[Athen] FW: Save as DAISY XML

Jayme Johnson jjohnson at htctu.net
Wed May 7 12:43:02 PDT 2008

Hello everyone, I responded to Tom's question on our Alt Media list, and
Gaeir reminded me it would be nice to share with ATHEN as well (just in case
there's somebody who isn't also monitoring the Alt Media list).


-----Original Message-----
From: Jayme Johnson [mailto:jjohnson at htctu.net]
Sent: Wednesday, May 07, 2008 10:52 AM
To: Alternate Media
Subject: RE: Save as DAISY XML

Hello Tom, I'm glad to see the awareness of the new Save as DAISY XML plugin
has spread so far. I can understand the hopeful enthusiasm of those looking
for a one-shot technological solution to producing alternate media, but you
are right to be cautious, and you have some good questions.

First off, the Save as DAISY XML plugin is an intermediary step in producing
a DAISY book, you will still need to take some steps to get a finished DAISY
book. The advised solution from the DAISY consortium is to use the DAISY
Pipeline, a free application that has been in development for some time.
There is a section of the DAISY consortium website where you can find out
more about these tools:

As for other DAISY prodution tools, you will have to check with each
manufacturer to see how they plan to support (or not) the Save as DAISY XML
plugin output. You mention Dolphin, and they have already put a page on
their website that addresses some of the frequently asked questions, check
it out at: http://www.yourdolphin.com/index.asp?id=149. You can assure your
"superiors" that the increased Dolphin license was a good thing- as the
plugin doesn't produce an actual DAISY book, you still need another tool
(like the Dolphin products) to complete the process.

As for how the Save as DAISY plugin can be used, it is actually much more
powerful than you might think. It includes an interesting new set of styles
that you can use to mark up sidebar information, footers and headers, and
other types of content that the end user can then skip over or re-structure
within the document, and they can set thir DAISY player to always treat this
comment the same way (where supported by the DAISY player). These styles are
integrated into the main style menu MS Word uses, so there is no extra
clicking or special hidden menu to find. You will still have to go in and
markup the headings, but you can also do more with the standard MS Word
tools, for instance, marking page breaks with the standard page break tool
from Word.

So the Save as DAISY XML Plugin can really be used both by individual users
as well as by alternate media specialists and others who need to do
mass-production of DAISY books. Just remember that you still need another
tool to make the output from the Save as DAISY XML plugin a complete and
functioning DAISY book. It is not aone-click solution, there is still some
assembly required.

Unfortunately, this plugin is not the magic bullet everyone wishes for in
terms of providing an automated technological solution to producing
alternate media, but it looks like a great addition to our existing tool
set. It does look like it has potential to simplify the general workflow for
producing DAISY books, as well as reducing the required time.

I will share more information with the list as I continue to learn more, and
everyone please share your questions and opinions with the list. I am
curious as to how many people are interested in this new plugin and what
tools you are currently using to produce DAISY books. For those of you using
the Phoneticom DAISY Generator, we are currently working on adding support
for this newly released plugin- stay tuned for more information...

I look forward to seeing what you all think!

Jayme Johnson
Assistive Computer Technology Instructor High Tech Center Training Unit of
the California Community Colleges

-----Original Message-----
From: Tom Whalen [mailto:twhalen at mesastate.edu]
Sent: Wednesday, May 07, 2008 9:16 AM
To: Alternate Media
Subject: Save as DAISY XML

The new release of Microsoft's new plug in has me a bit confused. My
superiors (the ones who think DAISY is a flower) believe this is an end all
solution to our alternate production needs. I am a bit more cautious. I have
become a big fan of Dolphin's Producer and Publisher, as I use Producer to
convert a book a chapter at a time, because it is easier to train staff and
I can also retain the page numbers, as opposed to building the whole book
from scratch in Publisher.

I need to clarify to administration the difference on what I am doing now,
compared to what I will be able to do with the save as DAISY plug in. Will I
still have to add headings to the average MS Word doc? Will the plug in do
the same thing as Dolphin's Producer? I'm thinking I will still have to use
Publisher to make the entire book into one file. Am I correct in thinking
that the new plug in is for vision impaired users to take an average MS Word
doc and convert it to a DAISY format and that it is not for use in producing
textbooks? I recently increased our licences of Producer and Publisher and
my administrator is now asking why. I realize this is all new, but I would
appreciate any insight on how this will impact us.


Tom Whalen
Assistant Coordinator
Educational Access Services
Mesa State College
1100 North Avenue
Grand Junction, CO 81504

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