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Re: WAI AU guidelines comments

From: Daniel Dardailler <danield@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1999 14:54:22 +0100
Message-Id: <199901131354.OAA20430@www47.inria.fr>
To: "Rob Cumming" <nugget@sausage.com.au>
cc: w3c-wai-au@w3.org

> > If you look at www.microsoft.com or www.w3.org with a text-only
> > browser like lynx, you'll see that they are both accessible (both
> > suffer from information overload syndrom, but that's a different
> > story).
> 
> Yeah and as a graphic designer, both these sites are fairly
> uninteresting.

Sure, no dancing buttons and fancy animation, just information :-)

Let's look at www.sausage.com (your own web site) for a moment.

Without looking at the HTML source, I don't see anything in the
graphic chart that could not be achieved in an accessible way.

Frames are not inaccessible per se, so your using frames is fine with
me, providing you give them proper title and name, which you have
partly done.

Take the navigation frame on the left.

You have chosen to write a complete JavaScript program that generates
the content on the fly (onLoad). I'd be interested in knowing why.

It should be possible to rewrite it as just HTML, with image button
and their ALT text (if CSS doesn't give you what you need to replace
the image button by regular text button that is), and a simple
onMouseOver event doing the little button animation stuff.

Even though events are only standard in HTML4, they have been around
in browser for a couple of years now, so this is current practice.

On browser that do not understand JavaScript, you just loose the
animation effect (i.e. the event is ignored), on browser that do not
understand images, you loose the graphic visual of the button, but the
info is there, in the markup, in the ALT or the text (if CSS was used,
you wouldn't even have to provide the ALT, but I can understand that
the constraint is too strong if you want to keep the exact same
shadowing effect on your button - although I'm sure we have CSS
experts here who could achieve this look with exact positioning and
other tricks)

The way it's done now, you do have to provide a separate page, because
if a browser doesn't understand JavaScript, then the info left is
none. This is a "all or nothing" situation, not a "degrade gracefully"
situation, which I think is much better, if only for maintenance to
start with.

> There are certain design techniques that will never be
> accessible (or are unfeasible to make them so) to certain groups, so
> the only feasible alternative is to create an alternative
> page/site.

Can you give some examples ?

The WAI has one working group, called PF, for Protocols&Formats,
public home page at w3.org/wai/pf, whose role is to make sure this
doesn't happen: all web technologies released by W3C must enable
accessibility. 
Received on Wednesday, 13 January 1999 08:54:35 GMT

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