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Re: Some thoughts and Possible Action Steps for CD

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2000 19:10:46 -0800
Message-Id: <4.2.0.58.20000326190135.00d38cd0@mail.idyllmtn.com>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Charles wrote:
 >I think the requirement can be expressed as follows:
 >
 >  All content must be appropriately illustrated with multimedia.
 >
 >The devil, of course, is in the detail of what appropriately means. Certainly
 >I see it as possible to use alternate or summary versions of content - this
 >is already allowed for by the guidelines as a last resort method of achieving
 >accessibility, although it is sadly the first response of many designers.

Charles, I think your proposal fails a test that Ian suggested,
making the checkpoint/guideline/requirement palatable.

My gut reactions to your wording include:

   * This intrudes heavily into issues of artistic expression
     and design choice, something most other W3C guidelines don't
     do.  In other words, this guideline, if followed, may drastically
     change the way my page looks and functions.  Adding ALT text
     doesn't do this; using valid HTML doesn't do this; providing
     an inobtrusive link for alternate input instead of a javascript
     input script doesn't do this.

   * This is a requirement that will increase the cost of putting
     a site on the Internet.  Multimedia is expensive.  If you are
     required to provide *multimedia* at *all* times when someone
     (who?) considers it "appropriate" then you are looking at a
     much larger expense than most WAI guidelines require.  Multi-
     media is expensive, and this has the danger of inflating the
     costs of accessible web design by huge amounts if we say "any
     time you really COULD use multimedia, you MUST use it."  I
     want the Virtual Dog Show to be accessible, but I'm not going
     to pay the extra cost to hire a Flash designer to illustrate
     the judging process.

I told you in person that these kinds of requirements squick me, and
I really still am squicked, especially reading it spelled out in
the way you did above.  We do have a serviceable checkpoint suggesting
multimedia use that's priority 3; I would rather stick with that
wording than use a variant of what you suggest here.

-- 
Kynn Bartlett  <kynn@idyllmtn.com>                   http://www.kynn.com/
Chief Technologist, Idyll Mountain Internet      http://www.idyllmtn.com/
Become AWARE of Web Accessibility!                  http://aware.hwg.org/
The Spring 2000 Virtual Dog Show is now open!     http://www.dogshow.com/
Received on Sunday, 26 March 2000 22:13:13 GMT

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