W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org > March 1999

Re: Respect for the POV of group members

From: Silas S. Brown <ssb22@cam.ac.uk>
Date: Mon, 1 Mar 1999 08:47:42 +0000
To: "jonathan chetwynd" <jonathan@signbrowser.free-online.co.uk>
CC: <w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org>, "Wayne Myers-Education" <wayne.myers@bbc.co.uk>
Message-Id: <E10HOMP-0002QL-00@violet.csi.cam.ac.uk>
I'm sorry if I caused any offense.  By "those stupid pages that are 100% 
gif files" I certainly wasn't thinking of sites for non-readers.  I was 
thinking of sites with lots of text, but which encode that text as gif 
files for the sole purpose of getting a particular layout, and leave no 
text alternative.  This makes the text inaccessible to anyone who can't 
visually read it (and if anyone invents a text to sign language 
converter, I think that will want the text in ASCII too).

BTW There's nothing to stop you putting a few ALT tags on www.peepo.com 
so text-only readers can make some sense of it (if you want them to).

> Searching for sites without text is very labour intensive

I'm not surprised!  The T in HTML stands for Text, and all the search 
engines work in text.  You've taken on something really difficult!  BTW
how can someone like me write a website without text?  If you want more 
textless sites, I think it would help if you could write a load of text 
telling web page authors how to do it (even if they're not artists, 
can't see what they're doing etc).

Is there some way of converting a page of text to a page without?  If 
so, maybe I could bolt it on to my access gateway.  It'll probably be 
quite complicated though (like, understanding English).  But this is a 
part of universal accessibility and I'm convinced that one day computers 
will be able to convert anything to anything (that's what I'm working 
on).

PS The disadvantage of introducing something like Shockwave is, how 
exactly do you tell these people that they need Netscape 4 or whatever?  
Maybe you need a really clever web server that understands USER_AGENT.

Regards

-- Silas S Brown, St John's College Cambridge UK http://epona.ucam.org/~ssb22/

"Just like someone mad that is shooting fiery missiles, arrows and death,
 so is the man that has tricked his fellowman and has said: 'Was I not having
 fun?'" - Proverbs 26:19
Received on Monday, 1 March 1999 04:27:50 GMT

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