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Re: Action Item: 3.3 Proposal (Writing Style)

From: Matt May <mcmay@bestkungfu.com>
Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2001 18:14:47 -0800 (PST)
To: Anne Pemberton <apembert@erols.com>
Cc: William Loughborough <love26@gorge.net>, Kynn Bartlett <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>, w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.NEB.4.21.0103121758440.10454-100000@byz.org>

> 	The fact that some members of the committee have their noses out of joint
> with Microsoft doesn't change the fact that many web authors, especially
> those who aren't high on the html hierarchy, use Word ...

And Word produces inaccessible HTML a good portion of the time... but
that's not my point. My point is that it's antithetical to an organization
that produces public specifications and pushes open-source tools to
require the use of a commercial, closed-source product to meet its specs.

> The guidelines need to be neutral on tools ... any computer-generated
> readabilty level based on syllables and words per sentence would work just
> as well .... 

And it still wouldn't help more than it would harm. At best, a requirement
like this gets largely ignored. At worst, the entire document does.

> 	The fact that it is "easy" to order that everything that isn't text be
> made text, isn't reason enough to kick out checkpoints that bring real
> accessibility to disabled human beings trying to use the web.

I fail to see how requiring untrained content producers to mangle their
copy until it hits some magic number in a black-box tool like Word does
anything at all to assist in accessibility. You're trying to eliminate a
problem after it's been created. The way to solve this is to get content
producers to learn how to write accessible content _before_ they go out
and do it, and that's where my recommendation of a required reading
section would actually do some good. It has to be at the front of the
process. Authoring or ER tools will not do.

-
m
Received on Monday, 12 March 2001 21:16:55 GMT

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