[guispeak] Re: Microsoft ebook reader and the *.lit format.

  • From: "Laura Eaves" <leaves1@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <guispeak@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 13 Nov 2004 15:57:31 -0500

Hi Will --
That is interesting, and I ran into that all the time when I was still 
working at AT&T -- I was at one point trying to put screen magnification 
code into the underlying implementation of X-Windows on unix, which I 
couldn't use at all the way I was set up, but which some applications 
required that I needed to use.
I spoke a few times to a researcher there who was familiar with this code, 
and he refused to work on it, saying it was much better to just get a good 
magnifier and read the screen of the PC or workstation that way -- not 
taking into account that in a GUI you need a way of quickly navigating to 
the current point of focus -- be int cursor or top window or mouse icon --  
and so a software solution was the only practical way of doing it.
Anyway, I dropped that and just got by not using the X applications, even 
though I wasted a lot of time poring through the code to see how hard it 
would be to put the hooks in and maybe if successful, submit it as an 
enhancement to the general source.

But usability is really at least as important as just basic possibility of 
seeing something -- I also ran into this the first screen reader I checked 
into in 1990 -- it was so awkward to use even though it greatly sped up my 
reading of long email messages -- that I finally ditched it and continued 
reading with my diminishing vision.

Just my thoughts and experiences.
Take care.
And technology changes so rapidly, along with alternate solutions to things, 
that I really don't think insisting on one particular solution is always the 
right thing, as someone else might come up with a better method.
--le

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Will Pearson" <will-pearson@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <guispeak@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Saturday, November 13, 2004 3:44 PM
Subject: [guispeak] Re: Microsoft ebook reader and the *.lit format.


