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RE: examples of a variety of sites that include illustrations of concepts (i.e., examples of 3.4)

From: Anne Pemberton <apembert@erols.com>
Date: Thu, 02 Aug 2001 15:57:00 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: Joel Sanda <joels@ecollege.com>, "'Matt May'" <mcmay@bestkungfu.com>, Wendy A Chisholm <wendy@w3.org>
Cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org

         Speaking as an educator, why would you spend six hours writing up 
a set of lecture notes if you aren't going to deliver a lecture? Or do you 
plan to put a sound file on the web of you delivering the lecture?  Did you 
mean you spent six hours writing up the content of the lesson? If a lesson, 
what "visual aides" did you plan into the lesson? How can you duplicate 
them on the web? Take a digital photo of your blackboard? Or something 
better in paint?

         Incidentally, the first "productivity software" your son is likely 
to be able to learn to use is the Paint program, or the better kid graphic 
editors .... if it's still around, Kid Pix is great!  Right now, you could 
put Paint up on your screen, draw some of the basic shapes so they 
interlock making lots of small spaces,  ask your little guy to point to a 
color, you click on it, and hold his hand to move it to the space and help 
him click to add the color. If you both have fun with it, let me know.

         Joel, much of my reasoning that has led to this discussion on 3.4, 
has been in trying to put the shoe on the other foot from Version 1.0 
assuming the web was supposed to be all about text....


At 01:11 PM 8/2/01 -0600, Joel Sanda wrote:
>Matt -
>Well said. I can find animated GIFs and "home movies" all over the Internet
>to plug into my content. But if I spend six hours writing up a set of
>lecture notes for my theoretical phsyics class and then have to write or
>find an Applet or similar "learning object" that will illustrate the point,
>just to put it on my site and comply with my school's accessibility
>requirements - I'd not put them on the website.
>I love playing around with Java, HTML, CSS, PHP, Apache, and ASP. But none
>of that has anything to do with graphics. I cannot "do" graphics - and
>neither can most people. Not everyone can sit down and write compelling
>words and neither can everyone design compelling images.
>I'm curious: what would the WCAG 2.0 be like if 3.4 worked "both ways": the
>text content and the non-text content. Could we come up with a set of
>success criteria that would ensure accessible text content? What if we
>operated under the assumption the web was entirely graphical and we were
>writing 3.4 to recommend adding text content for people who cannot see?
>That's much of what the WCAG 1.0 was about - but it would be an interesting
>Joel Sanda
>Product Manager
> > p. 303.873.7400 x3021
> > f.  303.632.1721
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Matt May [mailto:mcmay@bestkungfu.com]
>Sent: Thursday, August 02, 2001 11:12 AM
>To: Wendy A Chisholm
>Cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
>Subject: Re: examples of a variety of sites that include illustrations
>of concepts (i.e., examples of 3.4)
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Wendy A Chisholm" <wendy@w3.org>
> > Joel and others are concerned about burdening authors if we ask them to
> > illustrate concepts.  So, I decided to take a look at a variety of sites,
> > particularly science research sites such as physics, to see what I could
> > find.  In about 1/2 an hour, I found the following 12 pages.  Note that
> > they all contain some sort of non-text content.  Particularly, the physics
> > technical papers - which at least contain graphs and tables of data.
> >
> > I am not saying these examples are perfect, I am trying to show that
> > illustrations and use of multimedia is more widespread than some people
> > have been suggesting.  Also, that it is probably less of an "undue burden"
> > than some have hypothesized.
>I don't think anyone is arguing that multimedia (as a set including static
>images) is not widespread on the web. After all, it was the ability to embed
>images in documents that set the web apart from, say, gopher, back around
>'94. Really, any page you visit, you'll find graphics. I just don't think
>that merely their presence as a rule increases access or usability.
>The point I've been trying to make is that presence does not indicate
>quality. Good graphics require forethought. If sites, particularly
>commercial ones, are going to answer a call to add other media, they need to
>know who and why, not what and how. That is, authors need to know how
>multi-modal communication aids cognition, and determine what they can do
>with their content to accommodate that. If they don't know or care about
>that, and take a set of rules they're not actually invested in, they're
>going to do a terrible, and quite possibly counterproductive, job of
>satisfying the checkpoint.
>Also, those sites which I felt used graphics effectively clearly had
>integrated them early in the content design process. Those who did it later
>appeared to have less relevant images. The implication here is that attempts
>to make legacy content accessible (which is to say the entire web up to the
>date WCAG 2 is published) will falter, where they are able to get off the
>I'm also thinking about technical and legal considerations. News sites
>(including CNN.com) repurpose wire copy, which is necessarily plain text.
>The sheer volume of wire copy makes it impossible to design or discover
>relevant images for each one, and even then it would be done by someone
>other than the original content provider. The majority of the largest
>content sites around use mostly repurposed content, and it is often strictly
>controlled by contract.
>Maybe Charles and Kynn are right that my issue is really with the compliance
>scheme, and maybe sometime soon someone can tag me with an action item to
>come up with tweaking it. But even absent a compliance scheme, I still have
>trouble applying success criteria to a checkpoint when the true measure of
>success can only be discovered through testing.

Anne Pemberton

Received on Thursday, 2 August 2001 16:02:48 UTC

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