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Re: Correct media for Aural CSS

From: Daniel Weck <daniel.weck@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 7 Nov 2011 19:44:22 +0000
Cc: W3C style mailing list <www-style@w3.org>
Message-Id: <A605496C-4A1C-48B1-8EF1-DA7C581ACB12@gmail.com>
To: Jordan Clark <clarky_y2k@hotmail.com>
Hello Jordan,
technically-speaking, CSS 2.1 "Appendix A. Aural style sheets" [1] is *informative*, whereas the CSS Speech Module Level 3 [2] - aka "CSS 3 Speech" - is destined to become a *normative* specification (I guess this is what you mean by "authoritative").

The former was a kind of stop-gap solution, thus the deprecated "aural" media type and the reserved "speech" placeholder for the next normative specification. The latter is now a W3C "Last Call" Working Draft, and the CSS Working Group is in the process of addressing [3] commenters' feedback. Once (and if) this stage is passed, the next logical step involves work on reference implementations. Hopefully this will take place within the next few months.

There are existing partial implementations [4] of CSS 2.1 aural stylesheets, are you targeting any of them? At any rate, you should check whether the "aural" media type is supported by the user-agent(s) your content targets.

There are notable differences between the feature-set of CSS 2.1 aural stylesheets versus CSS 3 Speech, so future-proofing your stylesheets probably requires considering authoring issues beyond the "aural" / "speech" media types conundrum. Personally, I would design content to perfectly meet my immediate needs (e.g. by targeting an existing CSS 2.1 Aural platform), and I would plan to prepare a transition to CSS 3 Speech once a supporting platform exists.

Hopefully, the reference implementations emerging at "Candidate Recommendation" stage will be available in experimental builds of major web browsers, so that a broad audience can experiment with CSS's speech features.

Let us know how you get on, it's always nice to hear about end-users' work.
Regards, Daniel





On 7 Nov 2011, at 18:13, Jordan Clark wrote:

> Hi everyone,
> I am writing to this list to make an enquiry regarding aural style sheets, particularly their media type. I have already posted this question over on the CSS Validator mailing list [1], but feel that this list is a more appropriate place to ask.
> Basically, my question is: which is the preferred media type for aural CSS *at present*: aural or speech?
> It seems like a straightforward question, but the most up-to-date and authoritative document, the CSS 2.1 Specification [2], (I think at least) is quite ambiguous on this matter:
> “This means that a style sheet such as [‘speech’ example code] is valid, but that its meaning is not defined by CSS 2.1, while [‘aural’ example code] is deprecated, but defined by this appendix.”
> The CSS3 Speech Module [3] does state that 'speech' is the preferred media type for future use, but as this document is still has a status of Working Draft, which I thought were not authoritative documents.
> So, in a nutshell, if I wanted to create a valid CSS 2.1 aural style sheet *today*, preferably forwards-compatible with CSS3, which is the correct/best media type to use?
> I would be very grateful if someone could help to clear this up!
> Regards,
> Jordan Clark
> Website: http://www.jdclark.org
> E-mail:   mail@jdclark.org
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> References:
> [1]          http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-validator-css/2011Nov/0001.html
> [2]          http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS21/aural.html#aural-media-group
> [3]          http://www.w3.org/TR/2011/WD-css3-speech-20110818
Received on Monday, 7 November 2011 19:44:54 UTC

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