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re: Feedback needed on authoring tool accessibility

From: Jamie Fox <jfox@fenix2.dol-esa.gov>
Date: Tue, 3 Nov 1998 11:57:25 -0500
Message-ID: <01BE0721.1FFAD500@jfox.dol-esa.gov>
To: "'w3c-wai-au@w3.org'" <w3c-wai-au@w3.org>
Cc: "'x jfox@fenix2.dol-esa.gov'" <jfox@fenix2.dol-esa.gov>, "'x Robert C. Neff'" <rcn@fenix2.dol-esa.gov>
"RE:  WAI INTEREST GROUP UPDATE, November 2, 1998
2.	Feedback needed on authoring tool accessibility:

Twice a year, representatives from W3C Member organizations meet to review 
W3C work. As part of the WAI report to the mid-November W3C meeting in 
Kyoto, we will discuss accessibility issues in authoring tools. Both the 
output and the user interface of authoring tools remain a concern in terms 
of accessibility. If you have comments on accessibility of authoring tools, 
please send to w3c-wai-au@w3.org."
--------My Comments Start Below-------
Though I can't really comment on the user interface of authoring tools I 
feel I can comment on the output aspect.

1  Tools must allow for usage outside it's rule base to allow tools not to 
become useless every time there is an update to HTML standards.  (eg 
HoTMetaL Pro 4.0 should let me alter my code to HTML 4.0 standards.  Front 
Page 98 allows for insertion of a tag telling it to ignore the enclosed 
code.  Hint - This is how I inserted the alt attribute into client side 
image maps.)
2  Tools should have a text only viewing option and speech synthesizing 
option to more easily test for accessibility.  (For instance, Front Page 
could simply add two more views tabs.)
3  Tools should try to adhere to the W3C standards for accessible web 
design / page authoring (eg. Front Page 98 uses <strong> instead of <b> for 
highlighting).
4  Nesting of HTML tags should be correct.  (Front Page 98 without the 
update patch doesn't always nest tags correctly.)
5-  Tools should prompt for a descriptive alt attribute for every image 
instead of file name and size being automatically inserted.  A short 
explanation of what is being looked for would be sufficient with extra 
explanation in the documentation / help.  Maybe "It is recommended that a 
description of the image be added to every image." Or something to that 
effect.


Not necessarily accessibility - HoTMetaL Pro 4.0:
1- Many government organizations require a disclaimer page appear before 
leaving the web site.  They tend to be dynamically generated through CGI 
scripts.  External links that go through the CGI script show as broken 
links in the HoTMetaL Pro Information Manager even though they are valid. 
 Additionally, it shows all of this type of link as the same link even 
though they are different.  I spoke to tech support and they said HoTMetaL 
Pro 4.0 was incapable of handling the CGI links required for links outside 
the DOL.  They say all links that are not pure HTML will show up as broken 
in Info Manager.  This includes JavaScript, CGI Scripts and image maps.
2-  Tables centered in the browser are not shown as such in the WYSIWYG 
view in HoTMetaL.
3-  Tables with borders are shown in the WYSIWYG view in HoTMetaL as being 
one wide regardless of their actual width.
4- HoTMetal - Images may not be selected without right clicking and 
selecting the select element option.
5- HoTMetal - Images may not be resized by selecting and dragging as in   
most other applications.
6-  When using multiple returns to separate elements of an html document in 
HoTMetaL the <P> tags are not filled with a non-breaking space.  Therefore, 
browsers do not recognize the spacing and your WYSIWYG view in HoTMetaL is 
not even close to accurate.
7-  Spaces between tables are greatly exaggerated in the WYSIWYG view in 
HoTMetaL.

Not necessarily accessibility - Front Page 98:
1-  Nesting must be checked.  Often messes up the nesting of tags and leads 
to HTML 4.0 non compliance.  Also, incorrect nesting of the <b> tag will 
cause entire pages to be bolded in Netscape whereas it appears correctly in 
Internet Explorer.
2-  Unfortunately, I seem to have lost the rest of my notes on Front Page 
issues.


--My two cents--
-Jamie Fox

Received on Tuesday, 3 November 1998 11:57:35 UTC

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