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Last updated: 20 May 2008, 14:00 UTC-GMT

The Urakawa Project

a toolkit for accessible multimedia

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  •  1 - What is the Urakawa project ? 

    Urakawa is a software project which aims at providing a multimedia authoring toolkit for designing content that is fully accessible to persons with disabilities. There are 2 main software deliverables: a SDK ("Software Development Toolkit") and Obi (a prototype application to demonstrate the SDK features). At this early stage, the objective is to deliver a software framework for easy development of quality production tools for Digital Talking Books (e.g. Daisy).
  •  2 - What is the Urakawa "SDK" ? 

    The Urakawa SDK (Software Development Kit) is a software framework which can be used to easily build complex multimedia authoring applications. It is modular and can be extended to meet specific application domain requirements.
  •  3 - What can I use the Urakawa SDK for ? 

    Potential use-cases include structured video authoring, captioning/subtitling, DVD/interactive TV design, but for now the priority is given to supporting Digital Talking Books in Daisy format. The Daisy Digital Talking Books format is a well-established NISO standard with rich content available world-wide. Daisy partially relies on SMIL, the multimedia standard maintained by the W3C. The Urakawa software project integrates these technologies and is extensible to other formats.
  •  4 - What is "Obi" ? 

    Obi is a prototype application written in C#.NET and compiled as an easy-to-install Windows application. The application's feature set is intentionally limited (Daisy 3 audio-only books, with audio recording and table of content authoring). The primary objective is to demonstrate the Urakawa toolkit, not to provide a full-fledge production tool.
  •  5 - Why is the Urakawa software free ? 

    The Urakawa project is backed-up by major international organizations that strive in promoting open standards (as in "non-proprietary") and open-source development efforts. By working without the usual burden of a profit-driven agenda, our aim is to encourage the development of quality multimedia production tools by third-party developers or organizations.
  •  6 - Who is behind the Urakawa project ? 

    The Daisy Consortium is the initiator of the project. In addition, the project is actively supported by the following organizations: the INRIA from France, the CWI from Netherlands, and the NRCD from Japan. For more details, check the sponsors section.
  •  7 - Can the Urakawa SDK be used for commercial software ? 

    Software releases of the Urakawa project (binaries and source code) are distributed free-of-charge, royalty-free, under a liberal open-source license that allows unrestricted commercial exploitation.
  •  8 - Why is the project called "Urakawa" ? 

    Urakawa is the name of a town in Japan, on the Hokkaido island. The very first official project meeting took place in Urakawa-town, where the role of multimedia was heavily discussed, in particular in the fields of disaster preparedness and accessibility for people with disabilities. The Urakawa logo is a reminder of this event.
  •  9 - How can I contribute ? 

    Both the SDK and Obi software components are released under an open-source license, so the source code can be downloaded and modified without restrictions. Please contact the Urakawa team if you wish to obtain developer-access (read-write) to the SVN ("Subversion") repository.