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ANN: formsPlayer combines XForms and the CSS3 Speech Module to produce multimodal forms

From: Mark Birbeck <mark.birbeck@x-port.net>
Date: Sun, 29 Aug 2004 00:06:51 +0100
To: <www-multimodal@w3.org>, <www-voice@w3.org>, <www-style@w3.org>, <public-wai-rd@w3.org>, <www-forms@w3.org>, <www-html@w3.org>
Cc: <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>, <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, <w3c-forms@w3.org>, <w3c-htm-wgl@w3.org>, <formsPlayer@yahoogroups.com>
Message-ID: <000601c48d53$b598aba0$0a01a8c0@W100>

The formsPlayer [1] team have made available a talking shopping-cart
demonstration to illustrate the ease with which speech can be integrated
into an XForms [2] application. Using declarative mark-up rather than
script, an author is now able to indicate that XForms data is to be spoken,
as well as choose a 'voice' and language processor that should be used to
speak the information.

Just as with visual XForms messages, spoken ones are completely dynamic
(with text coming from the XForms data model), and can be triggered using
DOM 2 Events or XML Events [3].

And if no text-to-speech (TTS) engine is detected by formsPlayer, messages
are rendered visually instead, making it easy to use the same XForms mark-up
to target other platforms and processors.

A Flash video of the multimodal shopping-cart sample is available here (with


The full XForms sample is available here:


Note that this live sample requires formsPlayer and Microsoft Agent [4] to
be installed. Information on how to do this is available here:


The current version of formsPlayer supports Microsoft Agent as the only TTS
engine. However, since formsPlayer supports an XML-based extension mechanism
(the Extensible Binding Language, or XBL [5]) then other TTS engines can
easily be incorporated, and will be in the future.

The syntax used to specify speaking messages is based on the current Working
Draft of the CSS3 Speech Module:


The implemented features are illustrated in detail here:


The syntax may change if the draft changes. Also, the next release of
formsPlayer will incorporate more of the features specified, including mark,
volume, pitch, speed and pause.

If you have any comments on our multimodal work, or have problems using any
of the features, there is an active Yahoo! Group where questions will be
answered, and suggestions for improving formsPlayer gratefully received:


We look forward to your comments.

[1] formsPlayer is an XForms processor that implements the entire
    XForms 1.0 standard as a plug-in for Internet Explorer 6:


[2] XForms is a W3C standard for the next generation of web-based


[3] XForms processors are required to support XML Events, which is
    an XML language that allows DOM 2 Event listeners to be defined:


[4] Microsoft Agent is a speech processor from Microsoft:


[5] XBL was originated for the Mozilla browser. The formsPlayer
    implementation is based on:


Best regards,


PS If you are on many lists I apologise for the multiple copies that you
will have received.

Mark Birbeck
x-port.net Ltd.

e: Mark.Birbeck@x-port.net
t: +44 (0) 20 7689 9232
w: http://www.formsPlayer.com/

Download our XForms processor from
Received on Saturday, 28 August 2004 23:07:15 UTC

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