[bksvol-discuss] Re: Formatting Tabs or Spaces

  • From: "Evan Reese" <mentat1@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 11 Jun 2006 09:17:25 -0700

I just had two thoughts occur to me:

Firstly, My OpenBook has a setting called Keep Exact View. Not having scanned anything like what Lissi is refering to, I didn't know if this worked well or not. I'm not talking about what the Bookshare processing does with it, but if you scanned it with OB for your own reading before it was sent to Bookshare and downloaded back again, how well did it preserve the formatting. Did you have this setting turned on?

Also, I am wondering how important this formatting really is. Don't authors often read their own poetry at readings and such? Surely, you have no formatting indications while listening to a poet read his/her work. I think I even recall some poet or other state that poetry is primarily intended to be heard, although obviously not everyone will agree with that.

I know very little about this subject, I freely admit, so I hope people will enlighten me kindly. <smile>

----- Original Message ----- From: "Lisa Belville" <lisab12@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Sunday, June 11, 2006 9:05 AM
Subject: [bksvol-discuss] Re: Formatting Tabs or Spaces

Hi, Lisa.

I feel your pain.  <smiles>

I didn't realize that the formatting was eradicated to the extent it is until reading this thread.

I understand where you're coming from regarding poetry and how spaces and indents are used to enhance the meaning. I can remember being very disappointed a few years ago when I tried using Openbook to scan some poetry, only to find it destroyed the visual representation of the poem.

I agree that this is a shame, but I can understand there are technical limits Bookshare is laboring under. I think having access to the text of a poem is still very useful, and isn't something that should be discounted. Unless a publisher or an author objects to their work being rearranged, I think we should count ourselves lucky that we have access to material that until recently was out of our grasp.

I'm still very happy to have Bookshare as a resource and I'm still enthusiastic about volunteering. Like you said, not having to agonize over proper indentation and spacing does make our job easier. <smiles>

As someone who primarily reads things through speech, I can honestly say that I can still get the meanings of poems and stories, sometimes my interpretation is vastly different than what the "Official" interpretation is, but that's the joy of poetry, I think. Still, having that visual or tactile indication of an indent is helpful and necessary for someone trying to cite a source for research purposes. Hopefully this issue will be added to the ever growing list of needed improvements.

Just my Validator's fifty cents worth.  <smiles>


----- Original Message ----- From: "Estelnalissi" <airadil@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Tuesday, June 06, 2006 7:57 PM
Subject: [bksvol-discuss] Re: Formatting Tabs or Spaces

Dear Kelly,

Thanks for the explanation.

Does this mean when books are produced from Bookshare, there's no such thing as an indent at all? So this book with 4 separate margins to indicate quotes from narrative from song lyrics by arranging words flush, paragraph indent, deep quote indent and one between paragraph and quote used for lines of quotes over 1 line long will appear with no indents at all?

I'm surprised we're worrying about the fractional inches of difference between m dash and double dash etc, when the entire spatial formatting of all of the books is wiped out.

You know I love Bookshare and am always willing to work within the system, but all of this talk about precisely duplicating the book now sounds like overkill. I mean, at least as far as margins, indents for paragraphs, indented poetry and quotes or reproduced correspondence, anything the publisher sets off spatially is erased?

When I taught elementary to both blind and sighted kids, this spacing often helped kids find their place on a page, and alerted them to the insertion of material other than the narrative. I'm just shocked that I'm realizing this for the first time after 13 months of trying to insure that a book's format was replicated.

It isn't a criticism, but a huge alteration in my perception of my responsibility. It will make validating easier, ignoring spacing and margins, but it makes me realize bookshare books come out sort of literally flattened.

It does go to prove I can barely see my computer screen. I've listened to several books on Daisy assuming the print was scrolling in an arrangement close to that of the print book. It never occurred to me that everything was left justified. I didn't go character by character to hear where things were placed. On my braille note, I also gave up on understanding the format and read only for content. Lack of format is the reason I haven't read poetry on my BN. For most sighted poetry writers, placement of their words is a part of the art, a compliment to the words.

As you suggest, I'll go on as I am. It's still scary to change things with only 30 pages to go.

From now on, everything is left justified with only hard breaks to indicate paragraphs, not even a blank line between them. Do I understand it now?

From the perspective of a person who has read braille from first grade and only read print because it was the only way to read nearly 100 percent of the reading material in the world I can say cramming print together without offsetting anything with spaces, makes it visually more difficult to read. This isn't an issue with me because I need bookshare for access to audio and braille books. Realistically, I understand very well that when a system tries to cater to every need, the end result is that far fewer people are served in the long run.

Back to work I go, to an easier job and always loving bookshare.

Always with love,

----- Original Message ----- From: Kellie Hartmann
To: bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Tuesday, June 06, 2006 5:54 PM
Subject: [bksvol-discuss] Re: Formatting Tabs or Spaces

Hi Lissi and Paula,
I had to think about the spacing issue to get it straight in my head before answering these. Lissi, I absolutely hate to tell you this after all the work you've gone to on this validation. What happens is that tabs are completely eaten and not replaced with even a space, and strings of spaces are all reduced to one space. I don't know why this should be, but we had done some testing in the past and that was what we'd figured out. Lissi, I wouldn't go back and take the spaces out of your current project. Hopefully all the care you've taken on the dashes will suffice to let readers know what's going on.

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