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Re: Illustrating Guidelines

From: William Loughborough <love26@gorge.net>
Date: Wed, 09 May 2001 15:49:01 -0700
Message-Id: <>
To: Anne Pemberton <apembert@erols.com>, w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
At 05:47 PM 5/9/01 -0400, Anne Pemberton wrote:
>By the way, does this bring us any closer to being able to state in one of 
>the guidelines that, just as all componants need a text equivalent, all 
>text must be illustrated ???

It might bring us "closer" without actually doing anything about it. Our 
prejudices in this regard are very deep-seated. The notion of text being 
the "royalty of repurposing content" is probably too ingrained to shake any 
time soon.

Essentially all of our interactions in the working group are unillustrated, 
like this email and every teleconference [so far as I know there are no 
deaf participants or relay-operators/ASL-interpreters]. There is also 
little (almost no!) illustration used at f2f meetings - almost certainly 
none that cannot be reduced to spoken language, hence text.

Since none of us really knows how to do this (in part because we've never 
*needed* it) it will be hard to "require". It's our own version of "why do 
we need an elevator, I've never seen anybody in a wheelchair on the second 
floor". Or as someone asked from the floor of a plenary session at WWW6 on 
internationalization: "why don't they just all learn English?"

AP:: "I'm not sure if MP3 would be more usable"

WL: As compression algorithms become more widespread, their use for audio 
on Websites will become routine and the ~10:1 file size reduction (compared 
to .wav files) will make it likely that true multi-media possibilities will 
be readily available. This will go even further with VR (virtual reality) 
because if you've ever tried to learn basket-weaving, string games, or 
spinning fiber into yarn by reading a book about them you know how some 
things become "lost arts".

AP:: "...my librarian colleague, is always on the look out for web sites..."

WL: She will probably have to develop them on her own - as have we all. We 
forget how much in its infancy all this is. In this WG we are attempting to 
"bend the twig" just right so the tree will grow "just so". I hope you 
experience some closure with the effort to get decently illustrated 
materials, but you'd better be prepared for a really long battle in that 

Received on Wednesday, 9 May 2001 18:47:40 UTC

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