'

[Irl-dean] Emails and Screen Readers?

Tim Culhane tim.culhane at criticalpath.net
Thu Jul 27 11:00:03 IST 2006


Hi Mark,

As you say,   its not an easy   one to solve.  Proper mark up  would work,
but  of course this is no use  in plaint text messages.

I'm not even sure what help the '>' symbol is for indicating  quoting.  I
always see it  as showing that the message has been forwarded by somebody
else,  either  once twice  or more times, depending on the number of '>'
symbols.

However, its pretty obvious  from the 'send to'  and 'subject'  lines found
in between messages that you are moving from the end of one message  and
the next one down has most likely been forwarded on by the originator.

Tim
 

-----Original Message-----
From: irl-dean-admin at list.eeng.dcu.ie
[mailto:irl-dean-admin at list.eeng.dcu.ie] On Behalf Of Mark Magennis
Sent: 27 July 2006 10:50
To: irl-dean at list.eeng.dcu.ie
Subject: Re: [Irl-dean] Emails and Screen Readers?


> Potentially you can configure your screen reader to  try and be
> clever  by
> substituting '>'   with another  word or sound.

But then it would still say it at the beginning of every line, and  
therefore in the middle of sentences, rather than announcing the  
beginning and end of the quote, which is what you'd want.

> One technique I use when dealing with many levels of nested '>'
> symbols is
> to cut and paste the message into another editor and do a search  
> and replace
> on '>' and replace it with nothing.

Thus losing all the information about quotations. It's a bummer!

Mark

>
> Tim
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: irl-dean-admin at list.eeng.dcu.ie 
> [mailto:irl-dean-admin at list.eeng.dcu.ie] On Behalf Of Mark Magennis
> Sent: 27 July 2006 10:16
> To: irl-dean at list.eeng.dcu.ie
> Subject: Re: [Irl-dean] Emails and Screen Readers?
>
>
>> 1. Do screen readers read disclaimers every time they encounter them 
>> or do the major email providers have some sort of script which stops 
>> the reader at the end of the relevant content?
>
> If the disclaimer is just more text added on to the end of a text 
> message then no software - screen reader or email client - will be 
> able to tell where the message body ends and the disclaimer starts, 
> except by the application of some advanced artificial intelligence.
>
> For disclaimers or signatures to be reliably detected, they would have 
> to be marked up as such in a machine readable way. I'm not completely 
> sure about any of this, but my guess is that this does not happen with 
> plain text emails, almost certainly does not happen either with Rich 
> Text emails and could happen with HTML emails, but probably doesn't. 
> Even if there is a way of tagging the disclaimer in an HTML email, I 
> would bet that few email clients recognise it.
>
>> How do they feel about the following common punctuation usages.
>>
>>>> to show quotes?
>
> Your email client probably displays quotes using chevrons ('greater 
> than' symbols) before each line of the quoted text. My email client 
> (Mac Mail) displays it as a solid border to the left of the paragraph 
> being quoted, with a single border for a direct quote, a double border 
> for a quote of a quote, a triple border for a quote of a quote of a 
> quote, etc. Additionally, it uses different colours for each quote 
> level, so a direct quote has the text and border in blue, quote of a 
> quote is green and quote of a quote of a quote is black. You can set 
> the colours to whatever you want.
>
> The email I receive is just text and contains chevrons at the start of 
> some lines. So Mac Mail is interpreting these chevrons as indicating a 
> quote. It is feasible that a screen reader could do the same, so when 
> it sees a chevron at the start of a line it could say "quote" then 
> when it comes to a line with no chevron it could say "end of quote". 
> Or it could use a different voice for what it thinks are quoted lines. 
> I imagine it would get a bit more complicated and more difficult for 
> the user to follow with more than one level of quoting. Tim do screen 
> readers ever do this kind of thing, of does everyone just put up with 
> hearing "greater than greater than" all the time and figure it out for 
> themselves?
>
> The problem with this interpretation approach is that really it's just 
> guessing. The client assumes that chevrons at the start of lines 
> always mean quotes and sometimes it gets it wrong. For instance, where 
> you have written "> > > to show quotes?", my mail client assumes, 
> wrongly, that this is a third level quote. So markup would be better.
>
>> - between words?
>>
>> / between words?
>>
>> . at the end of a sentence ?
>
> These are normal in written language. not specific to emails, so I'm 
> sure screen readers and screen reader users have figured out how to 
> handle them sensibly.
>
>> even bad spelling?
>
> It's ironic. Some of the worst spellers are screen reader users 
> themselves! They often spell phonetically. But the human brain is good 
> at interpreting misspelt words correctly, whereas the screen reader is 
> not good at it. I imagine it can be a pain sometimes, but again it's 
> not just to do with email. I'm also one of the worst spellers, but I 
> pass everything I write through a spell checker, so you wouldn't know. 
> Incidentally, my spell checker tells me your signature contains a 
> misspelling - "recieved" instead of "received"
>
> Mark
>
>>
>>
>> Dont even ask how I thought of this but any information on this is 
>> very much appreciated.
>>
>> With regards
>>
>> Brendan Spillane
>>
>>
>> P.S. for any users of screen readers I apologise if you have had to 
>> read the info below every time I have posted on this list.
>>
>>
>> --
>> http://www.ilikecake.net
>> +353 1 658 4081
>>
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>> written consent of the sender. ilikecake limited does not accept 
>> liability for any loss or damage which may result from this email or 
>> any attachment, or for errors or omissions arising after it was sent.
>>
>> _______________________________________________
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>> Irl-dean at list.eeng.dcu.ie 
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>>
>
> Dr. Mark Magennis
> Director of the Centre for Inclusive Technology (CFIT) National 
> Council for the Blind of Ireland Whitworth Road, Dublin 9, Republic of 
> Ireland www.cfit.ie
>
> mark.magennis at ncbi.ie   tel: +353 (0)71 914 7464
>
>
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> NCBI endeavours to ensure that emails and any attachments generated by 
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Dr. Mark Magennis
Director of the Centre for Inclusive Technology (CFIT)
National Council for the Blind of Ireland
Whitworth Road, Dublin 9, Republic of Ireland
www.cfit.ie

mark.magennis at ncbi.ie   tel: +353 (0)71 914 7464


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NOTICE: The information contained in this email and any attachments 
is confidential and may be privileged.  If you are not the intended 
recipient you should not use, disclose, distribute or copy any of 
the content of it or of any attachment; you are requested to notify 
the sender immediately of your receipt of the email and then to 
delete it and any attachments from your system.

NCBI endeavours to ensure that emails and any attachments generated 
by its staff are free from viruses or other contaminants.  However, 
it cannot accept any responsibility for any such which are 
transmitted.  We therefore recommend you scan all attachments.

Please note that the statements and views expressed in this email 
and any attachments are those of the author and do not necessarily 
represent the views of NCBI


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