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Re: Gaps: (1) Language Readability, (2) Privacy

From: <nir.dagan@econ.upf.es>
Date: Sun, 25 Oct 1998 15:35:51 +0100
Message-Id: <H0000e2200cb5ec0@MHS>
TO: asgilman@access.digex.net
CC: ehansen@ets.org, w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
There is a fine line in where accessibility 
stops and general usability starts. Also as Jason said,
many issues depend on the nature of the content of the 
website in question.

The guidelines already discuss the scanability of links. 
Although this is a general usability issue as also sighted
users often scan pages for links, it may be considered an 
accessibility issue as non-sighted users have a longer delay in 
stoping scanning and reading the sorrounding text.  To a certain 
extent one may make a similar claim about headings.

At the same time, I submit that the guidelines
1. should be as short as possible, in order to encourage 
   authors to use them.
2. restrict attention to objectively measurable things
   to the possible extent, to assist machine "evaluation" 
3. Avoid contoversial recommendations, concerning language 
   or writing style.

There is a section "good website practices" and there are 
informative references. Anything that has to do whether 
you use "passive voice" or not, or whether conclusions should be 
at the begining of a paragraph, may be addressed by styleguides
or articles referrred to from the "good website practices" 
section. 

Don't get me wrong here. I think that most of these 
recommendations are good. They just don't belong in 
a W3C recommendation. The W3C shouldn't tell people 
what to write, it should tell them how to use technology 
in a way that people will be able to read what one writes.

Since the WAI guidelines are not exactly "a specification"
one needs to be extra careful in what goes in, and not 
get carried away with educating the potential readers.

Regards,
Nir Dagan
http://www.nirdagan.com
Received on Sunday, 25 October 1998 09:36:09 GMT

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