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Re: Clear and simple writing

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2001 22:16:13 -0500 (EST)
To: Joe Clark <joeclark@contenu.nu>
cc: WAI-GL <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0111262209430.20102-100000@tux.w3.org>
Yes, that page was a list of the ideas we put together in a small group in a
short breakout session. If they are useful for people who are not sure where
to start then that's good going, and I agree with Joe that we could use more
expertise.

What I know comes from believing usability folks and people who teach
technical writing and writing for journalists. Although I don't think it is
"anti-writing" as Joe suggests, it certainly does put conveying information
on a higher priority than writing with style and flair. We should be
explicit about that. In the breakout session we discussed the role of art,
and agreed that it was a wider issue than just writing style, and that art
may not be completely accessible (although that doesn't seem like an excuse
not to make it accessible at all, and many museums are working on doing just
that).

Real experts in the craft of writing will recognise this information for baby
steps and will rely on their own skills, but they are few and far between. At
the moment I think we are at the stage of techniques that we can provide,
which are a clear beginning.

cheers

Charles

On Mon, 26 Nov 2001, Joe Clark wrote:

  * Charles's list of techniques <http://www.w3.org/2001/11/334-wcag>
  must be considered illustrative; they're a partially helpful how-to
  listing for befuddled authors who don't know where to begin. It is
  nonetheless trivial to find counterexamples to many of those
  guidelines, which betray an anti-*writing* as opposed to an
  anti-*text* bias. Talented, experienced, and/or professional writers,
  as actual experts in the practice of writing, will reject the advice
  outright if it is advanced as a requirement. (WAI has a history of
  setting requirements and listing examples that are unrealistic and
  betray inexperience.)
Received on Monday, 26 November 2001 22:16:13 GMT

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