> Darrell;
>
> I'm not sure as to your first point, but as to the second and third, we 
> need
> to take a close look at what accessibility means.  In the world of Human
> Computer Interaction, as yes, accessibility applies equally to everyone 
> and
> not just to someone who has a disability, there's several definitions 
> used:
>
> * Accessibility
> - Just focusing on whether someone can use something, and takes into 
> account
> no other attributes of the interaction
>
> * Usability
> - Prescribed by an ISO standard on usability, and looks at factors of an
> interaction such as efficiency, accuracy, ease of use and even 
> enjoyability
> and satisfaction.  Basically it covers how well someone can perform an
> interaction.
>
> I believe that legally these are the two definitions that would be used.
> Section 508 guidelines deal purely with whether someone can use something,
> not how well they can use it, and over here in the UK, the Disability 
> Rights
> Commission have issued guidance that accessibility of the web will be 
> based
> on priority A, and maybe priority AA, of the W3C's WCAG, which mainly 
> deals
> with whether someone can use something, and again, not how well they can 
> use
> it.  So, the spirit of the legislation would suggest to me, that legally
> accessibility is purely concerned with whether someone can use something,
> not how well they can use it.  Thus points 2 and 3 that you raise may 
> prove
> to be a very weak case if legal proceedings were to be brought against 
> you.
>
> Will
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Darrell Shandrow" <nu7i@xxxxxxxxxx>
> To: <guispeak@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Sent: Saturday, November 13, 2004 8:13 PM
> Subject: [guispeak] Re: Microsoft ebook reader and the *.lit format.
>
>
>> Hi Will,
>>
>> As I understand it, TTS is extremely limited in at least the following
> ways:
>> 1.
>> Some books don't work with it.
>> 2.
>> Speech quality is sufficiently poor as to bring its practicality in to
>> question.
>> 3.
>> It is just a straight read, with no capability to navigate through a 
>> book.
>>
>> Am I correct on these three points?
>>
>> Darrell Shandrow - Shandrow Communications!
>> Technology consultant/instructor, network/systems administrator!
>> A+, CCNA, Network+!
>> Check out high quality telecommunications services at http://ld.net/?nu7i
>> All the best to coalition forces carrying out Operation Iraqi Freedom!
>> ----- Original Message ----- 
>> From: "Will Pearson" <will-pearson@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>> To: <guispeak@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>> Sent: Saturday, November 13, 2004 1:06 PM
>> Subject: [guispeak] Re: Microsoft ebook reader and the *.lit format.
>>
>>
>> > Darrell;
>> >
>> > At the end of the day I'm an advocate for accessibility too, the number
> of
>> > bugs I've reported to Microsoft regarding accessibility of their
> products,
>> > especially Visual Studio, stands testament to that.  However, I believe
>> > breaking the law is one step too far, especially where there already
>> > exists
>> > a legal method of making something accessible, in this case the TTS
>> > plug-in
>> > for Reader.  Whilst it may not be my method of choice, it is legal and
>> > does
>> > afford accessibility to the .lit format.
>> >
>> > Will
>> > ----- Original Message ----- 
>> > From: "Darrell Shandrow" <nu7i@xxxxxxxxxx>
>> > To: <guispeak@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>> > Sent: Saturday, November 13, 2004 7:45 PM
>> > Subject: [guispeak] Re: Microsoft ebook reader and the *.lit format.
>> >
>> >
>> >> Hi David,
>> >>
>> >> OK.  Possibly true.  When it comes to accessibility, I'm not afraid to
>> > take
>> >> liberties with that definition.  If I got in to trouble over it, I
> would
>> > not
>> >> hesitate to use my blindness as a media/public relations tool.
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> Darrell Shandrow - Shandrow Communications!
>> >> Technology consultant/instructor, network/systems administrator!
>> >> A+, CCNA, Network+!
>> >> Check out high quality telecommunications services at
> http://ld.net/?nu7i
>> >> All the best to coalition forces carrying out Operation Iraqi Freedom!
>> >> ----- Original Message ----- 
>> >> From: "david poehlman" <david.poehlman@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>> >> To: <guispeak@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>> >> Sent: Saturday, November 13, 2004 12:42 PM
>> >> Subject: [guispeak] Re: Microsoft ebook reader and the *.lit format.
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> > You need to read the drm documentation carefully.  You cannot do
>> > anything
>> >> > you want with a copy of a book that you purchase that is in
> electronic
>> >> > form
>> >> > such as reverse engineer it.  The book in this instance is a piece 
>> >> > of
>> >> > software and in order to accomplish what you want, you'd have to
>> >> > reverse
>> >> > engineer it.
>> >> >
>> >> > Johnnie Apple Seed
>> >> >
>> >> > ----- Original Message ----- 
>> >> > From: "Darrell Shandrow" <nu7i@xxxxxxxxxx>
>> >> > To: <guispeak@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>> >> > Sent: Saturday, November 13, 2004 2:07 PM
>> >> > Subject: [guispeak] Re: Microsoft ebook reader and the *.lit format.
>> >> >
>> >> >
>> >> > Hi Will,
>> >> >
>> >> > Hmmm, well, legally, if I purchase a Microsoft E-book file, I can do
>> >> > whatever it is I need to do in order to gain access, for my own
>> >> > personal
>> >> > use.  What probably is not legal is for me to proceed to distribute
>> >> > that
>> >> > file to others.  I find it amazing that MS Reader does not permit
>> >> > printing.
>> >> > Sighted people love to take on-screen info and send it to our
> printers
>> > at
>> >> > work right away.  My employer spends lots of money on consumables 
>> >> > for
>> >> > printers!
>> >> >
>> >> > Darrell Shandrow - Shandrow Communications!
>> >> > Technology consultant/instructor, network/systems administrator!
>> >> > A+, CCNA, Network+!
>> >> > Check out high quality telecommunications services at
>> > http://ld.net/?nu7i
>> >> > All the best to coalition forces carrying out Operation Iraqi
> Freedom!
>> >> > ----- Original Message ----- 
