Click one of the letters above to advance the page to terms beginning with that letter.



Analog To Digital. The process of converting an analog audio signal, usually recorded on magnetic tape, into a digital representation for use within a computer. An analog recording may have structure indicated by low-frequency index tones, and an A-D conversion system may capture that information to automatically generate structured markup.
The Accessible Books Consortium aims to increase the number of books worldwide in accessible formats and to make them available to people who are blind, have low vision or are otherwise print disabled. The ABC is a multi-stakeholder partnership, comprising WIPO, organizations that serve people with print disabilities, and organizations representing publishers and authors.
An open source SMIL player created by CWI in the Netherlands. As of version 3.0, AMIS embeds Ambulant internally and uses it to play SMIL documents.
AMIS reader
AMIS is an acronym for Adaptive Multimedia Information System. A free, open source software tool for playing DAISY 2.02 and DAISY 3-2005 books, AMIS is no longer maintained but is available for reference and use on older systems. More information can be found in the AMIS archived project.
application programming interface
Either a program that does something (formats, sorts, imports, etc.) with XML or a set of markup tags created with XML. HTML, for example, is an application of SGML, defined with an SGML DTD.
American Standard Code for Information Interchange. See
A source of additional information about an element. Attribute values may be fixed in the DTD or listed as namevalue pairs in the start tag of an element.
Audio clipping
Clipping occurs when an audio device tries to output a signal whose amplitude is greater than its maximum value, as a result it provides this maximum value as output, distorting waveform at upper end.
Audio NCX
Refers to a DAISY book that contains the complete book as synchronized audio, plus a table of contents (which could include page numbers, footnote lists, etc). This term does not refer to a specific version of the DAISY standard.
Audio normalization
Process of increasing or decreasing the amplitude of an entire audio signal so that the resulting peak amplitude reaches the desired value.
A recording of a human voice reading or synthetic speech rendering of a book.
Authorization object
A data object that transmits the content decryption keys and rights expression for a single book to a reading system. The content decryption keys are secured within the authorization object by encrypting them with some key known to the reading system. This authorization encryption key is identified by name in the authorization object, and is presumed to be stored somewhere in the reading system. If the reading system does not have the named key, it must acquire it, most likely via a key exchange object.

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Bit depth
Describes the number of bits used to store information about each sample during analog to digital conversion. More depth = better quality. Typical values used for audio signals are 8 bit, 16 bit and 24 bit.
Block Elements (Structures)
Block structures are discrete segments of text that are often separated from surrounding text by blank lines, indentation, etc. The most common block structure is the paragraph.
Born Accessible
The term born accessible refers to the accessibility of mainstream digital content which should be available at the same time, in the same format and at the same price for all readers.

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An object-oriented programming language featuring a combination of high-level and low-level language features. Can be used on nearly every existing platform. However, the development and maintenance costs are often higher than with more modern languages. General info on Wikipedia.
Composite Application Guidance: originally known as Prism, and sometimes called CompositeWPF. An modular architecture recommendation for .NET applications, for which there is a reference implementation called CAL.
Composite Application Library: the reference implementation of the CAG. See CAG, Prism, CompositeWPF

Character data information in a document that should not be parsed at all. This allows the use of the markup characters & <, and > within the text, even though no elements or entities may appear in the section. CDATA declarations may appear in attributes, and CDATA-marked sections may appear in documents.
Child elements
An element directly nested inside another element. In <FIRST><SECOND></FIRST>, the SECOND element is the child element of FIRST element.
A development library for Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), now known as Prism.

Cascading Style Sheets [CSS]: a mechanism for adding style (e.g. fonts, colors, spacing, formatting) to HTML or XML documents.

