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Re: A proposal for changing the guidelines

From: Scott Luebking <phoenixl@netcom.com>
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2000 08:31:23 -0800 (PST)
Message-Id: <200003171631.IAA24111@netcom.com>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org

I was thinking a little more about Rob Neff's comment on the audience of
the guidelines.  The views and needs of the people who are creating web
pages dynamically are different from people who are using static web

A key difference is that people who are creating web pages dynamically
use HTML more as a presentation language than as a document description
language.  For these people, the structure of the dynamically generated
wen pages are in such things as databases, XML, templates, etc.  The
HTML is ephemeral.

A central theme through out the guidelines is that the HTML is
specifying document structure.  For example, it suggests using CSS
instead of tables to structure the presentation.  However, from the
point of the person working with dynamic web pages, using tables is much
easier than CSS for creating certain visual/presentation effects.  Since
the HTML is going to disappear, why not just use tables?  Similarly,
using the BLOCKQUOTE tag to create a visual appearance of indentation
takes less effort than using CSS.

Another problem is the idea of graceful transformation.  Making sure
that tables transform gracefully is a lot of work.  It would be easier
to decide when to use tables depending on the user and the browser.

For a single page, changing a web page to look good on one type of
browser can affect how it looks on another type of browser.  However,
with dynamically generated web pages, a different type of web page can
be created for each type of browser.  This reduces the problem of
accomodating one type of browser negatively affecting another type of

Checking that a page looks good without the CSS is more work which
people working with dynamic web pages can avoid.

The issue of accessibility of applets, scripts, moving text, etc, can be
simplified by creating different versions of the web page.  One type of
page can have these features which can be presented more easily in a
visually appealing form without the additional burden of also including
support for accessibility on the same page.  Similarly, accompanying an
imagemap with a list of textlinks is often fairly ugly.

I think the guidelines need to be made less of a labor burden for people
who are creating web pages dynamically.

Received on Friday, 17 March 2000 11:35:43 UTC

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