line breaks in visual presentation, of course
> (except that I recently heard that an old version of Lynx failed
> to do that for <div>!). It is debatable how line breaks indicated
> in markup should be handled in non-visual presentation and whether
> <div> should be handled differently from <br>. I'd say that
> a) user agents should assume that such line breaks may be essential,
> and should make short pauses accordingly; for example, they might
> even correspond to the verse structure of a poem!
> b) authors should avoid assuming that user agents do the above;
> authors should try to find better, more structural approaches.
> > But when I listened to them in Home Page Reader, they all just
> > seemed to run together.
> So you probably used <br> or <div>? From my experience with Home Page
> Reader, that program, which has many excellent features in other
> often runs things together - maybe even if you use <ul> and <li> without
> punctuation at the end of each item? Let's hope it gets improved.
> But wouldn't <p> markup be more suitable for your purposes? The tidbits
> small paragraphs, aren't they? Using <p> would make HPR read the text
> and it would not be just a workaround but a genuine solution. Moreover,
> lets (if I remember correctly) the user to skip the rest of a paragraph
> with some simple keyboard command, and such "skippability" is very useful
> and something that good user agents can be expected to support generally.
> It is less obvious that a user agent should support skipping to the next
> <br> or to the end of the current <div>.
> Naturally, you could then use some CSS to style the paragraphs in visual
> presentation as desired.
> > So what I did was to turn the set of tidbits into an ordered list and
> > then turned off the visual display of numerals.
> An interesting idea! It is more common (though not very common) to use
> unordered list (<ul>) and turn off the visual display of bullets. Using
> <ol> is probably better when HPR is used: it reads <ol> much more clearly
> as a list than <ul>.
> > What's interesting to me is that Home Page Reader still enumerates the
> > list items.
> Which is actually part of the solution! Well, workaround. If you had used
> <ul>, it might have read the items without noticeable pauses between
> except as caused by punctuation in the text. (Disclaimer: HPR may have
> changed since I last used it.) Thus, reading the numbers compensates for
> this deficiency.
> But the problem is avoided if <p> is used.
Received on Wednesday, 27 February 2002 07:54:34 UTC

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