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DAISY Format
The DAISY Format is digital book format is designed to be a complete audio substitute for print material and is specifically designed for use by people with print disabilities, including blindness, impaired vision, and dyslexia. Based on the MP3 and XML formats, the DAISY format has advanced navigation features in addition to those of a traditional audio book.
DAISY 2.02
The DAISY 2.02 Specification is the standard for the DAISY Digital Talking Book (DTB) format which was approved in February 2001. The DAISY 2.02 format is based on the W3C defined SGML (ISO 8879) applications XHTML 1.0 and SMIL 1.0. Using this framework, a talking book format is presented which enables navigation within a sequential and hierarchical structure consisting of (marked-up) text synchronized with audio. It superseded the DAISY 2.01 Specification and has since itself been superseded by the current DAISY Standard, DAISY 3, Release 2005 (officially, the ANSI/NISO Z39.86-2005 Specifications for the Digital Talking Book).
DAISY 2002
Approved March 6, 2002, by the American National Standards Institute, the 2002 release of the DAISY 3 Standard is the superseded version of the ANSI/NISO Z39.86 Specifications for the Digital Talking Book. It was superseded by DAISY 3, Release 2005.
Formally the ANSI/NISO Z39.86-2005 (R2012) Specifications for the Digital Talking Book, DAISY 3, Release 2005 supersedes the 2002 release of the Standard. This Standard defines the format and content of the electronic file set that comprises a DAISY digital talking book (DTB) and establishes a limited set of requirements for DAISY DTB playback devices.
A web-based localization system for creation of language packs for DAISY applications. Users log on to a website and enter translations of given words and phrases. If the target application is self-voicing, they may upload audio that corresponds to that particular word or phrase. The finished collection of text and audio materials is transformed into a language pack for the target application. The DAISY Lion is written in Python.
DAISY media
Any type of DAISY content, i.e. books, magazines, published timetables, health publications, emergency preparedness materials, etc. The three possible types of DAISY media are: 1. audio content with navigation 2. multimedia content (full text + audio + images) with navigation 3. e-text (text only) content with navigation.
A designation of conformance to the DAISY Standard which outlines the required functionality and advanced features that describe and define both a conforming DAISY Reading System (player) and a conforming DAISY DTB.
DAISY Pipeline
The DAISY Pipeline is an open source DTB and XML-oriented transformation tool designed to be used in both server-side and desktop environments. Can be described as a suite of cross platform tools developed by the DAISY Consortium to meet ever-increasing production and conversion demands and to also support distribution of accessible content.
DAISY Structure Guidelines
These Guidelines developed by the DAISY Consortium provide information on the correct usage and application of DAISY XML (the DTBook XML element set) in the creation of DAISY media. The elements and their relationships are defined, and examples of correct markup are provided. The 2008 release supersedes previous versions.
The DTBook XML element set which makes up DAISY media.
Another term for the DAISY 3 Standard, formally the ANSI/NISO Z39.86-2005 Specifications for the Digital Talking Book.
Logarithmic expression of the ratio between two signal power, voltage, or current levels. Decibel is frequently used as an unit for measuring sound intensity.
Delivery media
The physical media used to distribute DAISY media to the end user.
Digital Rights Management (DRM)
Refers to the technological measures applied to digital content that grant specific rights. DRM refers broadly to any strategy or tool that is used to control who can access digital content and how they can use it. DRM might be as simple as putting a copyright notice on a document, or it might go much farther and encrypt a document with a special code or key required to access the content. Encryption is an example of a Technological Protection Measure (TPM) which is a kind of DRM, but the terms are often used interchangeably.
Document type declaration
In valid documents, the declaration that connects a document to its document type definition. The declaration may connect to an external file or include the definition within itself.
A means of addressing elements and attributes in a document from a processing application or scripts. The W3C has a Document Object Model Working Group that is developing a standard model for HTML and XML documents. See
Double Byte Characters
Asian characters, for example, require two bytes to represent single characters. This is a common term used to describe computers’ international representation of thousands of characters.
DTB (Digital Talking Book)
The Digital Talking Book content data set that complies with the specifications in the DAISY Standard. The Standard for DAISY Digital Talking Books, (DTBs) was developed to replace and improve upon analogue tape technology which was used to provide accessible audio productions of print materials to people unable to read standard print.
The XML element set (dtbook.dtd) that defines the markup for the textual content of a Digital Talking Book (DTB).
The Document Type Definition file contains machine- and human-readable rules that define allowable XML markup for a particular application. It is a set of rules for document construction which lies at the hearts of all SGML development and all valid XML document construction. Processing applications and authoring tools rely on DTDs to inform them of the ‘parts’ required by a particular document type. A document with a DTD may be validated against the definition (DTD). Learn more

