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Principles

From: William Loughborough <love26@gorge.net>
Date: Thu, 7 Sep 2000 11:33:53 -0700
Message-ID: <015101c018fa$2d0a1520$cfc5a2cd@love26>
To: "Guidelines" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
AG:: "First, leave no gratuitous barrier between the information and its
consumer."

WL: Now that's the level of abstraction that I think we should be pursuing
here. Although this "requires" a bunch of explanation, as a guiding
*principle* it might be hard to cap. It has nothing to do with not only the
Web but with media at all - even language!

AG:: "...the intrinsic structure of the information is graph-shaped, not
tree-shaped..."

WL: The characterization of the structure's shape is of interest but until
the fundamental of there being such a thing as "structure" reaches our
audience, it mattereth little if we think of ovals and arrows or some other
realization. The problem we face is that authors and their tools are
besieged by retinal conceit. Too many aren't even aware that the tasks they
use their eyes for could readily be made available to machines (and
incidentally blind folks) through the use of some not-too-tedious
constructs. It just has to be put into what they think of as "English" (or
"French" or whatever) so that they "get it". Most of us are totally clueless
as to how this is done and often even demean such efforts. I've tried to do
it but without much success and it may be that the ability to participate in
all these "inner workings" precludes the particular communication skills
needed to write in less-polysallabic terms. Al's shot at de-mystifying the
thing about "navigable, hierarchical
content decomposition." gave us a small taste of how problematic this is
because none of the words in that quote (except possibly "content" - which
is debatable) are in the daily vocabularies of much of our intended
audience.

If I try to explain what I do to the people I play poker with (mostly Latino
agricultural workers), I bumble horribly. Al Gilman has a similar problem
with almost everyone he talks to outside the rarified places he mostly
frequents. While I don't expect to pattern-match to the guy who maintains
the milking machines, I think we even have a problem with a great many
people who design Web sites - and even more so with their managers.

--
Love.
           ACCESSIBILITY IS RIGHT - NOT PRIVILEGE
Received on Thursday, 7 September 2000 14:32:49 GMT

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