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Ruby Markup - Not Rails

From: Simon Evans <simon.evans@rixcentre.org>
Date: Tue, 5 Feb 2008 22:32:43 -0000
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <073901c86847$06e33760$3263a8c0@legolas>


Do people here think that adopting ruby markup for AAC symbols be viewed as
abuse of purpose? In some applications symbols are custom character sets,
but most often symbols are images. Use of img as the ruby base validates OK
under xhtml1.1 - but is it wrong to use images, maybe vectors and suchlike
as ruby base text? 

How are screen readers and other AT likely to approach more complex ruby -
will they read/display multiple ruby text containers, acknowledge
relationships etc - would secondary ruby text normally hold relevant
information? For instance, a short run of text which is key concept
annotated by only a couple of symbols could employ two ruby text containers;
one to annotate the ruby base texts summary annotation with corresponding
ruby texts, while a further container spans all to convey the unabridged
text. Something like...

  <rb><img src="bad_symbol" ... /></rb>
  <rb><img src="example_symbol" ... /></rb>
  <rt rbspan="2">This is a bad example.</rt>

Is there a better way to achieve this using html alone, one which maintains
the semantics - ie a link between symbol and qualifier - or a more complex
tiered relationship between several symbols, their qualifiers and a run of

Do people feel Ruby is likely to get better browser support anytime soon?
[right now only IE7 and Firefox with the ruby+xhtml extension seem to
support it].


If you're not familiar with AAC symbols http://www.askability.org.uk/ is a
site which uses them in what has become the conventional way - where tables
are used to maintain the visual-vertical position of symbols over their
qualifying text [particularly, maintain position when CSS is not in use or
defined locally] - text position and visual association with text is central
to their usage, its not just aesthetics. Another approach toward ensuring
the correct visual placement of the qualifying text is to make it part of
the image and use it as the alternative text: eg Widgit's own site -
http://www.symbolworld.org/. These two sites are targeting youngsters with a
range of literacy issues, so the text is often fully annotated by symbols.
My particular interest is in symbol use by people, including adults, with
intellectual disabilities [mental retardation] - in this context symbols are
often used more sparingly to annotate the keywords or concepts of a
Received on Tuesday, 5 February 2008 22:32:56 UTC

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