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Re: Illustrating Guidelines

From: Matt May <mcmay@bestkungfu.com>
Date: Thu, 10 May 2001 12:28:29 -0700
Message-ID: <034801c0d987$74b97f20$6601a8c0@sttln1.wa.home.com>
To: "3WC WCAG" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>, "William Loughborough" <love26@gorge.net>
> For some people, or the average person, or the preponderance of persons,
> etc. isn't what we're about. There are people who can't/won't access a
> of text without illustrations - no matter what its information density.
> That's the point.

And my point is that no rule can be drawn from that saying that all web
content is better (for some value of "better") with illustration.

> MM:: "We are almost universally trained from birth to communicate
> near-exclusively by verbal or textual means."
> WL: If "we" means "you and me" who are reading this, of course that's
> but the point is that some people aren't so trained or the usual means of
> training don't/can't work. There is a huge body of people for whom what
> say is right on, but the number who cannot be reached with unadulterated
> text, but who otherwise are acceptable in society is significant and it is
> our job to do what we can to accommodate them.

What I meant by "we" was "the set of people educated in school systems I'm
aware of." What I meant by "communicate" is producing that content, rather
than consuming it. It's something we just don't know how to do.

Guideline 4 communicates a lot more content than can be received in a fixed
illustration. In fact, there are a number of concepts such as "languages,
APIs and protocols", "data models", "device-independent event handlers", and
so on, in my opinion cannot be adequately illustrated in the context of the
document itself.

We can attempt to create a multimedia presentation that's linked to from
guidelines and checkpoints, but simple inline illustration is not going to
be sufficient to successfully aid users in comprehension of the more complex
concepts. Additionally, I fear that overillustration would make it more
difficult for many to grasp the content of the document in toto.

> MM:: "...generating more heat than light."
> WL: Maybe so, but I got lit up. I now believe that we're on the second
> floor of a building without elevator and arguing over whether the fact
> there are no people up here with wheel chairs proves that we don't really
> need an elevator. I could be wrong and perhaps Mrs. P. is being "overly
> combative" but I just don't think so.

The argument I take issue with is that people here who disagree with a given
proposal have some kind of anti-accessibility agenda. It's simply not true,
and it's demeaning to hear it whenever one of us is critical of something
that's proposed.

Received on Thursday, 10 May 2001 15:33:20 UTC

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