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RE: rationalize presentation [was: Use consistent presentation]

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Sun, 20 Jan 2002 17:50:04 -0800
Message-Id: <a05101002b87122d0a742@[]>
To: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>, Geoff Deering <gdeering@acslink.net.au>
Cc: <kynn-eda@idyllmtn.com>, Slaydon Eugenia <ESlaydon@beacontec.com>, <gian@stanleymilford.com.au>, <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
At 3:17 PM -0500 1/20/02, Charles McCathieNevile wrote:
>Having pictures of the text and the real text should meet the requirement
>(having pictures and alt text does not) but technically fails the checkpoint,
>and in my very personal opinion is ugly enough to be worth avoiding...

Right, which is why it's a broken checkpoint.

One thing we have to be careful of is that there are several types
of "guidelines" which we may accidentally conflate together:

* Those based on pure access to information
* Those based on usability concerns
* Those based on "style"

Access to information:  If I have a web site which has a navigation
bar as images, and I provide alt text for those images, and I provide
a redundant set of text links at the bottom (remember, this is a
checkpoint for certain image maps under WCAG1, so the technique is
clearly not flawed), then I am ensuring actual access to information.

Usability:  If I can find that information EASILY, it's not a usability
problem; if I can't, it probably is. For example, "text-only version"
link at the BOTTOM of the page is worse usability than one at the
top.  Sure, you can find the info, but good luck trying.

Style:  Some things are just tacky. Saying "click here for more on
Senator Wilson" is not an accessibility problem, nor is it a usability
problem.  It just doesn't look right.

Our checkpoints so far have willy-nilly combined pure access,
usability, and style in a way that leads to confusion and mis-
interpretation.  Also note that usability for one audience may be
accessibility or style for another.

In this case, I think pictures of text and real text, while it does
fail the (in-need-of-revision) checkpoint test, do pass the
access to information test.  There is no usability test for this
encoded in the guidelines (and in fact the Guidelines suggest
"text" and "pictures" for imagemaps), although the usability here
may be poor.  Stylistic demands, I think, are not our main priority
here, are they?


Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>                 http://kynn.com
Chief Technologist, Idyll Mountain            http://idyllmtn.com
Web Accessibility Expert-for-hire          http://kynn.com/resume
January Web Accessibility eCourse           http://kynn.com/+d201
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Received on Sunday, 20 January 2002 21:11:46 UTC

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