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Re: Guide to Guidelines

From: Alan J. Flavell <flavell@a5.ph.gla.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2000 22:28:50 +0100 (BST)
To: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>
cc: WAI Guidelines List <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.OSF.4.21-pb.0009132159040.1226-100000@a5.ph.gla.ac.uk>
On Tue, 12 Sep 2000, Kynn Bartlett wrote:

> At 04:00 PM 9/12/2000 , Alan J. Flavell wrote:
> >One recurring theme of my interactions with other web authors is their
> >apparent deeply-held belief that by asking for accessibility, we want
> >to forbid them to include colour, movement or any other kind of media,
[...]

> I think it's perpetuated by the old "text only pages" which were
> presented as "how to make web pages accessible."

Yes: but where did THAT idea come from?  I've never seen the point of
it myself.  Oftentimes when someone promotes that as a "solution" to
web accessibility, and I have the chance to ask them a few questions,
it becomes clear that they have never used a text-mode browser
themselves, and haven't the slightest idea how such a browser would
behave.  So, just where this idea of a need for text-only pages
originally comes from, still seems a mystery to me.  But it does seem
to be very deeply ingrained, and I think it would be useful to make
more efforts to dispel it, which was one reason behind my positive
reaction to William's nice page.

Well, I'm sorry, this is probably the wrong forum to pursue that 
topic, but I did want at least to make the point.

> For more on myths related to web accessibility, see:
> 
>       http://kynn.com/+myths

Yes indeed: that redirects me to a page which I'm already citing
from my older "text-friendly authoring techniques" area; but I've just
added another link to it from the "straw man arguments page" that I
mentioned before.

Your "Selfish reasons for accessibility" page is good, too.

http://aware.hwg.org/why/selfish.html

But unfortunately, the supplementary page of reasons submitted by
other readers then goes and perpetuates the old myth of accessible web
pages being text-based and excluding other media.  Your page doesn't
choose to comment on that paradox, but, with your page itself being
essentially text-based, an uncommitted reader might jump to the
conclusion that that _was_ also the unstated agenda; which I think
would be a pity, and counterproductive to the overall goal.  I hope
you don't mind me expressing that opinion so frankly: it's only
meant to provoke an appropriate discussion, and not at all meant to
detract from the excellent material at your site.

all the best
Received on Wednesday, 13 September 2000 17:28:53 GMT

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