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RE: Brain dump on advantages and disadvantages of different types of content

From: Lisa Seeman <seeman@netvision.net.il>
Date: Tue, 26 Sep 2000 13:16:02 +0200
To: "'Ian Jacobs'" <ij@w3.org>, "WAI \(E-mail\)" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000f01c027b4$9e32cda0$66a7003e@ndcil.com>

have a look at what I did to http://www.special-needs-company.com/
as an alternative, that  is accessible, but is a far cry for "text only" -
note: it is a cgi program so that text changes are automatically updated, no
human input or management. (pictures take some human input to set the alt
 Text only with markup louses helping Probably useless  some users with
cognitive disability and the rest of us, the clarity that diagrams and
picture can provide. (It also makes a site more boring.)

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org]On
Behalf Of Ian Jacobs
Sent: Tuesday, September 26, 2000 11:54 AM
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Subject: Brain dump on advantages and disadvantages of different types
of content


Brain dump for archival purposes on some disadvantages
and advantages of plain text, text-only pages,
alternative text pages, rich multimedia content, and
dynamic content. Your comments and additions welcome!

1) Plain text (i.e., no markup):

   Advantages: may be rendered by readily available
               assistive technologies in three modes:
               graphically, as speech, and as Braille.

           1) does not support structure, navigation,
              style, and other features that promote accessibility.

           2) Unusable today by deaf non-readers

           3) Probably useless to some users with cognitive

2) Text-only pages (may include markup but no audio, video, etc.)

   Advantages beyond plain text: linking, navigation, styling,
              and other processing possible.

   Disadvantages beyond plain text: None?

3) Alternative text-only pages.

   Advantages: Combined with "primary" pages, may produce an
               accessible  whole.


       1) Two pages are harder to manage than one.
       2) The world is not binary; people can generally use various
          types of content with differing degrees of success. Pushing
          some content to an alternative text-only page creates
          an artificial dichotomy
       3) You lose fine-grain relationships among content. If, instead
          of knowing that a particular piece of text is an "alt" to
          an IMG element, the only thing you know is that page B is
          a text-only alternative to page A, you build an

4) Rich multimedia pages:

   Advantages: When accessible, provide information most users can

   Disadvantages even when authored accessibly:

        1) May be slow to download (implementation issue, though real).
        2) May be unusable to some users unless there is adequate
           control in user agents to suppress interfering background
           images, etc.

5) Dynamic pages:

   Advantages: Useful for conveying changes in information.


        1) May be unusable to some users unless there is adequate
           control in user agents to allow control of the rate of

        2) May cause problems to some assistive technologies
           (implementation issue, though real)

Other topics??

 - Ian

Ian Jacobs (jacobs@w3.org)   http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
Tel:                         +1 831 457-2842
Cell:                        +1 917 450-8783
Received on Tuesday, 26 September 2000 07:27:38 UTC

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