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Text-based information in a digital human-readable format that is read using an electronic device.
An electronic publication or electronic book, usually (but not necessarily) a digital version of a print publication. There are many ebook formats. Learn more
European Blind Union (EBU) brings together a wealth of expertise related to visual impairment and its implications in the daily life of millions of persons with sight loss. Learn more about EBU
Eclipse is an open source community, whose projects are focused on building an open development platform and are hosted by the non-profit Eclipse Foundation. Eclipse is best known for the Eclipse IDE, a greatly extensible multi-language integrated software development environment written primarily in Java.
Eclipse RCP
Eclipse Rich Client Platform (RCP) is a platform for building and deploying desktop software applications. The DAISY Pipeline GUI is based on Eclipse RCP.
An element is a matched pair of tags (opening and closing), the attributes in the start tag (opening tag), and all textual content and tags contained between the opening and end (closing) tags. An element can also be a self-closing tag and its attributes (see Empty Element). They are the fundamental logical units of an XML document.
Empty element
An element that has no textual content. An empty element may be indicated by a start tag (opening tag) and end tag (closing tag) placed next to each other () or by a start tag that ends with /> (). Empty elements may contain attributes only.
End tag
A tag in markup that closes an element. An end tag follows the syntax , where Name matches the element name declared in the start tag.
A reference to other data that often acts as an abbreviation or a shortcut. By declaring entities, developers can avoid entering the same information in a document or DTD repetitively.
EPUB (short for electronic publication) is a free and open e-book standard maintained by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF). Files have the extension .epub. Learn more about our work with EPUB.
Extensible Markup Language (XML)
A widely adopted W3C recommendation that provides a much simpler set of rules for markup than SGML, while offering more flexibility that HTML. See
Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL)
A style sheet standard submitted by Microsoft, ArborText, and Inso Corporation to the W3C. An XML vocabulary for specifying formatting semantics. XSLT is a language for transforming XML documents into other XML documents. See
External DTD subset
The portion of a document type definition that is stored outside of the document. External DTDs are convenient for storing document type definitions that will be used by multiple documents, allowing them to share a centrally managed definition.

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Fragment Identifier
A means to address a named place in a document. For reference within the current document, the reference part is to a named target and begins with &quot
A digital multimedia publication which contains the synchronized, complete audio and text content. This term does not refer to a specific version of the DAISY standard.

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Global Accessible Library (GAL) project
GAL was the predecessor of the TIGAR service. It was a joint IFLA/LBS and DAISY Consortium project established in 2008.
Global navigation
Movement to user-selected portions of a document, with that movement enabled by the NCX. Navigation targets may be headings representing the hierarchical structure of the document or specific points such as pages, notes, sidebars, etc.
GUI stands for graphical user interface, a type of user interface item that allows people to interact with programs through graphical icons and and visual indicators, as opposed to text-based interfaces.

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Hypertext Markup Language is the language of the web and the most popular markup language in use today, HTML is an application of SGML. HTML is one of the foundations of web development, providing formatting and basic structure to documents for presentation via browser applications. See
HTML Editor
A software program for editing HTML pages. With an HTML editor you can add elements, tables, font size, layout and color to a HTML document like using a word processor. An HTML editor will display the page being edited exactly the same way it will be displayed on the page (WYSIWYG).
Hypertext Transfer Protocol is the protocol that governs communications between clients and servers on the World Wide Web. HTTP allows clients to send requests to servers, which reply with an appropriate document or an error message.
HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure is the same as HTTP but provides secure Internet communication using SSL.
A pointer to another document. Most often a pointer to another web page. A hyperlink is for a hotlink or a link, and sometimes called a hypertext connection to another document page.
Hypertext is text that is cross-linked to other documents in such a way that the reader can see related documents by clicking on a highlighted word or symbol. (See also hyperlink)

