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Re: Suggested clarification on style sheets for wcag

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Tue, 15 Jun 1999 11:24:27 -0400
Message-Id: <199906151518.LAA290361@relay.interim.iamworld.net>
To: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>, w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Sorry about the welter of messages.

The practical approach is to look at the inserted text, and ask what
motivated its insertion.  Then look for how that motivation is expressed in
the base document.  Frequently this may result in creating a better
mnemonic CLASS indication which is used to trigger the style.  That is the
first thing to try when it appears that there is information in the
stylesheet insertions which is not accessible from the core text.  Even
when all that the stylesheet is doing is applying color or font face, one
needs to try to get out of one's eyeballs to see if the antecedents of the
style affects are expressed in a communicative way.

Al

At 09:18 AM 6/15/99 -0400, Ian Jacobs wrote:
>Hello,
>
>I think the WG should strengthen a statement
>in the guidelines that any important 
>content inserted by a style sheet be available in the 
>document source as well (rationale: device-independence,
>users can override styles, etc.)
>
>The line between content and style is blurred by some
>parts of CSS. Style sheets may cause numbers or words
>to be generated in the rendering structure, just as they 
>can insert images. Most users will have a difficult time 
>distinguishing the document tree from the rendering structure, 
>and will have to read the style sheets to find
>out whether "1.2" was generated by styles (and therefore
>may be changed through styles) or inserted by hand. 
>
>In the Techniques document of 5 May, we raise this issue
>obliquely:
>
>   Text generated by style sheets is not part of the 
>   document source and will not be available to assistive 
>   technologies that access content through DOM, level 1 
>   ([DOM1]). 
>
>I think we need to make a stronger point.
>
>Here's an example. W3C Recommendations use a background image 
>in the upper left hand corner to indicate on graphical browsers that
>that they are Recommendations. There is no alt text for this
>image since it's inserted by a style sheet (and CSS
>has no
>mechanism  for specifying alt text. On the one hand,
>one can argue that if the information is being inserted
>by a style sheet it is only meant for style, not content,
>and therefore not alt text is necessary. On the other
>hand, people argue that one shouldn't put text in images
>but should use styles so that the text is accessible.
>Also, languages like SVG that create graphics will real
>text in them tout the accessibility benefits.
>
>Does the title of the document suffice to convey
>the document status?
>
> - Ian
>
>-- 
>Ian Jacobs (jacobs@w3.org)   http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
>Tel/Fax:                     +1 212 684-1814
> 
Received on Tuesday, 15 June 1999 11:19:00 GMT

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