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RE: Linear reading order

From: Joe Clark <joeclark@joeclark.org>
Date: Wed, 7 Jul 2004 12:42:21 -0500 (CDT)
To: WAI-GL <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.44.0407071239170.4726-100000@socrates.scdns.net>

> Perhaps a case could be made that Yvette's example of the sentence
> broken into paragraphs that are floated left and right violates 3.1
> because the order in which the phrases occur in the default
> presentation-- the source document as it would be rendered by user
> agents that don't support style sheets--

And why are we supposed to care about those?

I urge the Working Group not to fall prey to its classic habit of 
penalizing authors for any standards-compliant advance that somebody comes 
up with. You know, we make hypertext so that documents can be nonlinear, 
but suddenly documents must be linearizable; we require correct semantic 
structural markup, but some yahoos want us to be able to pull out and 
remix headings and links and have them still make sense.

It's at times like these that my suspicion that the Working Group wants 
every document on the Web to look like W3C standards reports is 
reinforced. Even Tim Berners-Lee doesn't make documents that look like 
CERN research papers anymore.

Linear reading order is a nonstarter. No one has proven it is a real 
accessibility problem. It's just something the Working Group-- and why 
*does* it hate the Web so?-- latches onto in order to penalize good 
developers from making advanced, attractive, and indeed accessible sites.


    Joe Clark | joeclark@joeclark.org
    Accessibility <http://joeclark.org/access/>
    Expect criticism if you top-post
Received on Wednesday, 7 July 2004 13:51:54 UTC

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