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Screen readers, ascii, arrangement

TeshaTesha Member Posts: 2,886 @@ - Legendary Achaean
Hi!

I am considering working on a newspaper, or adding little ascii touches to invitations. I see it here and there, and some of it is really well done. My only concern is screen readers! As such, if I use it, I would use it sparingly. I do have a few questions though, and those are:

1. Are there any ways to make it less obnoxious for anyone who uses a screen reader, such as any special symbols that do not get read, or something?

2. Would arranging paragraphs that are next to each other rather than on top of one another be unreadable for them? I assume it would be a problem, but I have no idea how they work, so I thought I would ask.

3. Thoughts on having two versions of something - one with ascii/specific arrangement, etc., and one that is more screen-reader friendly? Tesha writes fancy letters, I would probably use a similar style for a screen-reader version of a newspaper or something like that.


Any suggestions for things like this?

 i'm a rebel

Comments

  • LiancaLianca Fire and SpiceMember Posts: 428
    edited June 2013
    Suggestion, don't use ascii, no no no no no.

    I tried a week with a screenreader sometime ago, and ascii crows, ascii fires, ascii anything is kind of downright miserable.

    Someone a while back was putting up posters around Ashtan, propaganda about fire and justice and whatnot and it had this giant ascii pyre. After a quiet OOC message to the person doing it about just what that did to anyone using a screenreader (and there are quite a few) more mundane methods were chosen to display the meaning.

    Many of us, when using a picture in a letter will demarcate it out somehow and describe the picture in text, like we do with text paintings, text clothing, and even room designs.
    The sweltering heat of the forge spills out across the land as the rumbling voice of Phaestus booms, "I want you to know, the Garden reaction to that one is: What?"
    The voice of Melantha, Goddess of the Seasons, echoes amid the rustle of leaves, "That's the censored version."
    TeshaVerily
  • TeshaTesha Member Posts: 2,886 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Describing the picture does sound better than ascii (also, I have no idea how to use ascii, so that is a plus, too!), but I am not sure how to describe this other than how it is. This is an example of the arranging I was talking about: http://pastebin.com/bhtfnW5R

     i'm a rebel

    Lachlan
  • HeguaHegua Member Posts: 160 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    edited June 2013
    [advertisements/paragraphs/notices/whatever are splayed across the flyer in a meticulously designed pattern meant to draw the eye and lend potency to each block of print.]

    This is a really interesting part of the paper! ...

    Blah blah blah...

    But wait, there's more! ...
  • TeshaTesha Member Posts: 2,886 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I thought about something like that but it does not quite seem to give the same effect. 

     i'm a rebel

  • CooperCooper IowaMember Posts: 4,868 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I've always considered people who use ascii art or borders for posts/ads/etc to be extremely annoying and borderline ooc. If you want a fancy letter, buy a fancy letter. As far as rp goes, the ascii art is just scribbles on the edge of the letter so it's not very fancy.

    Lianca
  • LiancaLianca Fire and SpiceMember Posts: 428
    A screenreader will read left to right, (or right to left in certain languages). There's no easy way to let it know that this particular piece of text paper is columned, and what the static margins are. @Tesha, your five piece is even more painful as the column margins shift halfway.

    Let your writing do the talking, impress people with content not formatting, just go clear and simple.
    The sweltering heat of the forge spills out across the land as the rumbling voice of Phaestus booms, "I want you to know, the Garden reaction to that one is: What?"
    The voice of Melantha, Goddess of the Seasons, echoes amid the rustle of leaves, "That's the censored version."
  • WysteriaWysteria Member Posts: 1,826 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Don't use * unless you want to deafen screenreaders too. Apparently that usually gets registered as a beep so if you have a whole string of those, it will hurt big time.

    There's a few who use readers in our House and we've edited the scrolls to not have a table format with paragraphs adjacent to each other because it cannot be read properly.
    "Faded away like the stars in the morning,
     Losing their light in the glorious sun,
     Thus would we pass from this earth and its toiling,
     Only remembered for what we have done."

