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

Re: guideline 7.1 about screen flickering (fwd)

From: Matt May <mcmay@yahoo.com>
Date: Fri, 10 Aug 2001 14:02:35 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
As for those who are so distracted by animation that they cannot remember to
hit the stop button should not be traveling the Internet without binders on
.... (i.e. turn off graphics or animation in the browser).  After all, you
don't tell someone to stand in the middle of the street to see if the bus is
coming, so when you surf the net, you need to maintain your personal safety.

If I have this right, you want to mandate creating alternative-media
versions of existing content to illustrate concepts, but users who are
distracted by those alternatives are to turn them off.

If you do this with animated GIFs or Flash, you will violate checkpoint 4.4:
Ensure that content remains usable when technologies that modify default
user agent processing or behavior are turned off or not supported.

Flash and animated GIFs cannot be started or controlled from the user
interface. They're either on and uncontrollable (except for stopping
animated GIFs, which subsequently can't be restarted), or they're off and
inaccessible. "Turning off animation" in the browser means nothing to Flash
(it'll happily keep Flashing away), and with animated GIFs merely prevents
users from discovering whether the image is an animation at all. These are
_all_ accessibility problems.

Now, either these additions are media equivalents, in which case they should
be communicating little more than the same information as the textual
content; or they're new content, and need to be treated as such. I think
it's clear that the media called for in the current 3.4 is new content, and
telling users who could benefit from that content to turn it off is a large
accessibility problem of its own.

Minimum is one image per page, preferably a topical illustration or logo.
Every image more enhances the graphical usefulness of a page. Too many
doesn't exist.

I find this absurd as a statement of fact.
I can't state this often enough, apparently: quantity does not indicate
quality. Quality of alternate media is the factor that will make sites more
accessible to all, and that isn't going to be helped by simply demanding
more images. I'll go so far as to say the presence of a logo is beneficial
to establish context, though it will generally communicate little about a
document's actual content, and as such is an incidental benefit. But just as
we can't formulate generalized technical criteria for satisfying 3.3, we
can't do it for 3.4.

And when we can't do that, we have to work with the authors, not construct
artificial barriers for them when they can use their own knowledge of their
subject matter to make better decisions.


Do You Yahoo!?
Get your free @yahoo.com address at http://mail.yahoo.com 
Received on Friday, 10 August 2001 13:50:05 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 16 January 2018 15:33:38 UTC