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RE: Style sheets for access

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charlesn@sunrise.srl.rmit.edu.au>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 1997 09:47:12 +1100 (EST)
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.SUN.3.91.971210093056.7637F-100000@sunrise.srl.rmit.edu.au>


On Tue, 9 Dec 1997, Jon Gunderson wrote:
(in summary) We need a simple system for users to determine the outcome. 
There are several aspects to explore, such as scripting languages 
modifying the style sheets, the ability of authors to
varify that information is still rendered logically without the style
sheet, tables and frames.

CMcCN::
If the user prevailed in the Cascade, then the problem shrinks to making 
sure the sense of a document is not distorted by removing the style.

This should be reasonably simple. If an author uses too much styling, they 
run a great risk of incomprehensibility. This is not just a WAI issue. 
The most common example I find is the use of half a dozen icons for 
navigation, which are comprehensible only to the people who made them. 
http://www.cfd.rmit.edu.au is a good example, among millions. 

However it seems a difficult concept for many people. Part of the reason 
the web appeals is its ability to handle graphic content. And many of the 
people employed to make content have a background in graphics. Often they 
don't understand the technical problems they are creating. In my 
experience, they are often good at creating graphics, but actually quite 
bad at communicating with graphics, let alone in any other medium. How 
you solve that problem is a thorny one, since the people employing them 
often know less than the designers. Otherwise somebody who understood the 
problems would get the job.

I have ignored the problem of how a user learns to create their own 
styles to ensure that a sensibly written page is comprehensible, or where 
they get a third party stylesheet which they make their own. I think it 
is not such a huge problem.

thoughts anybody?

Charles McCathieNevile
charlesn@srl.rmit.edu.au
Received on Tuesday, 9 December 1997 18:00:59 GMT

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