W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-gl@w3.org > January to March 2001

Re: Action Item: 3.3 Proposal (Writing Style)

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2001 07:35:12 -0800
Message-Id: <>
To: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Cc: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
At 06:19 PM 3/13/2001 , Al Gilman wrote:
>The difficulty with incorporating reading-level checking in what we are doing
>is that reading-level checking makes sense as a _process requirement_, a
>required activity in the content development process; but there is no single
>tool or threshold that makes sense as a _product requirement_ for all web

Yes.  Well stated.  I agree.

I have always told people that web accessibility is a mindset -- a
methodology, a way of solving problems, a view of the web -- not a
series of binary checkpoints.

>The product requirements for reading level should indeed float, as people have
>pointed out.  How to get help from the IRS in preparing your tax return is a
>topic that has to be explained in very accessible language.  A doctoral
>dissertation in Physics should still be written as simply as possible, but it
>may be appropriate to assume a lot more knowledge among the readers than one
>can get away with in general writing.  Both of these will be more
>successful in
>clear writing if they use reading-level measures as a checking tool.

At risk of beating a drum, I really need to emphasize that the above
description -- which has been used by a number of people to illustrate
the problem -- is incomplete because it is really only along one
axis.  There are -numerous- reasons to try to communicate, and applying
a fog index (e.g.) to -every- form of written or verbal communication
is improper.  E.g., editorials, advertisements, parodies, humor,
fiction, and a vast number of other content types are even -harder-
to apply such a standard to.


Kynn Bartlett <kynn@reef.com>
Technical Developer Liaison
Reef North America
Tel +1 949-567-7006
Received on Wednesday, 14 March 2001 10:42:11 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 16 January 2018 15:33:36 UTC