Re: alphabytes (was Re: definition)

At 02:22 PM 2001-08-03 , gregory j. rosmaita wrote:
>hola, emmanuelle!
>On Fri, 3 Aug 2001, Emmanuelle Gutiérrez y Restrepo wrote:
>> Thank you for the splendid explanation, Gregory.
><span lang="spanglais"> de nada, mi amiga! </span>
>> But an alphabet is also:
>> A system of characters or symbols representing sounds or things.
>even when it extends well past the letter B, just as many western european
>languages have numerically mis-named months...
>> And a Chinese alphabet exists. And naturally a Chinese text in the Web
>> will be alphanumeric, it will use characters and numbers of the Chinese
>> alphabet.  I think so! 

Chinese and Japanese each have both alphabets and word-level ideographic
characters which characters have codes in UniCode but which should not be
considered letters in the sense of comprising an alphabet.

>on the best of all possible webs, chinese (and all alphabets) will be
>symbolically represented by unicode!
>hmmm -- could what we call "text" in WAI documents could be defined as
>"ideas or concrete concepts, expressed in the glphyic system utilized by
>the declared natural language", or something similar in english?  (i still
>haven't been able to locate a gregorian-to-english translation service) 
>on second thought, i really don't think that helps anyone, except,
>perhaps, for george orwell, should he be in danger of losing momentum... 

Just substitute 'writing' for 'glyphic' and you are getting somewhere.

'Text' is _not a buzzword_.  Is to be used in the WAI documents for any sense
associated with this term by common [international] usage in English.

Natural Text is [a Term of Art which, where used in this bookshelf, indicates]
content which can be understood by some not-too-rough approximation of reading
the current natural language [as determined by the context] as that
language is
commonly written.

[Cross-Disability] Accessible Text is [yet another Term of Art etc.] Natural
Text that is additionally a) comprehensible when presented in a stream, either
through Text-to-Speech automation or in a continuously streaming marquee
presentation and b) spelled out pedantically enough [cf. vowel suppression in
Middle Eastern languages] as to be compatible with the input requirements of
commonly available text-to-speech technology for the current language.

The first special rule rules out ASCII art and acrostics.  The second rules
vowel-free Hebrew, for example.

Note: What we want is stricter than anything one can define simply as 'text.' 
This is the bug in the circular proposal [text is what is trimodal accessible]
for a UAAG definition.  That is why I have introduced separate definitions for
text and accessible text.

Note:  don't say 'usually written' because that implies there is one way.
languages have multiple 'commonly written' writing systems.

We can debate about algebra and chemical formulas.  But those communities have
taken the position that they aren't plain text, so we don't have to debate too

Maybe we need further down to distinguish 'plain text' from algebra and data
structures where a schema of types or symbols is required although some
processing can be performed as if plain text.


>PEDIGREE, n.  The known part of the route from an arboreal ancestor with
>a swim bladder to an urban descendant with a cigarette.
>                      -- Ambrose Bierce, _The Devil's Dictionary_
>Gregory J. Rosmaita,
>                Camera Obscura:

Received on Friday, 3 August 2001 16:08:41 UTC