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Re: Aie it's HUGE

From: Chris Kreussling <CHRIS.KREUSSLING@ny.frb.org>
Date: Tue, 08 Dec 1998 12:37:00 -0500
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-id: <s66d1e26.011@ny.frb.org>
>>> <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org> (Kynn Bartlett) 12/07 10:24 PM >>>
At 01:07 p.m. 12/07/98 -0500, Chris Kreussling wrote:
>Is the casual or beginning web author interested in learning
>even HTML?

Well, often they are.

Then I'd say they're no longer "casual or beginning web authors." They've graduated to "casual or beginning HTML coders"!

What is the skillset we expect of "casual or beginning web authors"? (the original respondee's phrase, which I simply repeated in my response to them) How should a set of tips or guidelines be written which doesn't require expanding the skillset to produce acceptable results?

>Probably not; they just want to "put up a Web page." They're going
>to use a visual authoring tool. These are the people for whom
>Authoring Tools must *enforce* universal design. 

Yes, but tools are not necessarily going to solve every problem.

And today's tools just won't cut it.

I hope you're not suggesting that the answer for newbie web
authors (such as, say, those working on sites for government
agency departments) is "oh, wait a year or so, and hopefully
someone will have made a better tool for you"?

In my experience, the newbies care about accessibility just as
much as the seasoned veterans (which is to say, most don't
think about it, but when they find out, they're usually very
interested); saying that there's no good solution for them at
this time seems to be conceding a battle that we should be
able to win.

Completely agree: 
- (Visual) Tools will not solve every problem.
- Today's (visual) tools are inadequate for universal/accessible authoring.
- Newbie authors *who care about acccessibility* should not have to wait for the tools they catch up. (And why are government agencies relying on "newbie web authors" to develop public Web sites?!)

The present reality is that anyone who cares about accessible web authoring *must* learn HTML and other techniques. I don't consider learning HTML to be a casual or trivial undertaking. For many people this may be the first time they've looked "under the covers" of how a system interprets instructions.This is a big conceptual, not to mention psychological, jump. IMO, someone who's learning HTML no longer has a "casual" interest in web authoring.

IT SHOULD NOT BE NECESSARY for someone to learn HTML to publish content to the Web accessibly. If we care whether or not "casual or beginning web authors" or "newbie web authors" produce accessible web content, then we should address this in the tools they use. If the tool produces the HTML, the tool is responsible for ensuring the content is accessible.

<author>Chris Kreussling</author> 
<disclaimer>The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York or the Federal Reserve System.</disclaimer>
Received on Tuesday, 8 December 1998 12:40:32 UTC

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