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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.

Received on Monday, 12 March 2001 21:16:55 UTC

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