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RE: Response to response on issue ID 2462

From: Gregg Vanderheiden <gv@trace.wisc.edu>
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2008 01:07:49 -0500
To: "'Patrick H. Lauke'" <redux@splintered.co.uk>, public-comments-wcag20@w3.org
Message-id: <00ec01c8833e$3cac8790$0f6fa8c0@NC84301>

Hi Patrick

We didn't use 'words' because we were told that not all languages have
'words' like we do in English.  In some languages characters or glyphs can
represent thoughts or concepts or what would multiple words.

We explored a lot of versions of this - and it turned out is wasn't length
so much as complexity.  80 characters was about the right  maximum length of
text.  Languages that have longer more complex words would have fewer words
on a line - but that seemed to be what was desired.

Make better sense to you now?


Gregg
 -- ------------------------------
Gregg C Vanderheiden Ph.D.



> -----Original Message-----
> From: public-comments-wcag20-request@w3.org
> [mailto:public-comments-wcag20-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of
> Patrick H. Lauke
> Sent: Monday, March 10, 2008 8:15 PM
> To: public-comments-wcag20@w3.org
> Subject: Response to response on issue ID 2462
>
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------
> Comment 9: 80 characters?
> Source: http://www.w3.org/mid/20080201003754.9BF965F70B@stu.w3.org
> (Issue ID: 2462)
> Status: VERIFIED / PARTIAL/OTHER
> ----------------------------
> Original Comment:
> ----------------------------
>
> "width is no more than 80 characters" sounds arbitrary...do
> you actually intend to talk about "line length", which is not
> necessarily bound to just the number of characters, but can
> also be influenced by the size/shape of the typeface used?
>
> ---------------------------------------------
> Response from Working Group:
> ---------------------------------------------
>
> It is somewhat arbitrary.  We could have chosen 72, for
> example, which is another common line length.  We chose 80 to
>  be a bit more relaxed and because that is a standard in
> computers where as 72 is more standard in typewriters.  The
> goal is to limit line length from being too wide.  The number
> of characters is the only thing that can be reliably measured.
>
>
>
>
> The fact that you mention 80 characters (and 72 characters in the
> response) seems to indicate that you're thinking in terms of
> monospaced / fixed width typefaces, where each character
> takes up the same amount of space. As use of monospace is
> rare/specialised, and the vast majority of textual content
> online uses proportional typefaces, a character count bears
> no relation to actual line length, even across different
> lines in the same page or paragraph. I'd suggest dropping
> references to "characters" and instead reword the bullet point to
>
> "* width (line length) is no more than 15 to 20 words"
>
> (just picking these, still admittedly arbitrary, values from
> point 7 of http://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/extra352.html -
> probably not authoritive, but it's one of the first results
> Google gave me for line length and
> dyslexia)
>
> It's true that using words as measure will end up with
> variations, depending on natural language used (long German
> words versus usually shorter English ones). A second
> alternative would be to start using actual typographic
> measurements and start talking about line length in EMs
> (which works for monospaced and proportional typefaces, and
> is not dependent on language...though it does depend on
> actual font size, but this is also the case with the "80
> characters" definition).
>
> P
> --
> Patrick H. Lauke
> ______________________________________________________________
> re.dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
> [latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]
> www.splintered.co.uk | www.photographia.co.uk
> http://redux.deviantart.com
> ______________________________________________________________
> Co-lead, Web Standards Project (WaSP) Accessibility Task
> Force http://webstandards.org/
> ______________________________________________________________
>
>
>
Received on Tuesday, 11 March 2008 06:08:31 GMT

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