Re: [tdf-discuss] Question about proposing the creation of a new format
Sorry for my late response; it seems I missed this mail last Friday.
On Fri, 29 Apr 2011 15:02:17 +1000, Ben McGinnes <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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On 28/04/11 9:28 PM, Christophe Strobbe wrote:
On Tue, 26 Apr 2011 14:49:11 +1000, Ben McGinnes <email@example.com>
I hadn't even heard of DAISY, but it looks very cool so thanks for
pointing me at it. I just installed the extension and will have a
little play with it at some nebulous point in the future.
Great :-) (I am involved in the development of odt2daisy.)
Cool. Since then I've tried it on a couple of things and it is pretty
nifty. Although I should really poke around for some decent DAISY
software readers/players to see (and hear) how others would experience
any given thing.
There is a list of software-based DAISY players in the Wikipedia article
I try to update it when I find something new.
Hardware DAISY players also exist, but they aren't cheap.
Since this thread mentions both ePub and DAISY I would like to point
out that the IDPF (in charge of ePub) and the DAISY Consortium are
working on a stronger convergence between the two formats.
This means that ePub 3 will contain more features to support
accessibility for people with disabilities than in previous
versions. (DAISY was designed for persons with reading impairments
from the outset.)
This is what caught my attention with DAISY and why I'm now looking
forward to ePub 3. It's a great example of where ebooks can level the
field for everyone.
I remember when I was a kid and already reading voraciously that my
Nan did too. Unfortunately her eyesight was very bad, so the only
books she could read were the large print books available at the local
library and she couldn't read everything she wanted to. This always
struck me as most unfair. We finally have the technology to render
this situation a thing of the past and we should do so.
But it also means that whatever content you put into an ePub doc
will need features to make that type of content accessible. For many
types of content (images, video, audio) this involves the use of
text alternatives. Making math and science accessible is still a
challenge, in spite of many years of research. 3D was also mentioned
in this thread - I don't know how that would be made accessible.
Fortunately for me my interest is essentially text only (regardless of
whether it is fiction or non-fiction). So I don't have to worry so
much about any of these, but it is definitely something to bear in
mind and work on.
When it comes to books, PDF is only really useful for type-setting
a print book (e.g. the way Lulu uses them for preparing print on
I think tagged PDF with reflow options in PDF readers (see one of my
previous mails) changed that a bit. Adobe Reader even has a Read Out
Loud function (but you will need to get used to synthetic speech).
Since I've used PDF for the odd report (the last one was an
anti-censorship thing), that's something I'll have to keep in mind for
next time. Also for the political stuff.
It takes a little time to prepare all the relevant formats, but
compared to the process of writing, proofing and editing, not
really all that much.
If you want a decent DAISY book, you will need (at the very least)
to make sure that you use the correct styles for headings (to enable
navigation) and that you mark the language(s) in the content
Appropriate use of styles and headings was already looking like it
would be necessary for ePub and other things anyway. I take it with
regards to the language marking you're referring to specifying the
language for a document or paragraph (rather than just the default
language of LibreOffice), right?
Yes, that is correct.
Is there a guide somewhere of the right document/page/paragraph
attributes needed to generate decent DAISY documents?
I made a presentation about this at FOSDEM in February of this year. My
slides are on Slideshare at
but I can also send them off-list.
There is more detailed guidance on accessible authoring (not geared at
DAISY) from the "Accessible Digital Office Document (ADOD) Project":
<http://adod.idrc.ocad.ca/>. Their techniques for OpenOffice.org also apply
to LibreOffice. (And they also cover MS Word, Google Docs, Corel
WordPerfect, iWork; it's an impressive set of documents.)
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K.U.Leuven - Dept. of Electrical Engineering - SCD
Research Group on Document Architectures
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