[bksvol-discuss] Re: BRF and page numbers - Bookshare.org Friday Update

  • From: "Deborah Kent Stein" <dkent5817@xxxxxxx>
  • To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 3 Sep 2005 13:05:11 -0500

Dear Janice and Dave,

Thank you so much for your update to the list.  I think I can speak for most
of the volunteer community when I say it is gratifying to receive
information from you about specific steps that are being taken to improve
the quality of Bookshare files.  I am delighted to hear that the engineering
department is tackling the page-numbering problem.  Solving this one should
help make Bookshare far more valuable to students and researchers.

Thank you for all your hard work.  Please continue to keep us posted on this
and other developments!


----- Original Message -----
From: "Janice Carter" <Janice.C@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Friday, September 02, 2005 7:17 PM
Subject: [bksvol-discuss] BRF and page numbers - Bookshare.org Friday Update

> Based on lots of discussion on the list regarding the problems of page
> numbers not appearing in Grade II BRF files downloaded from
> Bookshare.org, The Benetech engineering team has been working on some
> short-term as well as longer-term solutions.   The following is a fairly
> detailed explanation from Dave Offen, Benetech's Director of
> Engineering.
> "...Recently we have been in frequent contact with Duxbury, the folks
> who make our Grade II translator, to see if we can introduce into our
> books a special "new page" code that the Duxbury translator will output
> in Braille along with the original page number.  The folks at Duxbury
> have told us which code we should use, and we have been experimenting
> with it.  At first it didn't work at all, until we discovered that if
> the new page occurs within a paragraph (because the paragraph continues
> on the next page) the page number and new-page mark will be ignored by
> Duxbury.  Now that we better understand the Duxbury requirements, we
> should be able to reformat any open HTML tags in the vicinity of
> new-page marks (such as the open paragraph tags) and get the Braille to
> properly output page numbers.
> In DAISY 3 book readers, you can always ask "where am I" and it will
> tell you your current page.  With the above mentioned change to our
> Braille generation, people downloading BRF files will have access to the
> same page information that people downloading DAISY 3 books now have.
> It may take a few months before we've got all the kinks ironed out of
> this process, but we understand that lots of people are waiting for this
> kind of improvement.
> For the longer term, we are looking into ways of improving the page
> number identification in our books.  This is especially important for
> textbook users.  We're investigating if there are scanning or
> proofreading guidelines that can improve our ability to capture page
> numbers.  This page number capturing takes place in the header/footer
> stripper.  The header/footer stripper is needed to make the books flow
> smoothly when listening to them using TTS in a DAISY 3 reader.   If the
> page header or footer is located in the first line before or after a
> page break in the OCR'd RTF file that gets uploaded to our collection,
> the stripper will usually be able to extract the page number information
> before it strips away the header/footer, and this information is stored
> in our master XML file from which both DAISY 3 and BRF books are
> generated.
> As we begin to work with Publishers producing NIMAS content under the
> new guidelines, these improvements to our BRF processing will carry
> forward to our new NIMAS books as well.  We will be able to take NIMAS
> files and using these same processes feed them through Duxbury to
> produce BRF files with the original pages marked in Braille."
> As we've mentioned in several other postings, changes to the
> Bookshare.org system are no longer small efforts.  We will have 25,000
> books very soon and changes and upgrades that will help Bookshare.org
> grow are getting fully vetted by Engineering and Operations and
> Fundraising and Jim and you.
> (The "when will this happen?" is based on funding timing.)
> Thanks again for keeping us focused on your needs.
> Stay safe this weekend.
> Janice Carter
> Director, Literacy Programs
> Benetech
> 480 S. California Ave., Suite 201
> Palo Alto, CA 94306-1609 USA
> (650) 475-5440 x122
> (650) 759-5828 cell
> (650) 475-1066 fax
> janice.c@xxxxxxxxxxxx
> www.benetech.org
> The Benetech Initiative - Technology Serving Humanity
> A Nonprofit Organization

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