[Athen] FW: Students can Work with their iPads directly from their PCs

Sean J Keegan skeegan at stanford.edu
Fri Apr 16 14:03:30 PDT 2010

> Do you know how screen reader/VoiceOver accessible

> performing a highlight is?

It's not very easy. In fact, I was not able to get it to read the
content that was being selected in blue or move the copy buttons.
Additionally, VoiceOver seemed to have a hard time recognizing what text
I actually wanted to highlight - it was usually off by several words or

> But what about more complex textbooks? I think

> the visual formatting capabilities of ePub are

> fairly limited. For instance, I don't think it

> is possible to do multiple columns, as in PDF for XPS.

For rich visual layouts, I suspect you are correct. The Open
Publication Structure (OPS 2.0) does appear to allow for multiple
columns, but I think this is relatively simplistic compared to something
with a visually rich layout model.

See "oeb-column-number" in the Visual Display Model for CSS2 (it is a
unique element specific to ePub format) -
http://www.idpf.org/2007/ops/ops2.0/download/ .

It appears that this is something that reading systems may/may not
support. The implementation is definitely different than PDF in that
the author/designer decides the layout for PDF whereas it is more
flexible for ePub.

From the spec it says:

"[13] Specifies a number of columns in which to render content; may be
applied to all block level elements. Reading Systems are free to support
integer values other than 1, or may map them to 1. Reading Systems may
support column balancing. A value of auto allows the Reading System to
decide on the optimal number of columns in which to render content,
considering available width, font sizes, or any other metrics it
considers relevant for readability."

Take care,

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