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

RE: guideline 7.1 about screen flickering (fwd)

From: gregory j. rosmaita <oedipus@hicom.net>
Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2001 23:35:15 -0400 (EDT)
To: Kynn Bartlett <kynn@reef.com>
cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org, wai-xtech@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.BSI.3.95.1010726181127.29925B-100000@ns.hicom.net>
aloha, kynn!

Kynn wrote:
> >3. what is the foreground color/color of the text?  is it green as well?
> >(that seems to be the motif)
> 
> Red.
> 
> >4. is the font used a serif or sans-serif font?
> 
> Serif, maybe something like Times New Roman.  Is that important?

red on green raises a red flag for obvious reasons...  i asked about the
font because sans-serif fonts are far more popular with low vision users
than serif fonts for a number of reasons, the main ones being that they
provide sharper, better defined contrast with the background and that they
scale much better; from a strictly legal point of view, the "minimum
requirement" set by the united states postal service for "large text" for
the purpose of sending printed material "free matter for the blind" is
16pt arial (a sans-serif font), which has always sounded pretty small to
me... 

in any event, considered from a general usability point of view, are not
sans-serif fonts considered more "readable" and "easier-on-the-eye" 
especially when rendered over a variable background (such as from a
background image or pattern)?  although i don't have a visual memory of
the verdana font face because i don't think it had been developed before i
lost my sight, i'm sure it is far more legible at any size than "goudy old
style", which is why the VICUG NYC (title="Visually Impaired Computer
Users' Group of New York City") web site's default stylesheet uses verdana
as its base font (with a fallback onto the generic "sans-serif"), but
Camera Obscura, my personal site, uses a serif font (actually a few,
depending upon your UA's support for stylesheets, your local font library,
and/or whether you have configured your UA to ignore author defined fonts
and colors or are running a client-side stylesheet)

OLD GJR: 
>>i suppose that no one who approaches the graphic with a tabula rasa would
>>know the answers to the first 2 questions, which indicates to me that this
>>particular graphic isn't a very successful conduit of information...
KB response:
> Not necessarily, it depends on (a) what it's meant to do, and (b) how
> it is used.  Let's not assume that looking at a graphic in a background
> can tell us anything about how useful it is!! 

NEW GJR: well, that's why i would have preferred if the UPC webmaster had
seen fit to attach a mock-up of the page on which the graphic will be used
so that it could also be perceived in context...  even the block of markup
in which the image will be contained would have provided more context... 
i also wonder if seeing the graphic in context would have led to different
descriptions, such as "American Association for Mental Retardation RADAR
logo" or some such...  but, we were asked to judge a particular animated
graphic in isolation, which is what we've been doing... 

OLD GJR:
> >i'm not sure i would if the alt text just said: "RADAR @ AAMR", which
> >appears to be the literal textual equivalent for the graphic...  still,
> >there is a checkpoint in WCAG1 (checkpoint 4.2) which recommends providing
> >an expansion for acronyms and abbreviations where they first occur...
KB response:
> This is an effect of a broken spec for the <img> tag.  Currently
> you can only do this:
> 
>       <img alt="RADAR @ AAMR" />
> 
> ...or an expansion of the same.
> 
> But ideally you should be able to do:
> 
>      <img>
>        <abbr>RADAR</abbr>
>        <abbr>@</abbr>
>        <abbr>AAMR</abbr>
>      </img>
> 
> The problem is that <img> is an empty tag when really it should be like
> <object>.

NEW GJR:  well, technically, _i_ could have, since i declared XHTML 1.0 on
my "mystery graphic" page, not to mention my personal preference for
"rich", rather than constrained mechanisms for providing conditional
content, but i don't want to break anyone's browser and i want as many
people as possible to be able to use the page, no matter what browser they
employ... 

which is also why i reluctantly continue to use the character-entity code
to generate a quote (&#34;) rather than demarcating text as a quote with
the Q element...  i'd vastly prefer to use the Q element for a number of
reasons -- obviously to reflect structure in the markup, is one reason,
but an equally important reason is that use of the Q element leaves the
choice of quotation convention open to the user (or his or her or her UA,
which might interpret Q according to either the natural language in which
the OS is running or automatically deliver the appropriate quotation and
quotation nesting conventions for a page based on the natural language
declared for that page...  it also allows for restyling of the entire
block demarcated by the opening and closing Q tags, so that it stands out
from the rest of the text, at least visually and aurally, using the
styling palette currently available... 

ok, it is a real pain in the posterior to compose email via this
particular shell account (which is one of the biggest thorns sticking out
of my side, as this is currently my only means of receiving email), so
i'll stop for now...  did i answer your counter-questions, kynn? 

gregory.
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Gregory J. Rosmaita, oedipus@hicom.net
            Camera Obscura: http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/index.html
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Received on Thursday, 26 July 2001 23:35:19 GMT

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