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Re: Graphic Designers work - potential for WCAG?

From: Anne Pemberton <apembert@erols.com>
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 07:17:20 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: "Matt May" <mcmay@bestkungfu.com>, <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>, "William Loughborough" <love26@gorge.net>

	The issue of the original intent of the web is mistaken. Before HTML, we
used gopher and archie to find  what wer then just documents on the
Internet. The important addition of HTML was that it could show pictures,
not that it could display text - text was already doable. 

	Incidently, you are very wrong in your assumption that complex words are
superior to complex illustrations in conveying content. If illustrations
aren't your cup of tea, at least you can respect the experiences and needs
of those for whom it is! You may have a mote in your eye, but don't presume
everyone is the same. 


At 09:02 PM 5/22/01 -0700, Matt May wrote:
>----- 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
>> 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.
Anne Pemberton

Received on Wednesday, 23 May 2001 07:08:20 UTC

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