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Re: Okay, is this better?

From: Chris Maden <crism@ora.com>
Date: Wed, 25 Mar 1998 11:58:42 -0500
Message-Id: <199803251658.LAA06419@geode.ora.com>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
[Lloyd G. Rasmussen]
> LR: Sorry, I think ASCII art should be deprecated.  You don't know
> which punctuations will or won't be turned on in a particular
> browser/screen reader combination for a particular user.  Repeat
> filters can remove multiple occurences of *identical* characters,
> but your mixture of punctuations goes through without repeat
> filtering; it gets in the way.  I don't mind verbal descriptions in
> the alt text, but since they are spacers, they should be extremely
> terse.  Even an alt text like ". ." would be effective in some
> situations, causing a pause in the speech stream at the horizontal
> rule.  I don't guarantee that ". ." will always work either.

My point is that the rule should not only provide separation for the
visually impaired users and graphical users, but *also* for the text
browser users.  The short alt text *doesn't* work for me in Lynx; it
looks almost like a heading called "purple line", not like a divider.

Moreover, ". ." is inadequate description for those who are using a
graphical browser but have image loading turned off.  They have no
idea what the graphic is - it could be a pair of eyes, a male upper
torso, a couple of pebbles, or two distant UFOs.

The ASCII graphics in alt text make a separator apparent to the Lynx
user, but this may get in the way of screen readers.  I'm looking for
a solution that will provide visual impact in a text browser, a
description for those with graphics turned off, and appropriate
behavior for an aural user.  Anyone have any other suggestions?

> LR: If there is text on a page, even in an invisible color, a screen
> reading program will probably read it.  Whether you hear it before
> or after the main foreground text of the page, I don't know, but if
> the browser renders it as text, it will be in the display and the
> off-screen model somewhere.  This is one of the places where
> bitmapped text might actually be useful; we wouldn't have to listen
> to it.

The text in this case is bitmapped in the background; I was a little
surprised at the suggestion that a screen reader might attempt to read
it.  I didn't think GUI screen readers relied on OCR - browsing the
Web would be a sort of dadaist hell.  I found the graphic distracting
as a sighted user.

-Chris
-- 
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Received on Wednesday, 25 March 1998 11:52:42 GMT

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