NVDA and Hashtags


 

First, this is a purely lazy post on my part, as I so seldom use or read material that actually contains hashtags.

Does NVDA read something (or at least something that is not purely numeric) that is preceded by a pound/number sign (#) as, "Hashtag {insert what follows the # here}?"

Given the ubiquity of hashtags, and given that the only context I can think of for # to be read as number sign or just number is if what comes after is entirely numeric, e.g., #32.  I'd expect 32# to be read as 32 pound or 32 pound sign due to the position of the sign and its historical use for pounds when it follows a numeric.  But I'd expect something like #MeToo to be read as, "hashtag me too."  Is it?
--

Brian - Windows 10, 64-Bit, Version 21H2, Build 19044  

The difference between a top-flight creative man and the hack is his ability to express powerful meanings indirectly.

         ~ Vance Packard


 

Hi,

No - tested with eSpeak NG, Windows OneCore, and Nuance Vocalizer and all of them read hashtags as "number text".

Cheers,

Joseph


David Goldfield
 

Brian, using NVDA 2022.2 with Windows OneCore, Code Factory Eloquence, Code Factory Vocalizer and ESpeak the # symbol is consistently pronounced as number regardless of its placement.

 

David Goldfield,

Blindness Assistive Technology Specialist

NVDA Certified Expert

 

Subscribe to the Tech-VI announcement list to receive news, events and information regarding the blindness assistive technology field.

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www.DavidGoldfield.org

 

From: nvda@nvda.groups.io <nvda@nvda.groups.io> On Behalf Of Brian Vogel
Sent: Friday, July 29, 2022 5:57 PM
To: nvda@nvda.groups.io
Subject: [nvda] NVDA and Hashtags

 

First, this is a purely lazy post on my part, as I so seldom use or read material that actually contains hashtags.

Does NVDA read something (or at least something that is not purely numeric) that is preceded by a pound/number sign (#) as, "Hashtag {insert what follows the # here}?"

Given the ubiquity of hashtags, and given that the only context I can think of for # to be read as number sign or just number is if what comes after is entirely numeric, e.g., #32.  I'd expect 32# to be read as 32 pound or 32 pound sign due to the position of the sign and its historical use for pounds when it follows a numeric.  But I'd expect something like #MeToo to be read as, "hashtag me too."  Is it?
--

Brian - Windows 10, 64-Bit, Version 21H2, Build 19044  

The difference between a top-flight creative man and the hack is his ability to express powerful meanings indirectly.

         ~ Vance Packard


Jackie
 

No. It's read as "number".

On 7/29/22, Brian Vogel <britechguy@...> wrote:
First, this is a purely lazy post on my part, as I so seldom use or read
material that actually contains hashtags.

Does NVDA read something (or at least something that is not purely numeric)
that is preceded by a pound/number sign (#) as, "Hashtag {insert what
follows the # here}?"

Given the ubiquity of hashtags, and given that the only context I can think
of for # to be read as number sign or just number is if what comes after is
entirely numeric, e.g., #32.  I'd expect 32# to be read as 32 pound or 32
pound sign due to the position of the sign and its historical use for pounds
when it follows a numeric.  But I'd expect something like #MeToo to be read
as, "hashtag me too."  Is it?
--

Brian - Windows 10, 64-Bit, Version 21H2, Build 19044

*The difference between a top-flight creative man and the hack is his
ability to express powerful meanings indirectly.*

~ Vance Packard





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Thanks to all for the incredibly prompt responses and inclusion of their operating parameters.

This may be one that NVDA wants to consider implementing.  I could come up with a regular expression that would make hashtags announce as hashtags, but these have become so commonly used and understood that any screen reader these days should understand them contextually and that doesn't require AI.
--

Brian - Windows 10, 64-Bit, Version 21H2, Build 19044  

The difference between a top-flight creative man and the hack is his ability to express powerful meanings indirectly.

         ~ Vance Packard


David Goldfield
 

While I don’t have any new surprises to add I wanted to rule out Acapela just in case some synthesizers make exceptions for the hashtag symbol. I couldn’t check in my initial test as the addon wasn’t consistently appearing in the list of voices and I needed to reinstall the engine. It also says “number” regardless of placement.

 

 

David Goldfield,

Blindness Assistive Technology Specialist

NVDA Certified Expert

 

Subscribe to the Tech-VI announcement list to receive news, events and information regarding the blindness assistive technology field.

