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Re: Graphic Designers work - potential for WCAG?

From: Matt May <mcmay@bestkungfu.com>
Date: Tue, 22 May 2001 21:02:33 -0700
Message-ID: <002f01c0e33d$421d4aa0$6501a8c0@sttln1.wa.home.com>
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>, "William Loughborough" <love26@gorge.net>
----- Original Message -----
From: "William Loughborough" <love26@gorge.net>
> The possibility of repurposing in this "medium" is stronger than in the
> examples Matt cites (TV, newspapers, magazines), but it will remain
> divisive. I believe that if we are to claim that there even can be
alt-text
> but deny that there can be alt-illustration we will find ourselves with
> endless (and IMO justifiable) complaints about our opacity/hypocrisy.

"Alt illustration" may yet prove itself to be a hollow victory. Where the
words cannot be rendered as simple images, they may as well not be there.
Complex illustrations do not express many ideas with the same clarity as
complex text; where they do, it's extraordinary. This is why standards are
textual in nature: not because text is sacred, but because text is least
likely to be misinterpreted.

I also disagree with the idea that it is inherently easier to repurpose
content on the web than in other media. It's no easier plodding through
"Being and Nothingness" or IRS tax code presented in streaming audio than it
is on paper. Sure, it can be done, but screen-scraping ain't accessibility.
If there's going to be a multimedia explanation of the guidelines, hanging
it off of a structure built around HTML is not the way to do it.

> And the fact that the "original" design of HTML was for academicians is
> barely even of interest.

The fact that it was designed for the structure of academic documents is
wholly relevant. The language, even today, lends itself most significantly
to text, and to other media only as an afterthought. Every spec and note the
W3C produces utilizes that structure as fully as possible. If WCAG 2
deviates from that concept, we're dealing with a usability problem that I
think is much bigger than any accessibility benefit that can be derived.

-
m
Received on Wednesday, 23 May 2001 00:03:13 GMT

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