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I/O Interface
Input/Output Interface
The International Digital Publishing Forum (formerly Open eBook Forum.) The International Trade and Standards organization for the eBook and ePublishing Industries. http://www/
The actual use of an element or document type in a document, as opposed to its definition. An instance may also refer to an entire document. A document may be an instance of a DTD if it can be validated under that DTD.
Internal DTD subset
The portion of a document type definition that appears inside the document to which it applies. Internal DTD subsets can be hard to manage, but provide developers an easy way to test out new features or develop DTDs without disrupting other documents.
The International Publishers Association (IPA) is an international industry federation representing all aspects of book and journal publishing. (IPA website)
The International Organization for Standardization, an international standard-setting body. See
Internet Service Provider. An organization that provides or sells access to the Internet to individuals and other organizations.

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Java refers to a number of computer software products and specifications from Sun Microsystems that together provide a system for developing application software and deploying it in a cross-platform environment. The Java programming language is the primary way to produce code for the Java environment.
JPEG is an acronym for Joint Photographic Expert Group. JPEG is a lossy compression technique for color images. Although it can reduce files sizes to about 5% of their normal size, some detail is lost in the compression.

JPEG file suffixes are .jpg or .jpeg.

JSP (JavaServer Pages)
Technology that helps software developers create dynamically generated web pages based on HTML, XML, or other document types.

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Keyboard Equivalents
These are keyboard options that are equal to a mouse click. CTRL+O, for example, is equal to using the mouse to open a file. Keyboard equivalents also known as key combinations, or hot keys, or accelerator keys. Normally these are two keys that are pressed together to perform a function. These are often found in pull-down menus and take the place of going through the menu by mouse clicks. These keys can also replace the need for pressing icons with a mouse.

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High quality MPEG Audio Layer III (MP3) encoder licensed under the LGPL
LaTeX is a non-XML document markup language and document preparation system for the TeX typesetting system, notably used to produce postscript or PDF documents. LaTeX is particularly popular in academia, especially in mathematics and science thanks to a good support of scientific formulae.
Legacy Data
Data that was produced with previous technologies, for example analog recordings on tape are legacy data.
A reference (link) from some point in one hypertext document to (some point in) another document or another place in the same document. A browser usually displays a hyperlink in some distinguishing way, e.g. in a different color, font or style. When the user activates the link (e.g. by clicking on it with the mouse), the browser will display the target of the link.
Local navigation
Movement within a document at a granularity finer than that provided by the NCX. For example, navigation by paragraph or sentence, or within a table or nested list. Precise local navigation can be controlled by the textual content file or the SMIL file(s). The granularity is limited by the degree to which the textual content file has been marked up or the level to which synchronization has been applied in the SMIL file(s). Time-based movement through a document (e.g., fast-forward and rewind as on an analog cassette, or time jumps by specified intervals) may also be implemented.
LpStudio/Pro is DTB production software developed by commercial companies through a pre-licensing agreement with the DAISY Consortium. It is only available to DAISY Member Organizations and their representatives.

