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NIMAS Conversion Tool

NIMAS Conversion Tool v. 2.1
The zip file contains the following:

  • Application (-.exe)
  • GNU license (-.txt)
  • Documentation (-.doc; -.rtf)

NIMAS Conversion Tool Installation

NIMAS Conversion Tool Source Code v. 2.1
The executable's development environment is currently Windows-based, using ActiveState Perl and wxWidgets for Windows XP and 2000. The environment and Tool could be ported to any operating system that supports Perl, wxWidgets, GD, LibXML, LibXSLT, and PAR. Be sure to read the README file after downloading the source files for additional information.

The NIMAS Conversion Tool creates XML or HTML outputs using a single XML source file. It converts NIMAS-conformant XML filesets into leveled XML files and/or into leveled HTML files that can be opened and viewed in a browser. The Conversion Tool may be used to check the completeness and accuracy of the content (text and images) of NIMAS filesets. Leveled XML segments may be useful to Braille transcribers who prefer to work with segments smaller than a single file of a complete work. Note that results may not be completely predictable since levels used in the source file will determine the number and size of segments. The downloadable NIMAS Conversion Tool zip file includes basic documentation and a GNU license as well as the application. Source code for the Conversion Tool is also available in a separate zip file. Code for the NIMAS Conversion Tool is open source and is provided in the hope that additions and improvements may be made by interested parties. Please notify the AEM Center of any changes and modifications by email: aem@cast.org. Further developments to the Conversion Tool are welcomed. Users without access to the NIMAC may test the Conversion Tool using files available on the NIMAS Exemplars page.

You may download a small HTML book that was created with the NIMAS Conversion Tool that is part of our Exemplar 10 page. This small exemplar conversion is less than 300 KB and may be rendered in a browser or in one of many reading software tools that display and read HTML pages.

National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS)

A technical standard used to produce XML-based source files for print-based educational materials.

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XML (EXtensible Markup Language)

Universal format for structured documents and data. Set of rules, guidelines, and conventions for designing text formats for data.

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Accessible Educational Materials (AEM)

Print- and technology-based educational materials designed to be usable across the widest range of individual variability.

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National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC)

Central national repository established at American Printing House for the Blind to store, validate, maintain and disseminate NIMAS filesets.

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Release Notes

Latest version: 2.1 (April 2009)

  • Resolved issues with Internet Explorer not opening certain pages of created books.
  • Small improvements were made to design and keyboard navigation.
  • Includes all improvements and bug fixes from earlier versions, as listed below.

Changes in version 2.0 (March 2009)

  • Generated HTML files have been completely re-designed. Our goal was to create simple, clear, accessible, attractive pages.
  • Table of contents has been simplified: a single TOC page now lists all sections.  Sections can be collapsed to look at an overview of the book, or individually expanded to reveal their sub-sections.
  • Navigation by page number: the table of contents includes page numbers from the print version, so you can directly link to any page in a book.  When paging through the HTML files, the current  page number is always shown at the top of the screen.
  • Navigation clarified: each page now has "previous" and "next" links that allow for simple navigation through a book, available both at the top and the bottom of each page.
  • Image bug fixes: various issues with image conversion and resolution reduction have been fixed. All image types, including JPG, PNG, and SVG, should work properly.
  • Link bug fixed: hyperlinks between pages of a book, if provided, should now work.

Changes in version 1.1 (February 2008):

  • Mathematical content is now recognized, converted, and displayed properly; and accessible to MathML-aware web browsers and tools.
  • SVG images are now recognized and copied into output.

MathML (Mathematical Markup Language)

XML-based markup language used to display mathematical content.

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Credits

The NIMAS Conversion Tool is maintained by the NIMAS Development and Technical Assistance centers. The source code for the Tool has been made open source in order to encourage other interested parties in expanding and improving the Tool. Please send an email to aem@cast.org if you have questions about or contributions to make to the Tool. Visit the NIMAS pages for more information about NIMAS.

The NIMAS Conversion Tool was programmed by Paul Crook under contract to CAST. The CAST in-house development team included Chuck Hitchcock, Valerie Hendricks, and Boris Goldowsky. The conversion stylesheets were developed by the DSIDTB project and the DAISY Pipeline. Development of the features for supporting MathML was generously contributed by Design Science.

CAST (Center for Applied Special Technology)

Non-profit organization that works to expand learning opportunities for all individuals through research and development.

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