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Re: smileys vs. ASCII art (editorial FWIW)

From: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 1999 09:42:45 -0500
Message-ID: <36F7A865.125B5693@w3.org>
To: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
CC: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Al Gilman wrote:
> >From yesterday's minutes:
>       e) ASCII art has to be carefully defined (e.g., to
>          not include a smiley, which, in certain circles,
>          is just a accessible as an abbreviation, and in
>          other circles, just as obscure. This is
>          arguably different than using characters
>          to create an image.
> Suggestion:
> Make the subject of this rule more narrow by qualifying the term "ASCII
> art."  For example say, "for multiline ASCII art, <what to do>."

Yesterday's minutes [1] talk about breaking the ascii 
art checkpoint (1.6 in [2]):

    Replace ASCII art with an image or describe the 
    ASCII art and provide a means (e.g., a link) to skip over it. 

Into three checkpoints, stated briefly as:

a) Use images instead of ascii art.       (Use proper markup)
b) Provide text equivalents of ascii art. (Equivalent information)
c) Provide links over ascii art.          (Navigation)

Although breaking down the current checkpoint this way makes
sense to me, it seems to imply that any time you use ascii art,
you are not satisfying (a). That's probably why there is
currently only one checkpoint with an "or" in it. 

Unless someone wants to propose a different formulation
of checkpoint 1.6, I will leave it as is. 

Al, do you think the existing text of 1.6 should be
changed/made more precise?

 - Ian

[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-gl/1999JanMar/0486.html
[2] http://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/WD-WAI-PAGEAUTH-19990316 

> Smileys and multiline ASCII art share the following characteristics:
> a) is constructed on the fly out of the same characters concurrently used
> to convey natural language which has a sonic equivalent.
> b) has no phonetic interpretation.
> In other words, it
> a) occurs in a context where text-to-speech processing may assume it is
> articulable as speech, and
> b) is not appropriate for text-to-speech transformation by the standard
> relationships of the enclosing natural language.
> If we "define ASCII art" to exclude smileys, I fear we will have numerous
> readers who fail to retain and apply the local definition.  Since the
> reader who does not pay close attention to our definitions may still
> interpret "ASCII art" as applying to smileys, it is the better part of
> valor to state the guideline in a way which explicitly narrows what we are
> talking about.

Ian Jacobs (jacobs@w3.org) 
Tel/Fax: (212) 684-1814 
Received on Tuesday, 23 March 1999 09:44:26 UTC

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