[newsline-beta] general comments

  • From: "Kellie Hartmann" <kellhart@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <newsline-beta@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2004 23:57:04 -0500

Hi all,
Well, it's a little hard to know what to comment on since we don't know too
clearly which aspects of the service we're testing, but here goes anyway...
1. Downloading and unzipping files, with the Bookshare utility, has gone
without a hitch.
2. My number one overall concern is navigating the files, both brf and html;
I'm having a Daisy problem which I'll discuss later in this message. We
really really need a way to jump through the files by section and by
article. At the very least a table of contents with numbers would be
helpful. It might work to have one article, or section, per page. Ideally I
would love to be able to download only the sections I chose, but I know that
this is beyond the scope of the project.

I've spent some time reading the brf copy of the Sunday New York Times on my
BrailleNote. I'd been thinking that I couldn't see much advantage to
accessing this material via computer file as opposed to over the phone with
Newsline, but my opinion changed when I saw a recipe in the "food" column
and it dawned on me that with an electronic file I could copy this recipe,
not to mention useful phone numbers, Urls, and addresses, very easily. I do
have a minor frustration with the brf files having to do with punctuation.
I've noticed that apostrophes are used, both in daisy and braille files, in
place of quotation marks. I'm assuming this is probably how it is in the
paper, for whatever reason. But it causes a major minor annoyance in braille
because the apostrophes are being translated as single quotes. In braille
the single quotes, both opening and closing, are strings of four characters!
So for every quote there are 8 characters where two should be. 8 characters
take up 1/4 of my braille display, so I'm *not* happy to see them. It's easy
enough technically to perform a massive find/replace to fix this, but that
can be very slow with a huge file like the Sunday NY Times. As I say this is
minor, but can be extremely irritating.

I mentioned before I'm having a problem with Daisy files, or at least I
think I am. <smile> First off, I'm using Kurzweil 6.2, a version with a
patch that supposedly allows the opening and reading of Daisy files. I
learned that it's the .opf file I should open, but when I open them I don't
get the text of the file. I get a lot of weird things like id= bla, source=
bla, metadata, text=bla, etc. This is true of the several files I've tried.
I can open and read the html files without a problem, but not the opf file.
Any ideas about what's going on and what I can do about it? Or am I just an
idiot in some way? <grin> Btw, I discovered that the .ncx file in the daisy
mess contains the index of what's in the text, although it doesn't seem that
this info is being used in any way within the file containing the actual

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