See minutes online for a more detailed record of the discussions. (The headers below link into the relevant sections of the minutes.)
The CSS WG had a face-to-face meeting last week in Paris; from this group Dave Cramer, Chris Lilley, Bert Bos, and Alan Stearns participated. They gave a report (led by Dave Cramer).
There was a fair amount of discussion on issues of interest for DPUB. The issue of displaying things in a viewport/page came up which was identified as having missing pieces; seems to be missing from the conceptual model of CSS. A new spec will be defined to bridge that gap; that is an important element for pagination in general. The CSS fragmentation spec is also progressing; these two features are essential for a more general pagination solution.
However, on the pagination in general, there is currently a gap among browser vendors and some other participants of the WG. Essentially, browser vendors regard pagination as an application feature (i.e., that should be implemented on top of the browser as a complex Web Application) as opposed to a fundamental feature that should be provided by the platform. Many non-browser participants regard, on the other hand, pagination as a fundamental feature.
For pagination in general (and the needs of the DPUB industry in particular) this means that the core layout part will solve, via the core implementation, about 70% of the needs, and the remaining 30% will have to be solved by external scripts based on the features provided by Houdini. What is in that (rougly) 70% is a very simple pagination which will interact with the viewport spec, but more complex cases like side-by-side, footnoted, sidetones, etc, will not be done.
There are, however, lots of interested people who want to push things forward; maybe subgroups will organize calls and meetings to work on these items and bring them back to the CSS WG.
Another way forward is to see whether there could be some sort of a reference and/or proof-of-concept pagination implementation that could be put out there (maybe even in open source). At the moment, all reading systems implement pagination on their own (and people are usually not proud of the code they produce); but the new possibilities of the CSS core may help in reducing the footprint of such an implementations; a proof-of-concept code would help. The best would be to seek a cooperation with, e.g., the Readium Consortium on this.
Another line of thought is to gather evidence, studies, etc, on the usefulness of pagination for long content, regardless on whether this is used in a browser or a reading system. (An example is a study of the Nielsen Norman Group “Infinite Scrolling Is Not for Every Website”.
There were also some discussion on the feedbacks received on the recent IG draft on CSS priorities at the CSS WG; some reorganization of the document may be necessary. The most important takeaway was that, maybe, a Math may warrant a separate document, due to its complexity and size.
The group also discussed to organize a more structured joint meeting with the CSS WG at the TPAC meeting in October.
Next week’s meeting has been cancelled due to a US holiday.
The Digital Publishing Interest Group’s charter has been renewed as of the 1st of September, 2015. The new charter follows the footsteps of the previous charter insofar as building bridges between the technical needs of the Digital Publishing Community and the development of the Open Web Platform. Furthermore, the new charter also adopts, as a general vision for the future of Digital Publishing, the approach described in a separate white paper “Advancing Portable Documents for the Open Web Platform: EPUB+WEB”, leading to the mission description of the group:
The mission of the Digital Publishing Interest Group is to provide a technical forum for experts in the digital publishing ecosystem to hold discussions and recommend solutions regarding a future vision of Digital Publishing. The main message of that vision is that the current format- and workflow-level separation between offline/portable and online document publishing should be diminished to zero. The Interest Group will provide technical direction, identify technical issues, and outline prototype solutions for relevant Working Groups of the W3C to finalize as Web standards. This group is not chartered to publish Recommendations; instead, the goal is to cooperate with the relevant W3C Working Groups to ensure that the requirements of this particular community are met.
The groups is also planning to document draft technical solutions and, possibly, put forward proof-of-concept implementations. If some of the technical issues will warrant the creation of separate Working Groups for the purpose of formal standardization, the Interest Group will take an active role in the corresponding chartering activity.
The new charter extends the Interest Group until October 2017; the group is co-chaired by Tzviya Siegman, from John Wiley & Sons, Inc., and Markus Gylling, from the Daisy Consortium and IDPF.
Screen Reader User Survey #6
The results of our 6th WebAIM Screen Reader User Survey have been published at http://webaim.org/projects/screenreaders
We received our largest response ever with 2515 survey respondents. Thank you for participating!
