I have been musing about what it takes to architect a family of document-related utilities in ways that address accessibility and internationalization/localization from the outset in a scalable, reusable way.
The hard case for me at the moment is in terms of command-line CUA-level (text-screen) tools. It means dealing with the ability to have accessibility aids tied into the interactive behavior of software so that it can be operated by people with disabilities, whether programmers, system administrators, or anyone else performing routine tasks of some sort. In the context of office-productivity tools, this means accessibility for authors, not just for consumers and translators of authored material.
I have no expertise in this area, and I understand the kinds of tools more from the perspective of a typical user (though I use my screen magnifier from time to time). So this is a daunting prospect because I am not a member of a special-needs target community (although as an American I qualify as language-impaired so I can see provision of that sort of assistance more clearly).
These STAMP and DAISY add-ins for Microsoft Office, now in beta, are developed as open-source packages on SourceForge gives me something to examine and to look at. I’ve not quite figured out where I can safely install beta software, unless I bring up a few more Virtual Machines, now that I have that capacity on my new developer-centric desktop system.
There are also useful tools being developed around ODF (or LibreOffice, I am never quite sure what the specifics of described ODF-ness are) and it would be interesting to see what sort of harmonization is applicable, if any.
Time to check out the SourceForge sites:
- STAMP: PowerPoint Subtitling Add-In (SourceForge, Microsoft Public License)
- Open XML to DAISY XML Translator (SourceForge, BSD License)
[2011-03-17 Side Note: I have been keeping as many irons in the air as possible, but this means the recovery of my now-dormant blogs from Blogger FTP to hosted Movable Type is taking a back seat to other more-pressing activities. I am using this WordPress.com incarnation of my Live Hideout as a parking place for posts I’d rather be making elsewhere and I may well cross-post them when I have caught up with my ambitions at least that much.]