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Re: XFO Mapping...

Subject: Re: XFO Mapping...
From: Paul Prescod <paul@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 05 May 1999 08:21:33 -0500
microsoft support for xfo
Guy_Murphy@xxxxxxxxxx wrote:
> What I'm trying to get together in my head (and I confess the idea is
> nacent) is a mechanism to allow the second option you outline to be
> undertaken by the stylesheet author, so that they can define the mappings
> that allow graceful degradation.

Let me point out again that I have no problem whatsoever with allowing
author control over aural presentation, whether by embedded attributes or
completely separate stylesheets (and we probably need both).

But we also need to think about how to make un-annotated formatting
objects degrade.

> Your example of a dialog box sits in my mind in a gray area, an example I
> would prefer to use is a menu. I don't believe that a menu can degrade
> gracefully into aural media. All the visual queues that are present to
> inform the user that it is a menu are absent, and I'm worried that the
> listener might just be presented with "Home", "Products", "Contact"....
> with no context being conveyed to them. A menu is a visual navigation
> construct, what I would like to present is an aural navigation construct
> that clearly conveys that context, and outlines options to the listeners
> and instruction on how to vocalise actuation.

If you want to use a menu as your example, I am happy to oblige.

Microsoft (as one example) has designed their menus so that they do
degrade as gracefully as is possible. You can navigate them with a
keyboard and I'm pretty sure that on an accessibility-enabled copy of
Windows you can have the OS read them to you allowed. Either by convention
or requirement, menus are almost always text-based.

Are menus an *optimal* user interface for blind people or non-mouse-users?
No. But if Microsoft they did not degrade gracefully then blind people and
non-mouse-users would need to depend upon the goodwill and industry of
software developers. Since most software developers are lazy, just as most
web page designers are lazy, that would remove their ability to use a lot
of software.

Now if a software developer or web page designer wants to specifically
accessibility-enable their software/web site, I don't see how the
degredation features interfere with that. You could merely override the
defaults or else provide a completely separate, optimized-for-sound
stylesheet, just as I can add an aural interface to a Windows application.

 Paul Prescod  - ISOGEN Consulting Engineer speaking for only himself

The first three Noble Truths of Python:
  All that is not Python is suffering.
  The origin of suffering lies in the use of not-Python.
  The cessation of suffering can be achieved by not using not-Python.

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