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Re: HTML5 and ruby

From: Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2012 13:45:06 +0100
To: Martin J. Dürst <duerst@it.aoyama.ac.jp>
Cc: fantasai <fantasai.lists@inkedblade.net>, public-i18n-cjk@w3.org, 'WWW International' <www-international@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20120119134506644375.d9c07c17@xn--mlform-iua.no>
"Martin J. Dürst", Thu, 19 Jan 2012 18:00:32 +0900:
> On 2012/01/19 16:05, Leif Halvard Silli wrote:
>> "Martin J. Dürst", Thu, 19 Jan 2012 10:50:52 +0900:

>> <ruby>
>>    <rb>W</rb><rp>[</rp><rt>World</rt><rp>]</rp>
>>    <rb>W</rb><rp>[</rp><rt>Wide</rt><rp>]</rp>
>>    <rb>W</rb><rp>[</rp><rt>Web</rt><rp>]</rp>
>> </ruby>
>> A screen reader would read the above as: W - World, W - Wide, W - Web.
> Why? A really dumb one might read the parentheses, too.

Not really. Screenreaders *should* not read elements which are set to 
{display:none;} - which is the case for <rt>. However there apparently 
are some readers that, at least previously, need that you, in addition, 
use {visibility:hidden;} - may be those can be described as 'really 
dumb' ...

> A more 
> intelligent might read only WWW or only World Wide Web, with an 
> acoustic indication that there's something else that can be listened 
> too.

At least NVDA and VoiceOver do not [unless they 'special cases' East 
Asian text - I did not test]. However, HTML5 includes ARIA attributes, 
and in my change proposal to include rb, I described how it could be 
done: <http://www.w3.org/html/wg/wiki/IncludeRB#Use_cases_for_rb>. The 
demo should work in any browser that supports aria-hidden='true', such 
as VoiceOver: <http://malform.no/messages/issue-172/aria.html>. [But 
using aria-hidden='true' might not be the optimal solution.]

>> So it seems to me that Ruby Annotation has some 'built-in' thoughts
>> about what's a word and what not.
> At least for Japanese screen readers, it would be very important that 
> they read the ruby, not the base text.

That's basically what I tried to do in my demo above.

Btw: HTML5 has not defined any specific ARIA roles - or any other ARIA 
features - for <ruby>, <rb>, <rt> or <rp>. It seems to me that, in 
order to get accessibility technology to read ruby like you suggest 
above, then HTML5 should define some ARIA roles/featuers for these 
elements. I think bug should be filed about that.

> There are definitely 
> exceptions, but in roughly 90% or more of the cases, ruby indicate 
> pronunciation. Even the above example can be seen this way.
> I guess that indicating which parts need to be spoken could be 
> indicated quite easily by an audio stylesheet (and if necessary 
> classes to distinguish pronunciation guides from e.g. additional text 
> to make a point or jokes). The screen reader could then pick up from 
> there.

Audio stylesheets [@media speech] are not too well supported - the 
focus appears to be on other accessibility features.

> I'm not sure to what extent that screen readers do this currently, 
> though. I had a Japanese IBM Home Page Reader working for an older 
> machine, but it doesn't work any more on the current machine, and I 
> didn't get aroud yet to install a new one.

The open source NVDA client is really lightweight and very simple to 
install in Windows XP and above [a bit unlike e.g. the demo version of 
Jaws, which is a bit more involved to use]. However
Leif H Silli
Received on Thursday, 19 January 2012 12:45:54 GMT

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