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A component of the Package File, the Manifest lists all files included in the DTB.
Structural information stored in the same file as the content. Traditionally, structural information is separated from the content and isolated in elements (defined with tags) and entities.
Markup declaration
The contents of document type declarations, which are used to define the elements, attributes, entities, and notations. They specify the kinds of markup that will be legal in a given document.
Mathematical Markup Language is an application of XML for describing mathematical notations and capturing both its structure and content. It is a recommendation of the W3C math working group and aims at integrating mathematical formulas into World Wide Web documents. See
MathML in DAISY is the first official Modular Extension of the DAISY Standard. See the MathML in DAISY page.
The Markup Definition File (.mdf) contains a listing of all of the elements and attributes, with their associated values, that are to be used as synchronization points with the XHTML source in a project. This list of elements is used to identify and select portions of the source XHTML files for the generation of the ncc.html file and .smil files for a project. Also stored in this file is information about the hierarchy associated with each type of element.
A set of data that describes and gives information about other data, literally ]data about data’. Metadata describes and identifies a publication for search and recovering (finding), indexing and archival purposes. The end user is not necessarily aware of its presence.
The Microsoft Foundation Class Library (also Microsoft Foundation Classes or MFC) is a library that wraps portions of the Windows API in C++ classes, including functionality that enables them to use a default application framework.
Modular Extensions
An implementation of an XML vocabulary that extends the DAISY/NISO Standard so that it can address additional needs. Some extensions that have been mentioned are for mathematics, video support, testing, workbooks, music, dictionaries, chemistry, searching and more.
.mp3 is the file extension for MPEG, audio layer 3. Layer 3 is one of three MPEG coding schemes (layer 1, layer 2 and layer 3) for the compression of audio signals. Layer 3 uses perceptual audio coding and psycho-acoustic compression to remove all superfluous information (more specifically, the redundant and irrelevant parts of a sound signal that the human ear does not hear). It also adds a MDCT (Modified Discrete Cosine Transform) that implements a filter bank, increasing the frequency resolution 18 times higher than that of layer 2.
The Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) was formed by the ISO to set standards for audio and video compression and transmission.
Refers to a DAISY book that is composed of multiple volumes, each volume being its own DAISY book. DAISY tools are expected to treat the collection of volumes as one book in regards to features offered, except that the user may be asked to change physical media (e.g. CD-ROMs) in order to load the correct volume.
Multimedia is a term which describes a presentation or publication that combines more than one media or content types. Content types may include but are not limited to text, audio, image, video.

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Name characters
Letters, digits, hyphens, underscores, and full stops. (Full stops in Latin character sets are periods.)
Name token
Any string composed of name characters.
The Navigation Control Center is the main navigational tool for end users and also for producers using LpStudio/Pro and Sigtuna DAR 3. In MyStudio PC the ncc.html file is generated when the project is built; it is not present in the project during the production process.
In the DAISY 3 Standard, the NCC evolved into the Navigation Control file for XML applications (NCX). The NCX provides navigation using the identified elements of documents tagged to the dtbook DTD. Richer structuring capability is one of the objectives of that DTD. Each navigation point in the NCX is linked through the SMIL file to the corresponding location in the audio and XML textual content files, providing the reader efficient and flexible access to the hierarchical structure of a DTB as well as direct access to selected elements such as page numbers, notes, figures, etc.
The National Instructional Materials Access Center is a U.S. federally-funded, national electronic file repository that makes NIMAS files available for the production of core print instructional materials in specialized formats. See
In the U.S., the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (pronounced NYE-mas) outlines a set of consistent and valid XML-based source files created by K-12 curriculum publishers or other content producers. See
NIMAS is the federally-mandated U.S. National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard which identifies the minimum set of required elements from the DAISY/NISO Z39.86 Standard (the DAISY 3 Standard) which make up the NIMAS Standard. The required electronic format is DTBook; NIMAS requirements conform to the DTBook DTD, upon which the DAISY Standard is based.
National Information Standards Organization. A non-profit standards organization that develops, maintains and publishes technical standards related to bibliographic and library applications. See
Noise level
The noise level (noise threshold) is the level of background noise and ambient sound in the recording environment. When recording with MyStudio PC, depending on the background noise level, a ‘High’, ‘Normal’ or ‘Low’ noise level can be set within the system. There is no calibration process as there is with LpStudio/Pro and Sigtuna DAR 3.
An XML structure that identifies the type of content contained by an element suggesting a viewer to present it.
Note reference
This is a link to a marked footnote, endnote or some other piece of text in a document.
“Nullsoft Scriptable Installation System”. This is a scripting language and compiler aimed at creating installation packages for software applications. It is free and open source.