ZoomText and Window-Eyes Data
The most surprising data is certainly the significant increase in the usage of ZoomText and Window-Eyes.
Reported usage of ZoomText as respondents’ primary screen reader skyrocketed in the last 18 months from 1.3% in January 2014 to 22.2% in July 2015. ZoomText is used as a primary screen reader as often as both NVDA (14.6%) and VoiceOver (7.6%) combined!
Window-Eyes increased as a primary screen reader from 6.7% to 20.7% in the last 18 months. As a result, there were significant decreases in the usage of JAWS (from 50% to 30.2%) and notable decreases in usage of NVDA (18.6% to 14.6%), VoiceOver (10.3% to 7.6%), and System Access (7.7% to 1.5%) as primary screen readers.
There are currently 5 different screen readers that are commonly used by more than 25% of respondents. This is both exciting and challenging.
I’ve already heard incredulity among peers in the web accessibility field regarding these numbers. Great care should be taken in discounting the validity of this data. 2515 respondents is not a small sample.
Perhaps the most prevalent criticism of the WebAIM surveys has been that they are not representative enough. An opt-in survey will never be fully representative of all screen reader users. With that said, this survey had broader distribution than ever before. It reached small schools for the blind. Many heard about it via word of mouth. We believe the responses to be more representative of the overall screen reader user population than ever before. The fact that in this survey we see a reduction in reported proficiency is consistent with the notion that our sample has shifted from prior years.
We speculate that much of the shift in the screen reader market numbers can be attributed to this broader sample. Respondents that reported lower proficiency were more likely to use ZoomText.
Those of us in the web accessibility field tend to interact more with screen reader power users and users that are more connected both with technology and with our technical field. This would naturally cause us to believe that the overall market reflects the demographics of those screen reader users. These survey results suggest that those of us in the web accessibility field may need to reconsider our perceptions of screen reader users – the typical user may be different than our own interactions and experience suggest.
What is driving these changes?
Window-Eyes became freely available to Microsoft Office users shortly after the last screen reader user survey closed in January 2014. AI Squared (who develops and markets ZoomText and Window-Eyes) has made significant marketing efforts in the last year. These factors certainly contribute to their increased usage.
Additionally, with a much broader dissemination of the survey, more existing ZoomText users completed the survey. This simply suggests that ZoomText users were probably underrepresented on previous surveys. On the other hand, AI Squared did promote the survey heavily, though it was also prominently advertised on mailing lists and publications for other screen readers.
It should be noted that ZoomText functions as both a screen magnifier and screen reader. We recognize that some respondents to the survey may only use ZoomText for magnification and not for the screen reader functionality. Only 13.4% of ZoomText users reported being blind (though 92.3% reported low vision). However, we don’t believe this consideration should at all change how we consider ZoomText as being a very commonly used access product. In fact, because the screen reader functionality of ZoomText is often used as a supplement to magnification, this strengthens practices that would ensure an equivalent visual and screen reader experience.
What does this mean?
We must recognize that ZoomText and Window-Eyes are significant players. These tools are often not part of web accessibility testing methodologies. They should be. We often consider VoiceOver with Safari as a testing platform and not Window-Eyes or ZoomText when in fact Window-Eyes with IE, ZoomText with IE, and ZoomText with Firefox are all more common combinations than VoiceOver with Safari.
This recommendation for increased consideration of ZoomText and Window-Eyes is strengthened by the fact that those who use these screen readers tend to be less proficient and also to use only one screen reader, whereas more advanced users tend to use multiple screen readers. In other words, lack of consideration for ZoomText and Window-Eyes support can have a notable impact on many users – and these are the users that are less likely to adapt to insufficient support.
Recently on NARAtions we announced that the Ancestry partnership agreement was up for renewal and available for public comment until August 21, 2015. We received almost 70 responses (thank you!), from which a number of themes emerged. Digitization Division director, Markus Most, previously addressed a few of these concerns as an update to that post. These concerns are again listed below:
How will records digitized by a partner be available to the public?
