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Re: Possible Technique?

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 12 Mar 1999 20:48:32 -0500 (EST)
To: Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>
cc: w3c-wai-au@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.04.9903122038100.28952-100000@tux.w3.org>
This is one of the suggestions that Rob Cuming also raised.

It is probably pretty easy for most authoring tools to do, and where they
are being used vaguely correctly the creation of separate pages which
don't ever get updated is pretty minimal. On the other hand I do not like
what feels a little like creating a ghetto, specifically because there are
many shades of accesibility and many shades of access problems. For
anybody who has the ability to make use of something other than plain
text, but does not have the ability to make full use of a multimedia
bells-and-whistles page, creating text-only pages instead of properly
accessible pages is likely to deny them much of the available richness of
a page.

Using this technique provides a poor substitute for a well-designed page.
I would be loath to recommend it, and would hedge any such recommendation
with a requirement that the "real" pages (as I imagine many proponents
would consider them) must still use the available accessibility features
to ensure they are made as accessible as possible. Which makes the
alternative kind of silly except as a very kludgy means of negotiating
bandwidth requirements...

Charles McCN

On Fri, 12 Mar 1999, Kynn Bartlett wrote:

  I'm not sure if this is a good suggestion or not, but one of
  the "extra credit" assignments for my accessibility class was
  to look over the AU WG draft and give any feedback they felt
  qualified to give -- as possible end users (sorry, "authors")
  of the authoring tools.
  
  One student suggested the following:
  
  START QUOTE
  
  Beth Devers - 12:25pm Mar 7, 1999 (1.)  
  Week 3 Extra Credit
  
  Why don't the HTML authoring tools automatically generate text
  alternative pages? I recently converted a powerpoint presentation
  to HTML and with one click, alternative text pages were generated!
  Some changes had to be made, but the ease of page creation made the
  task so much easier.
  
  END QUOTE
  
  Do we want to recommend this as a technique for creating accessible
  web pages, akin to the "if all else fails..."?  Or would this be
  a distracting technique?  (It seems to me that my personal goal is
  to make all pages accessible, and not produce a "ghettoized" set
  of text pages when true HTML _should_ be accessible in and of
  itself; on the other hand, I can see where a simple option to auto-
  matically create a set of text-only pages and link to them as part
  of the document could vastly increase the accessibility of a large
  amount of content.)
   
  --
  Kynn Bartlett  <kynn@idyllmtn.com>                   http://www.kynn.com/
  Chief Technologist, Idyll Mountain Internet      http://www.idyllmtn.com/
  Professional ALT-text author                     http://www.kynn.com/+alt
  Spring 1999 Virtual Dog Show!                     http://www.dogshow.com/
  WWTBLD?  Validate your HTML!                     http://validator.w3.org/
  

--Charles McCathieNevile            mailto:charles@w3.org
phone: +1 617 258 0992   http://www.w3.org/People/Charles
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative    http://www.w3.org/WAI
MIT/LCS  -  545 Technology sq., Cambridge MA, 02139,  USA
Received on Friday, 12 March 1999 20:48:39 GMT

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