  • TeshaTesha Member Posts: 2,886 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I was considering working on two versions of whatever I wanted to make, one that would be fancy like the pastebin, and one that would be much better for any who use screenreaders. The only thing is I am not sure how to go about dropping that hint in-game, whether it is a different color paper, different version, or whatever I end up doing.

     i'm a rebel

  • NimNim Member Posts: 2,015 @@ - Legendary Achaean

    It would be completely possible to have some kind of column parsing system that lets you have text side-by-side, but converts it so that one follows the other

    eg.

    Column 1 text  | column 2 text
    could go here  | could go here

    becomes (for those with screen readers)

    Column 1 text could go here
    column 2 text could go here

    But that would have to either be done server-side or reader client-side - the writer would not be able to do such a thing. Still, if a lot of people want multi-columned documents, it's worth suggesting some kind of parsing system server-side (especially given that there's already a screen reader option, I think), or something like that.

  • TeshaTesha Member Posts: 2,886 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    That sounds hellaciously difficult to code (hellaciously is now a word). Then again, so did an alias with three if statements in it. I hardly mind working on two different versions, my dilemma is how to say "this is a screen-reader friendly version" in-game.

     i'm a rebel

  • SilasSilas Member Posts: 2,542 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Different coloured paper for people using screenreaders.  :|

    LiancaMelodie
  • NimNim Member Posts: 2,015 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Tesha said:
    That sounds hellaciously difficult to code (hellaciously is now a word). Then again, so did an alias with three if statements in it. I hardly mind working on two different versions, my dilemma is how to say "this is a screen-reader friendly version" in-game.

    Not that difficult, if you have a good string handling system (which I really hope Achaea has - otherwise, I pity its developers!).

    A basic approach might be to go line-by-line, and split each line into its separate columns. If the number of columns change from the last line, you might want to modify the internal list of columns (for a proof-of-concept I wrote, I decided to do just that - deciding each column was finished when it no longer existed in a line, and adding a new "column" in later on if necessary).

    Either way, you'd sort of keep a different buffer for each column in the document, and then you'd just put those buffers together at the end with some screen-reader friendly form of separation.

    my proof of concept version doesn't really account for paragraphs, but I figure you could decide a blank (consisting only of spaces) line in any column means adding a blank line to that column's buffer. You'd probably also want to trim out leading/trailing spaces from each column and manage them yourself, too - which I sort of did, but not completely.

  • TvistorTvistor Member Posts: 2,895 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Kupo actually designed an advertisement for the Naga store to wage war against the screen reader menace. It was a giant ASCII snake, but probably know by our archnemesis (is Tanris an archnemesis?) as "period period period period period period period open parenthesis period period -"
    PM me if you want to playtest a MUD.
    WysteriaBeya
  • VerilyVerily Member Posts: 200 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    When I was considering a bit of ASCII art and format in something, Lianca was the one who taught me otherwise. I've tried to be conscious from that and pass it on from that point! Besides, while it can be neat if done well, oftentimes it does end up horribly tacky anyway.
  • JonathinJonathin Grand Rapids, MIMember Posts: 3,323 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    This is pretty much why all of my posters are 100% text, no ascii.

    I use use ascii on the cover page of a journal from time to time. I don't know how screen readers work, tbh, I don't know if you can just skip shit like turning the page of a journal and skipping the cover page.

    My site will remain up, but will not be maintained. The repository will continue to have scripts added to it if I decide to play another game. Maybe I'll see you around in Starmourn!
    Tutorials and scripts  The Repository

  • TrillianaTrilliana Member Posts: 1,986 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    This is strictly my opinion, but my favorite letter that I've ever gotten was from @Beya just because of how he gave this image of what the letter looked like (mind you it wasn't perfect!)

    it started like this:
    The letter is thick with coiling, looping handwriting which meshes with itself between the lines. The ink is heavy and smudges in patches.

    (then the letter started)
    meh


    Beya
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