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anne's first G3 mockup

From: gregory j. rosmaita <oedipus@hicom.net>
Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2001 21:27:27 -0400
Message-ID: <003501c0c939$10a324e0$a4b6f5d0@igor>
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
this is from 12 april 2001 -- it failed to slip the surly bonds of my
system, and from the mail archive, it is clear both that (a) anne has
continued to work on her G3 mockup, and (b) the issues raised below still
haven't been addressed...  so, while my comments are based on earlier
iterations of anne's G3 mockup, i think they are still germane...  note as
well that, save for spacer images and what serves as a pseudo-header for the
page, i have inserted placeholder ALT text, as i have no idea what the
graphics contain, nor could the sighted individual who told me that the
image used as a pseudo-header is an image of text adequately encapsulate the
contents of the graphics ("i don't even know where to begin.." was all i
could elicit)


--- Begin Resend ---
aloha, anne!

as we've discussed in the past, simply because a site is intended for use by
those who are classified as "non-readers" or "readers who need supplemental
graphical/iconic information in order to contextualize and understand
content", doesn't mean that one should:

a) use invalid markup -- ALT, after all, is a REQUIRED attribute of HTML in
its most current iteration; simply declaring a legacy DTD in one's document
(or allowing one's authoring tool to do so) doesn't exempt one from the
obligation to provide alternative content for
modality specific information

or, b) selectively implement WCAG

i have absolutely no objection to
the use of graphics, icons, or visual cues -- in fact, as someone who was
fully sighted for 20 years before losing his vision, i appreciate the value
of a good illustration, graphic, or icon -- but that does not exempt one
from the obligation to ensure that one's pages aren't usable in a single
modality, and, anne, your mockup is only usable in a single modality...

part of the reason may be your use of Publisher as a web authoring tool--it
is my understanding that Publisher is primarily intended as a desktop
publishing tool into which a "save as HTML" or "save to Web" functionality
was added at the request of users who wanted to replicate materials they had
prepared for printing on the web...  and, unless things have changed since i
investigated Publisher for the AU WG a year ago, it does a pretty poor job
of converting to HTML because the "save as HTML" option was perceived by
Publishers' developers as an add-on intended solely for the convenience of
Publisher users, and not in order to transform Publisher into a dedicated
web authoring tool...  note: i am not trashing Publisher, but merely
pointing out that it isn't the optimal developmental environment for web
content--it is a desktop publishing environment, which means that it is so
intensely WYSIWYG-oriented that, at least in the version i played with, it
turned actual text into graphics of text in order to preserve text flows
around inline graphical objects, with the inevitable result that when one
simply increased the font size, the text-flow completely breaks down, not to
mention the problem with pixelation when magnification is used...  in the
desktop publishing environment, the WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get)
concept can actually work--providing the author with a
reasonably-to-extremely accurate (depending upon the hardware and software
the author is running) portrayal of what will result from the issuance of a
print command...  and, of course, unlike the web, once it is printed, it
would look the same in bangkok as it does in birmingham or in benin--which
can't be said for the electronic version of the document...

perusing the document source underlying your markup reminded me of a
scenario brought to the attention of the User Agent WG by denis anson,
who described the case of an individual with a form of brain damage that
caused a sensory overload, thereby opening a perceptual black hole, which
made it impossible for him to process more than 5 items at a time...  to
illustrate the problem encountered by this individual, denis used the
example of a poker game--apparently, this individual was a hell of a five
card stud player, but if he attempted to play poker with more than
five cards in his hand, he lost the ability to process the contents of
ANY of the cards in his hand...  the end result was a request for a
browser setting which would allow a user to toggle the rendering of
images on and off on a per-image basis so that a graphics heavy page (or
one on which graphics have been extensively used to illustrate concepts)
need not cause a sensory overload that makes the contents of the page
completely inaccessible...

why bring this up?  because it illustrates the point that there are no
"one size fits all" solutions...  graphics without textual equivalents
are not a solution for all users with cognative disabilities--while some
need graphical reinforcement of concepts conveyed primarily through text,
some need textual descriptions of a graphical object in order to decide
whether or not to toggle rendering of the image on...

the bottom line is, no matter whom your target audience may be, there is
no excuse for not applying all of WCAG to your document source, which
means (a) validating your markup, and (b) providing textual equivalents
for graphical information, especially when graphics are used to convey
information not contained textually in the body of the document, is
necessary, even if you are personally convinced that in ninety-nine per
cent of all cases, end users of your content will not only have image
loading turned on, but are capable of perceiving graphical content...

all that being said, i have deconstructed your mockup and attached it to
this emessage--following my signature, i have also read into this post a
Lynx-generated text-image of your original page and my rudimentary ER


--- Lynx Text Image of Anne's Original G3 mockup ---


                      3.1 Use consistent presentation.


   3.2 Emphasize structure through presentation, positioning, and labels.


--- Lynx Text Image of GJR's Quick Corrections to Anne's G3 Mockup ---
   Guideline 3

                      3.1 Use consistent presentation.

   I Have No Idea What This Graphic Portrays
   I Don't Know What This Graphic Portrays Either

   3.2 Emphasize structure through presentation, positioning, and labels.

   I don't know what information this graphic was intended to communicate
   [1]I don't know from the markup exactly what this IMG illustrates.

Received on Thursday, 19 April 2001 21:26:10 UTC

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