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Comments on gl Abstract

From: Paul Adelson <paul.adelson@citicorp.com>
Date: Tue, 15 Sep 1998 16:18:16 -0500
Message-Id: <199809152119.RAA04281@egate2.citicorp.com>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Comments from an IG follower. Hope these are helpful.

I like the new guidelines a lot. The Quicktest! features especially
makes the guidelines feel more approachable.

One concern: the early part of the abstract is so brief it may be
difficult to understand, and may frustrate or scare novice readers from
wanting to read further.

Comments:

Section A:

#1, Current >>>>>>>>
   1.Ensure that all the information on the page may be perceived
entirely visually or entirely through auditory means, or that all
information is also represented textually.
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
   Makes it sound ok if a page can be perceived ONLY visually (and not
audibly), or ONLY audibly (and not visually), and that textual
alternatives are only needed if the visual and audio are mixed one one
page.

Possible alternate wording:
    "Ensure that all information on the page is either represented
textually, or that users can perceive the information entirely through
visual means and entirely through auditory means. For instance, provide
either textual or audio descriptions of photographs to facilitate
non-visual browsing."

Or if that's not what was meant, alternative two [caps indicate changed
language]:
    "Ensure that all the information on the page may be perceived
entirely visually or entirely through auditory means, AND that all
information is also represented textually."

[I'm not sure what an audio alternative to a photo does for deaf-blind
individuals, for whom text is still an alternative.]
[Is it worth explaining that bitmaps of text are not textual information
in point #1? You explain what ‘content’ etc are in #3.]


#3, Current >>>>>>>>>>>>>
   3.Always separate the content on your site (what you say), and the
way you choose to structure that content (how you organize it), from the
way the content and structure are presented (how you want people to
"see" it).
<<<<<<<<<<<<
    I’m having trouble understanding what that means.

Does it mean:

    “Use HTML4.0 elements and stylesheets for their intended purposes.
For instance, giving text the attribute <BIG> or using a header
attribute like <H1> may both increase the visual size of text on the
screen. But <H1> should be used to indicate the start of a new document
section (not just to display larger text), and <BIG> should only be used
to display bigger text (not to indicate the start of a new section).
Following the standards will ensure that your content, information
structure, and presentation directives (what you say, how you organize
it, and how you want it to appear) can all transform gracefully when
accessed with alternative browsing methods.”


#2, Current >>>>>>>>
    2.Ensure that pages will be operable on various types of hardware
including devices without mice, with small, low resolution, or black and
white screens, with only voice or text output, without screens, etc.
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
    This sounds impossibly complicated to people who have no experience
with alternative access methods. I spent months trying to convince
people via phone and email that these ‘impossible’ things can be done,
and they were only convinced when the saw a screen-reader and tried it
out.

May I suggest moving #2 down to #3, and reword to something like:
    “Ensure that pages allow the flexibility to be operable on various
types of hardware including devices without mice, with small, low
resolution, or black and white screens, with only voice or text output,
without screens, etc. Following the principles suggested above will go a
long way toward achieving this goal.”


Hopefully the above suggestions can help novices feel more comfortable
that they can understand and perform the tasks necessary to build
accessible sites.

Cheers,
 -- Paul
Received on Tuesday, 15 September 1998 17:18:07 GMT

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