[Athen] The Thoughts of Chairman Bill

Robert Martinengo accessible.text at gmail.com
Sat Nov 17 07:49:53 PST 2007

The Microsoft/DAISY press release reminded me of something Bill Gates
said a few years ago. I transcribed this from audio files posted on
the DAISY website, although I don't think they are still there. I am
posting it now because it provides a counterpoint to the 'save as
DAISY' announcement, but of course, your interpretation may vary:

"I don't think that having the mainstream and DAISY be two separate
things makes sense, to be honest, and so I think there must be an
approach where you take whatever's good about DAISY and have it be
done through XML markup, that's just a fundamental piece. DAISY
apparently has certain types of tagging or approaches that are
interesting. The kind of navigation you want to get across these text
materials shouldn't be unique, so we need to really look at DAISY and
look at what the mainstream publishing standards are and see if we
can't bridge that, to the point where, should DAISY have to exist as a
thing of itself, or is it just a flavor of mainstream standards? I
think DAISY is a good thing but I don't see it, if it just exists by
itself, creating the right dynamic that we need here."

-- Bill Gates at Microsoft Summit on Libraries for the Blind, November
2004, Redmond, Washington [Transcribed from audio]

Here is a quote from a report on the meeting on the DAISY website:

' Gates partnership has particular meaning to the DAISY consortium,
according to Stephen King, of the Royal National Institute of the
Blind, and a member of the DAISY board of directors. "We now have a
clear commitment to move DAISY standards into mainstream publishing,"
said King. '


So, creating a 'save as DAISY' plug-in - a move into the mainstream,
or a perpetuation of DAISY as 'a thing of itself'? Discuss...

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