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Re: text as images...

From: Charles F. Munat <chas@munat.com>
Date: Tue, 05 Feb 2002 16:22:55 -0800
Message-ID: <3C60775F.9000902@munat.com>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Kynn Bartlett wrote:

> Actually, let's not assume that "order in Lynx" and "order with
> style sheets turned off in a graphical browser" are going to be
> the same, nor that either of them will equate to "order which is best
> for a screenreader."

Not a one-to-one correspondence, but certainly close enough for most uses.

> The idea of PROPER linearization of content for different media types
> is not yet a solved problem. It's not easy; on the contrary, it's quite
> difficult.

Most Web pages aren't that complex. Other than data tables (and how 
often do those really appear?), most information *is* linear. Let's not 
overcomplicate this unnecessarily. A rule of thumb doesn't have to cover 
every instance, just the majority.

> I don't really expect that someone should feel an obligation to spend
> as much effort on presentation in Lynx as they do on the presentation
> in IE.  That seems a weird request.

It does, which is why I didn't make it. My point was that non-CSS 
browsers in general (with Lynx as an example) should not be second-class 
citizens who get whatever is left over after CSS is removed. In reality, 
structuring content appropriately works well for both CSS and non-CSS 
browsers. When you consider the time required to add CSS, obviously more 
time will be spent for CSS versions. Making sure that both CSS and 
non-CSS browsers work well with your pages is not the same thing as 
"spend[ing] as much effort on presentation in Lynx as... in IE." In 
fact, if the structure is good, presentation in Lynx (and Netscape 2, 
etc.) should look good with virtually no effort.

> I do agree that structure-first is a relatively decent way to design
> a site, but it makes more sense to design structure and presentation as
> different sides of the same coin, and then use something like XSLT or
> server-side includes or other server techniques to combine them together
> rather than insisting that one has to flow from the other.

Who said anything about one flowing from the other? Mark up the content, 
mark up the structure, then worry about presentation. That these occur 
in sequence does not mean that one flows from the other.

The structure of content depends on the internal relationships within 
that content. A heading is a heading. A subheading is a subheading. It's 
not about where it goes on the page or what type face is used or what 
color it is. It is about its relationship to the subsequent paragraphs; 
it's about the relationship of the parts to the whole and to each other.

Similarly, a paragraph is a paragraph. It encapsulates, ideally, one 
concept. Generally, it has some relationship to the paragraphs 
immediately preceding or following it.

These relationships exist independent of the presentation.

Moving chunks around on a page -- like putting the navigation bar above 
vs. on the left -- has nothing to do with structure. It has to do with 
layout. Let's not get these confused.

Charles F. Munat

Seattle, Washington
Received on Tuesday, 5 February 2002 19:21:41 UTC

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