Email: tech-vi+subscribe@groups.io

www.DavidGoldfield.org

 

From: nvda@nvda.groups.io <nvda@nvda.groups.io> On Behalf Of Brian Vogel
Sent: Friday, July 29, 2022 6:09 PM
To: nvda@nvda.groups.io
Subject: Re: [nvda] NVDA and Hashtags

 

Thanks to all for the incredibly prompt responses and inclusion of their operating parameters.

This may be one that NVDA wants to consider implementing.  I could come up with a regular expression that would make hashtags announce as hashtags, but these have become so commonly used and understood that any screen reader these days should understand them contextually and that doesn't require AI.
--

Brian - Windows 10, 64-Bit, Version 21H2, Build 19044  

The difference between a top-flight creative man and the hack is his ability to express powerful meanings indirectly.

         ~ Vance Packard


 

By the way, anyone who wants to try out a complex regular expression to get hashtags to announce as "hashtag" followed by whatever follows the pound sign EXCEPT if everything after the pound sign is a string of digits, then do the following (this presumes NVDA is already open):

1. Hit NVDA + N, P, D, D to open the default dictionary manager.
2. Hit ALT + A to activate the Add button or navigate to the Add button and activate it.
3. In the Add Dictionary Entry dialog, in the noted edit boxes enter what follows that box name exactly ignoring the space that separates the name from the content:
          Pattern (#)([^0-9]\w+|[0-9]+(?=[a-zA-Z]+)\w*)
          Replacement hashtag \2
          Comment Speak hashtags as hashtags
          Leave the case sensitive checkbox unchecked.  Note:  when using regular expression matches this should ALWAYS remain unchecked.  The regex deals with case.
          Type Radio button for Regular Expression should be activated.
4. Activate the dialog's OK button.
5. Activate the dictionary manager's OK button.

You're done.

Now, for the other regex gurus out there, below are the test strings I used and NVDA is still not pronouncing the ones that start with numbers correctly.  I can't for the life of me figure out why, as I strip the number sign from what's sent to the synth, so why I'd get "number" said, ever, eludes me.  The first and third do as I'd expect and say hashtag followed by the text. The fourth does as I expect and is not captured and, thus, gets announced as number.  But the second and fifth still get "number" followed by the number part then the rest of the text said as a unit.  Why?  [And I'm fine with this discussion occurring off list, as it would be a snoozefest for those who don't wish to dig in to regex construction.  Also, I use the website regex101 for testing what a given regex matches with Python regex syntax as the chosen one.]

#MeToo
#12NameDollar
#Brian123
#1234
#579Jim8456         
--

Brian - Windows 10, 64-Bit, Version 21H2, Build 19044  

The difference between a top-flight creative man and the hack is his ability to express powerful meanings indirectly.

         ~ Vance Packard


Rui Fontes
 

Brian, here all are announced hashtag something except #1234...


Rui Fontes



Às 00:22 de 30/07/2022, Brian Vogel escreveu:

By the way, anyone who wants to try out a complex regular expression to get hashtags to announce as "hashtag" followed by whatever follows the pound sign EXCEPT if everything after the pound sign is a string of digits, then do the following (this presumes NVDA is already open):

1. Hit NVDA + N, P, D, D to open the default dictionary manager.
2. Hit ALT + A to activate the Add button or navigate to the Add button and activate it.
3. In the Add Dictionary Entry dialog, in the noted edit boxes enter what follows that box name exactly ignoring the space that separates the name from the content:
          Pattern (#)([^0-9]\w+|[0-9]+(?=[a-zA-Z]+)\w*)
          Replacement hashtag \2
          Comment Speak hashtags as hashtags
          Leave the case sensitive checkbox unchecked.  Note:  when using regular expression matches this should ALWAYS remain unchecked.  The regex deals with case.
          Type Radio button for Regular Expression should be activated.
4. Activate the dialog's OK button.
5. Activate the dictionary manager's OK button.

You're done.