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OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) is a not-for-profit consortium that drives the development, convergence and adoption of open standards for the global information society. One of the standards developped by OASIS is the OpenDocument Format (ODF) for representing electronic office document.
an open source DAISY/NISO authoring tool for producing audio ncx DAISY books. Obi is easy to use, accessible and internationalized.
The Open Container Format (OCF) is part of the EPUB Standard, produced by the IDPF. The OCF uses the ZIP specification to bring the various files needed to make a conforming EPUB publication into a single file, hence the term container.
The OpenDocument Format (ODF) is an XML-based file format for representing electronic documents such as spreadsheets, charts, presentations and word processing documents. ODF is an OASIS standard, based on the format originally created and implemented by the open source office suite.
OpenDocument Text files are word processing documents complying to the ODF specification.
The Open eBook Forum – the original name of the IDPF. It was founded in 1999 to develop specifications for the eBook industry.
Office Open XML
Office Open XML (also referred to as OOXML or Open XML) is an XML-based file format originally developed by Microsoft for representing electronic documents such as spreadsheets, charts, presentations and word processing documents.
Open Source
Open Source is a term that applies to software that is created and maintained using a license that makes the source code available for modification. There are a variety of licensing schemes that this term applies to. For example: General Public License (GPL) or the Lesser General Public License (LGPL), there are many different types of licenses that are open source.
Open eBook Forum Package File. See Package File.
The OSGi framework is a modular system for Java that implements a complete and dynamic component model, and facilitates the development of service-oriented architectures in Java.

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Package File
One of the three specifications that make up the EPUB specification prior to EPUB 3.
Parameter entity
An entity used to represent information within the context of a document type definition. Parameter entities may be used to link the content of additional DTD files to a DTD, or as an abbreviation for frequently repeated declarations. Parameter entities are distinguished from general entities by their use of a percent sign (%) rather than a parent element of the SECOND element.
Parsed character data (#PCDATA)
Parsed character data is text that will be examined by the parser for entities and markup. Parsed character data should not contain any &, <, or > characters. These need to be represented by the &, <, and > entities, respectively.
acronym for Pulse Coded Modulation, an uncompressed digital signal obtained as a first step in analog to digital conversion. PCM is used in wav files.
Peak meter
An instrument which measures an audio signal (amplitude).
The Portable Embosser Format (PEF) is an XML format for representing braille books, accurately and unambiguously, regardless of language, location, embosser settings, braille code and computer environment. PEF is a specification developped within the Braille in DAISY project.
Phrase detection
Pauses in narration detected by the authoring software. The pauses can provide the end user with navigation through the content by phrases, sentences or other navigation units, depending upon how the phrase detection has been set during production.
Rendering of a digital publication with a hardware or software system / application. Playback may include audio, Braille, large print, and synthetic speech as appropriate for the content and as supported by the playback system.
Playback System
A hardware or software platform used to render a digital publication. Synonymous with ‘Player’ and ‘Reading System’.
See Playback System.
Print disabled
The term was coined by George Kerscher in 1989 to describe persons with disabilities who cannot read print. The definition is: A person who cannot effectively read print because of a visual, physical, perceptual, developmental, cognitive, or learning disability.

When used as an adjective, it should be hyphenated, as in print-disabled person. When used as a collective noun, it should not be hyphenated.


Processing application
An application that takes the output generated by a parser (it may include a parser, or be a parser itself) and does something with it. That something may include presentation, calculation, or anything else that seems appropriate.
Processing instruction
Directions that allow XML authors to send instructions directly to a processing that may be outside the native capacities of XML. A processing instruction is differentiated from normal element markup by question marks after the opening < and before the closing > (i.e. <? Instruction ?> ). The XML declaration is itself a processing instruction.
the opening part of a document, containing the XML declaration and any document type declarations or markup declarations needed to process the document.
A high-level, general-purpose programming language that is easy to read and allows for relatively fast application development. Its standard library is quite large and exemplifies Python’s “batteries included” philosophy, meaning many of the tools required for common actions are there by default. In addition, it is a multi-paradigm language, allowing both object-oriented and structural programming approaches in addition to others.