Records digitized and made available by partners are available online for free in all NARA research rooms across the country. You can use our public access PCs or NARA’s wifi to reach the sites for free.
Will NARA receive digital copies of the material digitized by the partners?
NARA receives a set of images and metadata from the partner when digitization of materials is complete.
Will NARA put the digitized material online?
NARA makes records digitized by Ancestry available in our online Catalog once the five year embargo period has elapsed. Records in the National Archives Catalog are available for free to the public.
Why does NARA partner with outside organizations?
To provide increased access to our records, we have partnered with both for-profit and non-profit organizations on digitization. Although they may be interested in genealogy records, the specific records these organizations are interested in can vary. Sometimes only one type of partner may be interested in a record series. We digitize in order to get our records online and expand access to them. We cannot do this by ourselves and so we are working with partners and looking into other avenues (see our Digitization Strategy for additional approaches) to make access happen. NARA has established principles for working with partners and you can read them at our NARA Principles for Partnerships page. (See our Strategic Plan for more information about our Strategic Goals.)
Two additional themes emerged from researcher feedback that we would like to respond to:
The embargo period is over for some partner images. Where are those images in NARA’s online catalog?
In 2013, NARA posted the first 250,000 partner images that could be released from the 2007 digitization year. Since then, we have continued to add images and additional capacity to handle the tremendous growth of the National Archives Catalog. There are currently over 5.25 million images in the Catalog. A significant proportion of these images come from our partner projects with new images added to the catalog on an ongoing basis.
Additionally, the partners have undertaken many digitization projects outside of the digitization partnerships, particularly before the partnerships were established. Partners oftentimes purchased microfilm publications, digitized them, and made them available on their websites. Because these images were produced outside of an agreement, NARA does not receive a copy. For example, the Revolutionary War pensions were digitized prior to a partnership agreement and are therefore not available through our catalog.
What quality control measures are in place to address indexing quality, image quality, and scanning accuracy?
Our quality control procedures currently are:
QC of imaging is the responsibility of the partner, following standards reported to, and approved by, NARA. The precise standards are proprietary information.
QC of metadata is the responsibility of the partner, following standards reported to, and approved by, NARA. The precise standards are proprietary information.
QC of content is the responsibility of NARA – Specifically, NARA does a page-by-page review against a five percent sample of the original records to find and identify information which might have been left out, such as the back of a document that has only a stamp or small notation. All such information has to be captured. (Higher levels are reviewed if quality concerns surface during review.) The partner corrects any omissions found in the review. Skipped pages are imaged and inserted into the images folder at the correct location.
QC relating to transfer of digital materials to NARA – The partners send the digital materials to NARA on hard drives. NARA staff checks a sample of the images and metadata to verify that the metadata on each hard drive is associated with the correct image and that the metadata the partner agreed to provide is delivered. The staff also checks a sample of the unique identifiers associated with each image to verify that the identifiers are correct. If there are problems with the metadata or images sent by the partner, NARA contacts the partner to resolve the problems.
Based on both internal and external feedback, our quality control processes are under review.
Thank you to all of the researchers who have taken the time to provide feedback on the renewal of the Ancestry partnership agreement.
Seguramente eres una mujer que se preocupa mucho por la moda, y sabes de más que usar unas gafas oscuras, especialmente en verano, resaltará mucho tu apariencia, dándole un aire más elegante a tu estilo.
Las gafas oscuras son la predilección de muchos que tienen conocimiento sobre la manera en que resalta este accesorio, mezclado con unas buenas prendas de vestir.
Pero además de hacerte lucir siempre bien, las gafas oscuras te estarán protegiendo de los rayos ultravioleta y de los efectos negativos que estos pueden causar sobre tu vista.
Cuida tu estilo, pero también cuida tus ojos
Si solo utilizas las gafas oscuras para verte bien en un día soleado, o cuando vas de vacaciones a un día caluroso, es recomendable que empieces a usar las gafas oscuras con otro objetivo.