Now, for the other regex gurus out there, below are the test strings I used and NVDA is still not pronouncing the ones that start with numbers correctly.  I can't for the life of me figure out why, as I strip the number sign from what's sent to the synth, so why I'd get "number" said, ever, eludes me.  The first and third do as I'd expect and say hashtag followed by the text. The fourth does as I expect and is not captured and, thus, gets announced as number.  But the second and fifth still get "number" followed by the number part then the rest of the text said as a unit.  Why?  [And I'm fine with this discussion occurring off list, as it would be a snoozefest for those who don't wish to dig in to regex construction.  Also, I use the website regex101 for testing what a given regex matches with Python regex syntax as the chosen one.]

#MeToo
#12NameDollar
#Brian123
#1234
#579Jim8456         
--

Brian - Windows 10, 64-Bit, Version 21H2, Build 19044  

The difference between a top-flight creative man and the hack is his ability to express powerful meanings indirectly.

         ~ Vance Packard


 

On Fri, Jul 29, 2022 at 08:12 PM, Rui Fontes wrote:
Brian, here all are announced hashtag something except #1234...

Rui,

Thanks, and this is what I would expect.  Might I ask what synth you're using?

I should know better than not to suspect a synth-driven difference, and I need to test the same strings sans the pound sign in front just to see what Microsoft David, which is what I'm using, does when they're not prefixed.
--

Brian - Windows 10, 64-Bit, Version 21H2, Build 19044  

The difference between a top-flight creative man and the hack is his ability to express powerful meanings indirectly.

         ~ Vance Packard


Rui Fontes
 

I have tried with:

eSpeak NG
IBMTTS
Microsoft Speech API version 5
Nuance Vocalizer 5.5
Nuance Vocalizer expressive 1.1.1
Windows OneCore voices


Some of them with several voices and all have the same behaviour...


Rui Fontes


Às 01:49 de 30/07/2022, Brian Vogel escreveu:

On Fri, Jul 29, 2022 at 08:12 PM, Rui Fontes wrote:
Brian, here all are announced hashtag something except #1234...

Rui,

Thanks, and this is what I would expect.  Might I ask what synth you're using?

I should know better than not to suspect a synth-driven difference, and I need to test the same strings sans the pound sign in front just to see what Microsoft David, which is what I'm using, does when they're not prefixed.
--

Brian - Windows 10, 64-Bit, Version 21H2, Build 19044  

The difference between a top-flight creative man and the hack is his ability to express powerful meanings indirectly.

         ~ Vance Packard


Sarah k Alawami
 

I’ve always spoken it as number, not hash tag. I dun no if this would be a good idea in the end.

 

From: nvda@nvda.groups.io <nvda@nvda.groups.io> On Behalf Of Brian Vogel
Sent: Friday, July 29, 2022 3:09 PM
To: nvda@nvda.groups.io
Subject: Re: [nvda] NVDA and Hashtags

 

Thanks to all for the incredibly prompt responses and inclusion of their operating parameters.

This may be one that NVDA wants to consider implementing.  I could come up with a regular expression that would make hashtags announce as hashtags, but these have become so commonly used and understood that any screen reader these days should understand them contextually and that doesn't require AI.
--

Brian - Windows 10, 64-Bit, Version 21H2, Build 19044  

The difference between a top-flight creative man and the hack is his ability to express powerful meanings indirectly.

         ~ Vance Packard


 

Hi,

Not all social media platforms and languages use the same hashtag rules as noted in the regular expression. The common hashtag format (letters, numbers, underscores) works best with Latin character set but doesn't work well with languages such as Chinese.

While an argument can be made in that screen readers should have advanced text processing capabilities such as hashtag announcements, I (personally) believe that it is really up to text to speech engines to define rules for these and give users a chance to edit speech dictionary entries. A screen reader is an information processing specialist in that it will consume whatever text information it can find. The job of actually announcing text in certain ways is really up to speech engines and humans to decide - screen readers can influence parts of that process, but it is really up to people to decide what to do with whatever they heard/read/saw.

Cheers,

Joseph


 

On Fri, Jul 29, 2022 at 10:19 PM, Joseph Lee wrote:
The job of actually announcing text in certain ways is really up to speech engines and humans to decide - screen readers can influence parts of that process, but it is really up to people to decide what to do with whatever they heard/read/saw.
-
Joseph,

There is a bit of circular logic at work here (and on my my part, too).  If what one hears/reads/sees is not clear, then deciding what to do with it becomes fraught.

I will not even attempt to account for formats in languages which I do not speak, nor should I.  But the understanding, in several contexts, of the hashtag is really not difficult.

