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Re: Aie it's HUGE

From: Chris Kreussling <CHRIS.KREUSSLING@ny.frb.org>
Date: Tue, 08 Dec 1998 12:54:00 -0500
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-id: <s66d225c.080@ny.frb.org>
>>> <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org> (Ann) 12/07 10:25 PM >>>
At 01:07 PM 12/7/98 -0500, Chris Kreussling wrote:
>Is the casual or beginning web author interested in learning even HTML?
Probably not; they just want to "put up a Web page." They're going to use a
visual authoring tool.<

Bad assumption. Many of these users have given up on the visual
tools,specifically because they don't live up to their billing. Relegating
these users to the whims of tool makers isn't appropriate. Right now the
tools can't handle this (and I'm not yet convinced any tool should FORCE
something on it's user...suggest and provide, yes, but FORCE, no). 

I currently have 108 students in my Intro to HTML 4.0 course (HWG Online
Education, http://www.hwg.org/services/classes/ ). Barely a handful are
anything *but* the casual or beginning web author. The vast majority of the
introductions start out "I started using FrontPage <or insert visual tool
name here>, and realized it didn't perform well, so I'm now here to learn
how to do it "right"".

Which underscores the inadequacy of the tools. When they start learning HTML, I would no longer consider them "casual" or "beginners". I think learning HTML is the natural next step.

I specified FrontPage 98 for purchase in my department for intranet (internal, employee-only) use. We have many people contributing content to the intranet site, with a wide range of job descriptions and skills. Requiring that they learn HTML before they can contribute is unreasonable and unrealistic. And yes, FP98 has *lots* of problems. I wouldn't rely on it for an external, publicly accessible site; but then, the authoring team for a public site is expected to have greater skills, including HTML and many other things.

Just as the Web needs to be accessible to all users, the accessibility
guidelines should be information that is digestable by all authors. 

Which gets back to the origins of this thread: the size and detail of the guidelines.

There can't be one set of "guidelines" for all authors. There needs to be several different flavors of the guidelines, tailored to different levels of expertise and breadth of skills. What's intimidating to one group is going to seem overly simplistic to another.

<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 13:00:10 UTC

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