EPUB 3 Working Group FXL A11y Task Force Telco — Minutes

Date: 2021-04-27

See also the Agenda and the IRC Log


Present: Gregorio Pellegrino, Matthew Chan, KenJones, Brady Duga, Rachel Osolen

Regrets: Laura Brady


Chair: Wendy Reid

Scribe(s): Matthew Chan, Wendy Reid


Wendy Reid: this week the biggest thing was the outline for the best practices documentation
… i plan on getting it into github
… there’s a respec format for WG notes
… probably better to just do it in github directly vs doing it in G Docs and then having to translate
… then we can use the normal issues, PRs, etc.
… putting the outline on screen share now
… we probably already have content for a lot of these areas
… start with introduction (standard W3C) > purpose, challenges and limits of FXL, overview of document
… high level topics include reading order, alt-text/extended desc, navigation (toc, section markers and landmarks), perceiving content (readability, contrast), MO, tables, a11y metadata
… there’s going to be a lot of cross-referencing between this doc and a11y 1.1/a11y techniques

KenJones: i like it
… the main one for me is tables
… would be nice to have examples of all of these things done well

Matthew Chan: Laura just confirmed with me that Anansi is going to be able to provide samples to use in this document
… I don’t think we’ll have tables, but we’ll have children’s content

Wendy Reid: i’ve sent email to business group to ask members if anyone would be willing to donate
… no response yet, but we have a meeting today, we’ll see
… we’re only looking for samples, so a couple of pages, nothing more than what you would see for free online

Gregorio Pellegrino: talked to cristina about some italian publishers we can ask
… one publishes FXL for children, the other is a big publisher that uses FXL for print replica for books that are text driven but the authors and agents want to have same look as paper version
… do you think this second category would be useful?

Wendy Reid: i think so, there are interesting things that are done with the styling of those books

Gregorio Pellegrino: okay, i will check

Wendy Reid: i’ll get the github setup this week
… hopefully mgarrish can give us some guidance on updating the Daisy KB
… whether he prefers we open issues, or submit PRs directly
… other stream of work is the experiments
… business group is thinking right now about FXL embedded in reflowable
… they are having that conversation today, hoping to come up with some use cases
… our other experiment was to try out flexbox to see what we can achieve
… gpellegrino has volunteered
… what can we commit to getting done in the next week or two?

Gregorio Pellegrino: is there anyone who can help us with the CSS side? using the new features?

Wendy Reid: yes, there are also lots of good resources out there about flexbox, etc.
… for the outline, does anyone want to take on doing a first draft of any of those sections?
… that we can then collaboratively sharpen up?

KenJones: i’ll be happy to take on some of those, don’t mind which ones apart from tables
… can you let me know which ones?

Rachel Osolen: i can help with a11y metadata, but pretty much anything else too
… also willing to help with the experiments
… i can also find some information about the tables best practices

Wendy Reid: rsosolen can do tables and a11y metadata for FXLs

Gregorio Pellegrino: question about experiments and javascript
… a lot of FXL use javascript, but some RS will not support this
… is it fine if we start without javascript, and add best practices for scripts in a second round?
… may be too much to tackle everything all at once

Wendy Reid: yes, let’s see what we can do without it for now
… KenJones can tackle reading order, navigation best practices for now
… in the best practices

KenJones: can you share an example for formatting?

Wendy Reid: look at the source HTML for the epub spec, or the audiobook spec
… it’s very basic

Gregorio Pellegrino: there’s also a guide for W3C respec somewhere

Wendy Reid: See Respec documentation

Wendy Reid: here it is
… don’t worry too much about the syntax, not to difficult to go back and fix after
… seems like we have everything we can do for now assigned
… gpellegrino can you think of a couple ideas for experiments?
… will make it easier to assign experiments to people in future
… AOB?

KenJones: i’ve got questions that I started posting to the Daisy KB, e.g. for image descriptions
… another one, where there’s a very annotated scientific image, how do we describe it? e.g. medical text with diagram of the heart

Wendy Reid: i believe Daisy has guidance in the rest of the KB, e.g. in the image maps section?

Gregorio Pellegrino: you can check diagram standard for how to describe image, and on epubtest.org there is a test for how to insert long desc in reflow epub
… those two resources together should give you an idea of best practice for your use-case

Gregorio Pellegrino: http://diagramcenter.org/table-of-contents-2.html

Gregorio Pellegrino: http://epubtest.org/test-books

KenJones: might a very visual document be rendered in a more textual way? i.e. converted from FXL to a reflow text
… are we allowed to recommend that as a secondary method of consuming the content?

Wendy Reid: depends how you do it. e.g. A book with mixed modalities, with a complicated map or something, and then the accompanying section just describes the same thing in text
… we’ve talked about alternative renditions, but that’s not supported

Brady Duga: are you looking at a way of algorithmically converting FXL to reflow? (e.g. RS turns FXL cookbook into a reflow)

KenJones: yes, so, like a fallback for a small screen or a screenreader
… a secondary way of showing the same file

Brady Duga: right, so changing the styling so that it works in reflow, maybe merging across page breaks in the FXL

Gregorio Pellegrino: media queries :)

Wendy Reid: so like, interchangeable style sheets, one for FXL and one for reflow

KenJones: yes, and discarding the positioning style

Brady Duga: I think its an interesting idea that is better than multiple renditions, it makes the content more accessible to all
… but this might not be in scope

Wendy Reid: gpellegrino mentioned media queries, but RS also support these in weird ways
… you could do it with CSS, but what you can’t do is toggling back and forth between FXL and reflow
… e.g. Kobo uses different renders for FXL and reflow content
… we’d have to tell RS when and how to switch

Brady Duga: you could just re-open the content in the alternate renderer
… still more simple than mixed modalities

Wendy Reid: so what would be the trigger? how would an epub tell RS that feature is available in the book?

KenJones: maybe if both accessMode textual and accessMode visual?

Brady Duga: basically we’re just marking a part of css as “for flowing mode”
… there are also layout considerations where we want to combine FXL pages into a single flowing page
… not that simple
… may want to recharter if we tackle this, because it would require spec changes

Gregorio Pellegrino: when you produce FXL you have to give viewport info, so when you switch to reflow mode, what happens with the viewport?

Wendy Reid: yes, so the epub would need to tell RS that it can switch from FXL to reflow, and when it switches to flowing mode, what RS is allowed to ignore/change from the FXL
… so yes, this would require spec change
… but agree that this is worth exploring
… maybe we can suggest this to CG to do the initial experimentation
… especially as spec is heading towards CR by the end of this year
… i’ll setup meeting with Mathias and Zheng

Brady Duga: we should also make sure that people from WG are going to the CG meetings where this is discussed

Wendy Reid: okay, so we all have our list of action items
… and we’ll report in on progress next week