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RE: CSS Accessibility Analyzer

From: John M Slatin <john_slatin@austin.utexas.edu>
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 2004 09:27:01 -0600
Message-ID: <C46A1118E0262B47BD5C202DA2490D1A0183AA73@MAIL02.austin.utexas.edu>
To: "Yvette P. Hoitink" <y.p.hoitink@heritas.nl>, "Roberto Scano - IWA/HWG" <rscano@iwa-italy.org>, "WAI WCAG List" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

I think Yvette's right; as Joe Clark has pointed out (often) in the
past, the fact that IE won't allow users to enlarge fonts specified in
px is primarily a user agent  problem, though for the time being it has
implications for content.  So the Techniques documents should
acknowledge the problem and encourage use of relative sizes, while the
user agent issue should be addressed as well.

"Good design is accessible design." 
Please note our new name and URL!
John Slatin, Ph.D.
Director, Accessibility Institute
University of Texas at Austin
FAC 248C
1 University Station G9600
Austin, TX 78712
ph 512-495-4288, f 512-495-4524
email jslatin@mail.utexas.edu
web http://www.utexas.edu/research/accessibility/


-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of Yvette P. Hoitink
Sent: Monday, February 16, 2004 4:43 am
To: 'Roberto Scano - IWA/HWG'; 'WAI WCAG List'
Subject: RE: CSS Accessibility Analyzer

> Jens:
> Well, I'm not very convinced of these techniques. Absolute
> units are not
> to
> be equated with inaccessibility.
> Roberto:
> Instead I agree with techniques doc where said: "Only use absolute 
> length units when the physical characteristics of the output medium 
> are known, such as bitmap images."
> If u create a div with width=750px; u make problems to people with 
> differen resolutions than 800 x 600 or more...

But is a resolution for which the page was not designed an accessibility
problem? I don't think so, it's just bad design with some usability
problems. If you want to ban bad design, you've got your work cut out
for you... 

Also, in your example, setting the width using relative units (for
15em) doesn't eliminate the problem as em is not relative to the
resolution. People with small resolutions will get a horizontal
scrollbar with a 15em width just as easily as if you specify a 750px

I agree with Jens, only some absolute units cause accessibility
problems. The most important case being the font size. But even for
that, I think it's as much a user agent problem as it is a web content
problem. I think we should encourage content creators to use relative
units for font size, but WAI should also stimulate user agent creators
to favor the user preference over the font size specified by the page.
In other words, even on a page that says 10px for font size, my browser
should enlarge the text if I set my font size preferences to larger. 

Yvette Hoitink
CEO Heritas, Enschede, The Netherlands
E-mail: y.p.hoitink@heritas.nl
Received on Monday, 16 February 2004 10:27:02 UTC

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