>> >> > From: "Will Pearson" <will-pearson@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>> >> > To: <guispeak@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>> >> > Sent: Saturday, November 13, 2004 11:51 AM
>> >> > Subject: [guispeak] Re: Microsoft ebook reader and the *.lit format.
>> >> >
>> >> >
>> >> >> Hi;
>> >> >>
>> >> >> AFAIK, it doesn't allow printing.  As an aside, I doubt the
> legitimacy
>> > of
>> >> >> using OCR seeing as the TTS plug-in is provided to make Reader
>> >> >> accessible.
>> >> >> I'm not a legal expert, but would imagine that this would only be
>> >> >> permissible in situations where the TTS plug-in offered no output,
>> >> >> such
>> >> >> as
>> >> >> .lit files composed of scanned images.  I think this is slightly
>> >> >> different
>> >> >> in the UK, where there is no law governing accessibility of eBooks,
>> >> >> and
>> >> >> instead it's left up to the old laws governing photocopying of
> books,
>> > in
>> >> >> which OCR, or at least scanning, of a limited portion of a book is
>> >> >> allowed.
>> >> >>
>> >> >> I am looking into the possibility of getting reader to work with at
>> > least
>> >> >> one of the popular screen readers with a friend from Microsoft.
>> >> >> Hopefully
>> >> >> something will come out of this.
>> >> >>
>> >> >> Will
>> >> >> ----- Original Message ----- 
>> >> >> From: "Darrell Shandrow" <nu7i@xxxxxxxxxx>
>> >> >> To: <guispeak@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>> >> >> Sent: Saturday, November 13, 2004 6:12 PM
>> >> >> Subject: [guispeak] Re: Microsoft ebook reader and the *.lit 
>> >> >> format.
>> >> >>
>> >> >>
>> >> >>> Hi Will and all,
>> >> >>>
>> >> >>> Does MS Reader permit you to print pages from books?  If so, has
>> > anyone
>> >> >>> tried this with the virtual printer facilities of K1000 or
> OpenBook?
>> >> >>>
>> >> >>> Darrell Shandrow - Shandrow Communications!
>> >> >>> Technology consultant/instructor, network/systems administrator!
>> >> >>> A+, CCNA, Network+!
>> >> >>> Check out high quality telecommunications services at
>> >> >>> http://ld.net/?nu7i
>> >> >>> All the best to coalition forces carrying out Operation Iraqi
>> >> >>> Freedom!
>> >> >>> ----- Original Message ----- 
>> >> >>> From: "Will Pearson" <will-pearson@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>> >> >>> To: <guispeak@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>> >> >>> Sent: Saturday, November 13, 2004 9:03 AM
>> >> >>> Subject: [guispeak] Re: Microsoft ebook reader and the *.lit
> format.
>> >> >>>
>> >> >>>
>> >> >>> > Hi;
>> >> >>> >
>> >> >>> > I wouldn't like to say at the moment.  The legality of this is
>> > unsure.
>> >> >> In
>> >> >>> > the U.S. legislation exists that states it's legal to convert
>> >> >>> > ebooks
>> >> >>> > to
>> >> >>> > another format if they are inaccessible, but the big question 
>> >> >>> > is,
>> >> >>> > by
>> >> >>> > providing a TTS plug-in for Reader, is the format considered
>> >> >>> > accessible?
>> >> >>> > I
>> >> >>> > know in the UK, you can use OCR to store only a part of a book 
>> >> >>> > on
>> > your
>> >> >>> > computer, and this prohibits distribution or alteration of the
>> >> >>> > content.
>> >> >>> > Outside of the UK and US I don't know anything about the 
>> >> >>> > legality
>> >> >>> > of
>> >> >> this
>> >> >>> > sort of situation, and I wouldn't like to offer advice that may
>> >> >>> > mean
>> >> >>> > you
>> >> >>> > break the law and are subsequently open to prosicution.
>> >> >>> >
>> >> >>> > I'm currently discussing the point with some folk from MS UK, 
>> >> >>> > who
> I
>> >> >>> > suspect,
>> >> >>> > being the format vendor, are in a position to make a judgement 
>> >> >>> > on
>> >> >>> > th
>> > e
>> >> >>> > legality.  I'll post more when I hear something from MS.
>> >> >>> >
>> >> >>> > Thanks,
>> >> >>> >
>> >> >>> > Will
>> >> >>> > Microsoft MVP (Visual Studio/VC++)
>> >> >>> > ----- Original Message ----- 
>> >> >>> > From: "Nektarios Mallas" <nmallas@xxxxxxxxx>
>> >> >>> > To: <guispeak@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>> >> >>> > Sent: Saturday, November 13, 2004 3:47 PM
>> >> >>> > Subject: [guispeak] Re: Microsoft ebook reader and the *.lit
>> >> >>> > format.
>> >> >>> >
>> >> >>> >
>> >> >>> >> Thanks for this.
>> >> >>> >> Do you know if there is any other way to extract the text from
> the
>> >> >> *.lit
>> >> >>> >> file and read it in other standard programs?
>> >> >>> >>
>> >> >>> >> Nektarios.
>> >> >>> >>
>> >> >>> >>
>> >> >>> >> -----Original Message-----
>> >> >>> >> From: guispeak@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:guispeak@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On
>> >> >>> >> Behalf
>> >> >>> >> Of Will Pearson
>> >> >>> >> Sent: Saturday, November 13, 2004 3:55 PM
>> >> >>> >> To: guispeak@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
>> >> >>> >> Subject: [guispeak] Re: Microsoft ebook reader and the *.lit
>> > format.
>> >> >>> >>
>> >> >>> >>
>> >> >>> >> Hi;
>> >> >>> >>
>> >> >>> >> Whilst MS Reader isn't supported by any of the screen readers,
>> > there
>> >> >>> >> is
>> >> >>> >> a plug in.  Microsoft have provided a text to speech plug in 
>> >> >>> >> for
>> >> >>> >> Reader
>> >> >>> >> that will read aloud the document.  It's based on MS SAPI, and
>> >> >>> >> uses
>> >> >>> >> the
>> >> >>> >> standard SAPI synth that ships with Windows.  You can find a
>> > download
>> >> >>> >> for this from the Reader downloads page.
>> >> >>> >>
>> >> >>> >> Will
>> >> >>> >> ----- Original Message ----- 
>> >> >>> >> From: "Nektarios Mallas" <nmallas@xxxxxxxxx>
>> >> >>> >> To: <guispeak@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>> >> >>> >> Sent: Friday, November 12, 2004 6:39 AM
>> >> >>> >> Subject: [guispeak] Microsoft ebook reader and the *.lit 
>> >> >>> >> format.
>> >> >>> >>
>> >> >>> >>
>> >> >>> >> > Hello list.
>> >> >>> >> > Is Microsoft ebook reader accessible by screen readers? Is
> there
>> >> >>> >> > any
>> >> >>> >> > other way to access a *.lit file and extract the text from it
> so
>> >> >>> >> > you
>> >> >>> >> > can read it with standard applications such as wordpad?
> Thanks.
>> >> >>> >> > Nektarios.
>> >> >>> >> >
>> >> >>> >> >
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