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

Re: definition of accessible: text is convenient

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Sat, 15 Sep 2001 08:32:30 -0400
Message-Id: <200109151230.IAA10562074@smtp2.mail.iamworld.net>
To: love26@gorge.net (William Loughborough), "Jonathan Chetwynd" <j.chetwynd@btinternet.com>, <wai-tech-comments@w3.org>, <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>, "Sean B. Palmer" <sean@mysterylights.com>
At 07:55 AM 2001-09-15 , William Loughborough wrote:
>At 09:34 AM 9/15/01 +0100, Jonathan Chetwynd wrote:
>>The semantic meaning or concept underlying images is just as transferable, 
>>as texts are translate-able.
>Care when using "the" is urged. Yes, it is possible for text to have 
>differing "semantics" in various situations but with images it is 
>inevitable. A matter of degree and probabilities.


There is no one way about this.

Understanding vs. misunderstanding is determined by comparing the
divergence in
interpretation with the precision requirements of the use to which the data
being put.

Confusion over date formats have killed people in the coding of radiological
devices.  So text is just as misunderstandable as is an image.  In fact,
pictures have been added to drivers's licences in the U.S. in order to make
documents more secure: it is harder to misunderstand a comparison of the
picture with the person than comparing, say, signatures.

I believe that we can, however, say that what the XMLGL says is fact based
on a
more grubby, mechanistic analysis.  The conventional .gif and .jpg
representations used for images on the Web are not compatible with
widely-deployed repurposing technology that does a reasonable job of
intelligibility the way that UniCode text is.  This is just a statement of the
state of the art in repurposing and media formats.  There is a more
mathematical theory that argues that text is more removed from experience,
highly encoded, and hence it is natural that it should be more repurposable on
the whole, but we don't need to go there.  If the test of repurposability is
that it can be done so by techniques that it is reasonable to consider the
has available in their client, then the preponderance of image representations
are more specific, less repurposable, than are words in text.

This is not to say that the objective is not symmetrical.  Text is not
logically the foundation, experience is.  But more indirect representation by
means of encoded verbalisations about experience turns out to be more
repurposable in the field today that a more direct emulation of visual sensort


Received on Saturday, 15 September 2001 08:30:39 UTC

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