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Technically a query is a mapping from structures of one vocabulary to structures of another vocabulary. A Query language such as SQL is a computer language used to make queries into databases and information systems. A query string, in the World Wide Web, is an optional part of a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) that follows the first question mark (?). A Web search query is a query entered by users into web search engines.

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Reading System
A hardware or software platform used to render a digital publication. Synonymous with ‘Player’ or ‘Playback System’.
A programming technique in which a function may call itself. Recursive programming is especially well-suited to parsing nested markup structures.
Reference Implementation
In computing, a reference implementation (also known as ‘sample implementation’ or ‘model implementation’) is a software example of a specification. Intended to help others implement their version of the specification or find issues during the creation of a specification. It is a definitive interpretation for a specification that serves as a proof-of-concept, is functional and available for testing.
Root element
The first element in a document. The root element is not contained by any other elements and forms the base of the tree structure created by parsing the nested elements.
RSS, most commonly translated as Really Simple Syndication) is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works, such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video, in a standardized format. An RSS document (which is called a feed, web feed, or channel) is an XML file with a suffix of .rss or .xml and is signified by the RSS Feed icon.
Rich Text Format, a proprietary document file format developed by Microsoft for cross-platform document interchange.

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Sampling rate
Defines the number of samples per second taken of an analogue signal to produce a digital signal. For content such as audio waveforms, frequencies are measured in hertz (Hz) or cycles per second. The greater the sampling rate, the higher the quality of the digital audio that is produced. Also called ‘sampling frequency’.
Screen Reader
A software that attempts to identify and interpret what is being displayed on the screen. This interpretation is then re-presented to the user with text-to-speech, sound icons, or a Braille output device.
Ability to move forward/reverse in the audio while listening to the audio. Similar to cueing during wind/rewind on analog recorders.
An application that provides an aural interface without requiring a screen reader. Self-voicing applications are an important form of assistive technology, useful to individuals who have difficulty reading or seeing.
Semantic structure
The relationship between a document’s content and its structure.
The Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML; ISO 8879:1986) is used for defining generalized markup languages in documents.
Side Information
The elements within a document which are not part of the main body text. Often called side bars, notes, marginalia, margin notes.
Simple link
A link that includes its target locator in an HREF attribute.
Feature of DAISY playback where readers can skip audio playback of certain types of book elements, such as page number announcements, footnotes, sidebars, and producer notes.
The Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language [SMIL] is a W3C recommendation (SMIL 2.0) used in this standard to control the synchronized presentation of content in multiple media.
A component of the Package File, the Spine lists in default reading order the SMIL files included in the DTB.
SQL (Structured Query Language) is the most widely used language for relational databases.
Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML)
The parent language of HTML and XML. SGML provides a complex set of rules for defining document structures, HTML uses structures defined under that set of rules, whereas XML provide a subset of the rules for defining document structures. SGML is formally standardized as ISO/IEC 8879-1986, although a series of later amendments have continued its development.
Start tag
The opening tag that begins an element. The general syntax for a start tag is <Name attributes>, where Name is the name of the element being defined, and attributes is a set of name-value pairs. All start tags in XML must either have end tags or use empty element syntax, <Name attributes>.
Style sheet
Style sheets describe and define the presentation of a document, and can be used for visual and audio presentation. Style sheets may be stored in separate files from the documents they describe. See CSS.
Scalable Vector Graphics
Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language
SMIL supports the integration of independent multimedia objects into a synchronized multimedia set. See

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Refers to a DAISY book that contains all the text (instead of just the table of contents) and no audio. This term does not refer to a specific version of the DAISY standard.
Textual Content File
The content of the subject document in a character set specified by ISO 10646 to which XML markup valid to the DTBook DTD has been applied.
Trusted Intermediary Global Accessible Resources service is an international database and book exchange hosted at WIPO. It is one of the 3 Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) initiatives. At the end of 2014 it contains over 238,000 titles in accessible formats in approximately 55 languages. Also read: Global Accessible Library (GAL) project which was the predecessor of TIGAR and which was a joint IFLA/LBS and DAISY Consortium project.
Time-scale modification adjusts playback rate (both slower and faster than real time) while maintaining constant pitch.
An acronym for Text-to-Speech. A TTS system, also called a speech synthesizer, converts text into artificial human speech.
“Synchronized project” (full text and audio)