Es innegable que con unas buenas gafas (y si son de una marca reconocida, mejor), podrás resaltar mucho tu imagen y robarte la atención de los transeúntes. Sin embargo, cuando usas gafas oscuras estás contribuyendo en tu propia salud.
Efecto de la luz ultravioleta en tus ojos
La luz ultravioleta puede contribuir a que sufras de afecciones oculares tales como las cataratas, y el cáncer de la piel alrededor de los párpados.
Las cataratas, aunque se manifiesta más en edad muy adulta, puedes prevenirlas desde ya usando gafas oscuras con mayor frecuencia. Igualmente, estarás protegiendo la piel de tus párpados y reduciendo las posibilidades de contraer cualquier otro tipo de afección en la vista.
Elije unas buenas gafas de sol
Para empezar debes tener en cuenta el color de los cristales; dependiendo de ellos tendrás una mayor o menor protección de los rayos ultravioleta, según el caso. De igual manera se altera el color de la visión. Así, por ejemplo, colores marrones, verdes y azules, te permitirán apreciar los colores de una manera más real, a la vez que protege tus ojos de irregularidades futuras.
Si las gafas que necesitas son con graduación, esto implica que debes contar con ellas puestas gran parte de tu tiempo, por lo que no estaría de más darte el tiempo para elegir un bonito marco. Pues si optas por uno que no te favorezca lo suficiente, tendrás que estar con esa apariencia, que poco atractiva te hace ver, de manera permanente. Ten en cuenta la forma y el color de tu rostro para tomar una buena determinación.
See minutes online for a more detailed record of the discussions. (The headers below link into the relevant sections of the minutes.)
Charles LaPierre gave a short update on the work of the Accessibility Task Force. The document they plan to publish is moving along nicely, but lots of email discussions, that took place in the past few days (e.g., on MathML), drew some attention away. The main message is that we sometimes things that Digital Publishing is simple a special case of Web Publishing, but, in reality, Digital Publishing has its some different and specific needs that needs articulating when it comes to accessibility.
Subsequent discussions also drew attention on the fact that some other groups (e.g., the ISO groups working on PDF) have addressed similar issues; a cross-pollination among the groups might be useful.
A document called “Requirements for Web Publication and Packaging” has been finalized the past few weeks, and collects the various issues that the digital publishing community has v.a.v. packaging. The group has agreed that the document could be handed over to the Web Application Working Group that works on a Web Packaging specification.
This group still has to clarify with the Web Application WG whether the document, in its current format, is what they need. Indeed, this document has some higher level concepts (“Online State”, “Portable State”, etc.) that might go beyond what that Working Group needs, in which case an abridged version would be submitted. That will be done in the weeks to come.
The group also briefly discussed practical issues about the upcoming Technical Plenary meeting, and what topic would be discussed there.
Am I Eligible?
If you are already enrolled in VA health care, you may be able to receive care from non-VA facilities, instead of waiting for a VA appointment or traveling to a VA facility.
You are eligible if any of these situations apply to you:
You have been (or will be) waiting more than 30 days for VA medical care You live more than 40 miles away from a VA medical care facility or face one of several excessive travel burdens.
If you know a vet whose is more than a 40 mile drive from the nearest VA facility, share this information from the Veterans Administration with them. They MIGHT have other options.
Filed under: government information Tagged: health care, veterans
If you know military families with school age children, let them know about the resources they have to make school transitions easier. The link about talks about a mix of social and academic resources available for military families.
Military children here in Alaska also have access to the SLED Databases, as does every Alaskan.
Filed under: alaska Tagged: military, school resources
The Digital Publishing Interest Group has published a Working Draft of Priorities for CSS from the Digital Publishing Interest Group. As publishing moves to the Open Web Platform (OWP), we hope to expand upon the range of content we are able to publish with web technologies. How content is displayed is of critical importance to how it is understood, and so we ask much of CSS. This document aims to describe our highest priorities for entirely new CSS features, implementation of CSS features that have already been specified, and even some cases where work may need to be done beyond the scope of CSS.