W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org > June 2002

Re: Automatically testing Web content for flicker

From: Terje Bless <link@pobox.com>
Date: Mon, 10 Jun 2002 04:13:53 +0200
To: Nick Kew <nick@webthing.com>
cc: Phill Jenkins <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>, w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <r01050300-1015-003B123A7C1811D6B38E00039300CF5C@[]>

Nick Kew <nick@webthing.com> wrote:

>On Sun, 9 Jun 2002, Terje Bless wrote:
>>should be possible even accidentally. Making sure your content does not
>>contain any such seems emminently suitable for the WCAG, if perhaps a
>>bit obscure.
>But is that really helpful on the Web?  It could only work if _every_
>site is _guaranteed_ to conform; otherwise the epileptic is at risk when
>visiting an unknown site.
>Hence my comment that people affected by this should seek to use client
>software that doesn't expose them to the risk.


I'm not usually qualified to hold an opinion on my own health, much less
anybody elses; but dude, I seen a guy after a Grand Mal attack and it sure
ain't pretty.

If theres a chance normal web pages could trigger it accidentally, and
having a checkpoint for it might reduce the risk, I'd say it made sense to
have one.

To expand on this a bit -- without claiming to understand the subject
anywhere near well enough to argue the point -- my understanding is that
flickering /might/ trigger an attack, depending on how tired the person is
and whether or not they are paying attention. The cited web page also
mentions holding a hand in front of one eye to lessen the probability. This
suggests to me that using a normal web browser and paying attention so you
can take precautions if there is flickering on the screen would be fine for
someone with photosensitive epilepsy.

Given the other things that might trigger such an attack (light refracted
off water, seen through tree leaves, etc.), a person with this form of
epilepsy would have to be carefull in any case (allthough you might
question of easy it is for 9-15 year olds to be so carefull all the time).

Getting authors to avoid the dangerous stuff would be intended to further
reduce the risk.

But all that is predicated on my very very limited understanding. I assume
some authority was consulted when the checkpoint was first put in. That
might be an adviseable course at this time as well.

-link, who also does brain surgery on the side.
       Monkey brain transplants are half off this week! :-)

We've gotten to a point where a human-readable,  human-editable text format
forstructured data has become a complex nightmare where somebody can safely
say "As many threads on xml-dev have shown, text-based processing of XML is
hazardous at best" and be perfectly valid in saying it.     -- Tom Bradford
Received on Sunday, 9 June 2002 22:16:26 UTC

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