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United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The purpose of the present Convention is to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.
Unicode provides a unique number for every character, no matter what the platform, no matter what the program, no matter what the language. A standard for international character encoding. Unicode support characters that are 2 bytes wide rather than the 1 byte currently supported by most systems, allowing it to include 65,536 characters rather than the 256 available to 1-byte systems. See
A Uniform Resource Identifier is a compact string of characters for identifying resources: documents, images, audio files, etc. Within a DTB, URIs are most likely to appear as attribute values for various XML elements, used as a way of identifying other documents or files either in whole or part. A URI may include a fragment identifier.
A Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is a subset of the Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) that specifies where an identified resource is available and the mechanism for retrieving it. In popular usage and in many technical documents and verbal discussions it is often incorrectly used as a synonym for URI.
User Agent
A software program that acts on behalf of a user. Web user agents range from web browsers to search engine crawlers (spiders), screen readers and browsers used by people with disabilities.

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A document is valid if it conforms to a declared document type definition (DTD) and meets the conditions for well-formedness. All elements, attributes, and entities must be declared in the DTD, and all data types must match their definition’s requirement.

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The World Wide Web Consortium, the standard body responsible for many of the standard key to the functionality if the World Wide Web, including HTML, XML, and Cascading Style Sheets. The W3C site includes the latest public versions of their standards as well as other information about the web and standard processes. See
Web Accessibility Initiative. The WAI is the international portion of the W3C with the goal of making the web usable by all persons. See
A specific type of digital audio sound file format developed jointly by Microsoft and IBM. An industry standard audio file format. File extension is .wav.
World Blind Union: The World Blind Union is the internationally recognized organization, representing the 285 million blind and partially sighted persons in 190 member countries.
A well-formed XML document is syntactically correct. It does not have angle brackets that are not part of tags. (Entity references are used to embed angle brackets in an XML document.) In addition, all tags have an ending tag or are themselves self-ending. In addition, in a well-formed document, all tags are fully nested. They never overlap. A well-formed document can be processed. A well-formed document may not be valid however. To determine that, a validating parser and a DTD are required.
The World Intellectual Property Organization is one of the 16 specialized agencies of the United Nations. See
WYSIWYG is an acronym for What You See Is What You Get (pronounced Wizziwig). The term is used in computing to describe a system in which content displayed during editing appears very similar to the final output.

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The Extensible Markup Language [XML] is a standardized language for marking up files containing structured information.
XML declaration
The processing instruction at the top of an XML document. It begins with <?XML, includes a version identifier, required markup declaration, and encoding identifier, and closes with ?>. (The XML declaration may be case-sensitive at some point. The standard at present is unclear on this issue.)
XPath is a W3C recommendation for query language for selecting nodes from an XML document. In addition, XPath may be used to compute values (e.g., strings, numbers, or Boolean values) from the content of an XML document.
XProc is a W3C specification for an XML Pipeline Language. It describes operations to be performed on XML documents as a sequence of computational units called XProc steps.
The Extensible Stylesheet Language is a series of recommendations by the Worldwide Web Consortium that describes how XML documents can be transformed and rearranged [XSLT], then formatted [XSL] for screen, handheld device, paper, or audio presentation.
A language for transforming XML documents into other XML documents. [XSLT] is designed for use as part of XSL. See XSL.

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Yet Another Glossary Definition (just because the letter Y needed one)

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The official NISO number assigned to the Digital Talking Book Standard.
Zapier is an online tool for task automation. The DAISY Consortium thanks Zapier for their support extended through their non-profit scheme.
An affectionate name for the next version of the DAISY Standard (officially, The ANSI/NISO Z39.86 Specifications for the Digital Talking Book).

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