W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-gl@w3.org > July to September 1998

Clarity of Purpose

From: Skill Zone <sue@skillzone.demon.co.uk>
Date: Sun, 19 Jul 1998 10:36:42 +0100
To: <charlesn@srl.rmit.edu.au>
Cc: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000901bdb2f8$bcab0500$b4a7edc1@amaze>
RE: http://saltimbocca.srl.rmit.edu.au/wai/mygl.html

Yes! and I say again - yes!

This is exactly the kind of thing I need. Oddly enough, I went back to the
W3C guidelines on accessibility so that I could cite a "confusing" paragraph
and compare it to the clarity of the words you used. Simply by having read
your work, the W3C was noticeably less confusing!

Naturally, such a document would not be possible without the W3C carefully
and painstakingly formulating the rules in the first place.  However, using
your list I can look up FONT, and follow the rules to (a)keep them relative
and (b)in a style sheet. If I need further information or more background,
or I am creating a user agent programme, I can check the full W3C
lists.(oddly enough I can find no mention of using relative font sizes in
the W3C guidelines - did I miss it? it would seem a logical necessity to

I agree that the summary list has to be aimed at people who already know
HTML - there are plenty of excellent resources which address HTML coding as
an issue. I also like the "must..should..would be nice..." approach.

Another advantage of your summary list, is that it can include things like
where to put navigational links on a page - top or bottom. There are points
on there not in the W3C stuff, such as the recommendation to comment out
style commands - not an official requirement but a help to accessibility.
Such a list can also change very quickly, unlike the "official" guidelines
which need to go through a rigorous procedure first.

I have just posted a question to the list about doctype. Is a doctype
statement of any importance when considering accessibility? And is there a
doctype statement appropriate to use for an accessible page of HTML, which
follows the W3C guidelines?

Once that issue has been covered by the list, and hopefully an answer found,
it could not be incorporated straight away into the full W3C guidelines -
they are used by everybody from web authors to people creating new browsers
and must be checked to death. But the answer could be quickly added to a
summary page such as yours.

Sometimes being part of the W3C must feel like being in the Red Queens'
race - no matter how fast they run, the Internet world is moving even
faster. A summary sheet like yours can be much more dynamic, and will also
make the rules easier to understand and implement. I know there are lots of
versions of Accessibility guidelines all over the Internet, but so many of
them actually contradict each other. A W3C summary, with as many disclaimers
as you like, would be of immense value.

A lot of work though, Charles. Is there any way I can help?

Sue Abbott
Skill Zone Ltd
P O Box 18
Runcorn WA7 4FN
Telephone 01928 775842
Received on Sunday, 19 July 1998 05:38:39 UTC

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