Whether the screen reader does it, or the synth does it is really not something that I care about.  In fact, since I don't use them it's not particularly relevant to me, personally, at all.  But it is relevant to how something that is supposed to present text to a user who can only listen to it works is relevant, and being contextually appropriate is very relevant indeed.  There is no way that #MeToo makes more sense as number MeToo than as hashtag MeToo.
--

Brian - Windows 10, 64-Bit, Version 21H2, Build 19044  

The difference between a top-flight creative man and the hack is his ability to express powerful meanings indirectly.

         ~ Vance Packard


Brian's Mail list account
 

Of course I have changed the number announcement to hash, since its always been known as that here in the UK, and other UK screenreaders seem to do the same as well.
Its not really pound £ is pound but # is hash.

Brian

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----- Original Message -----
From: "Joseph Lee" <joseph.lee22590@...>
To: <nvda@nvda.groups.io>
Sent: Friday, July 29, 2022 11:04 PM
Subject: Re: [nvda] NVDA and Hashtags


Hi,

No - tested with eSpeak NG, Windows OneCore, and Nuance Vocalizer and all of them read hashtags as "number text".

Cheers,

Joseph


Brian's Mail list account
 

What it says is easy for the user to change, and I have changed it as I said. A similar strangeness surrounds exclamation ! In some languages this is Bang, for no reason I can see other than tradition.

Brian

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Please address personal E-mail to:-
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----- Original Message -----
From: "David Goldfield" <david.goldfield@...>
To: <nvda@nvda.groups.io>
Sent: Friday, July 29, 2022 11:17 PM
Subject: Re: [nvda] NVDA and Hashtags


While I don't have any new surprises to add I wanted to rule out Acapela just in case some synthesizers make exceptions for the hashtag symbol. I couldn't check in my initial test as the addon wasn't consistently appearing in the list of voices and I needed to reinstall the engine. It also says "number" regardless of placement.


David Goldfield,
Blindness Assistive Technology Specialist
[JAWS Certified, 2022]<https://www.freedomscientific.com/Training/Certification>
NVDA Certified Expert<https://certification.nvaccess.org/>

Subscribe to the Tech-VI announcement list to receive news, events and information regarding the blindness assistive technology field.
Email: tech-vi+subscribe@groups.io<mailto:tech-vi+subscribe@groups.io>
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From: nvda@nvda.groups.io <nvda@nvda.groups.io> On Behalf Of Brian Vogel
Sent: Friday, July 29, 2022 6:09 PM
To: nvda@nvda.groups.io
Subject: Re: [nvda] NVDA and Hashtags

Thanks to all for the incredibly prompt responses and inclusion of their operating parameters.

This may be one that NVDA wants to consider implementing. I could come up with a regular expression that would make hashtags announce as hashtags, but these have become so commonly used and understood that any screen reader these days should understand them contextually and that doesn't require AI.
--

Brian - Windows 10, 64-Bit, Version 21H2, Build 19044

The difference between a top-flight creative man and the hack is his ability to express powerful meanings indirectly.

~ Vance Packard


 

On Sat, Jul 30, 2022 at 03:35 AM, Brian's Mail list account wrote:
Of course I have changed the number announcement to hash, since its always been known as that here in the UK, and other UK screenreaders seem to do the same as well.
Its not really pound £ is pound but # is hash.
-
Well, you're talking about something entirely different, which is what a given language locality calls individual symbols.  I always knew the Pound Sterling sign was said as pound(s) when referring to money, but I didn't know that the number sign (US) was referred to as hash.  But even hash is about the symbol, while hashtag is about the symbol and what follows it.

In any case, at this point those who may want hashtags announced as hashtags have a regex to do it and step by step instructions for adding same to the dictionary.  It's an option one can use, or not.

But as dictionaries (as in the real ones with definitions of words) change as the language does, it seems to me that it makes sense for synths to try to keep up with "the prevailing winds" of changes that appear to have become permanent, regardless of what those are.  Too often they don't.

But when it comes to symbol reading, I'll take "Bang" over "exclamation point," and "tick," over "single quote," just for efficiency's sake. When going character by character through content I prefer the shortest comprehensible identifier for a character, as the process is already tedious enough as is.
--

Brian - Windows 10, 64-Bit, Version 21H2, Build 19044  

The difference between a top-flight creative man and the hack is his ability to express powerful meanings indirectly.

         ~ Vance Packard