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Re: Debunking the need for "text-only" parallel sites

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-hwg@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Thu, 20 May 1999 16:45:01 -0700
Message-Id: <>
To: Judy Brewer <jbrewer@w3.org>
Cc: "Bruce Bailey" <bbailey@clark.net>, "WAI IG" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
At 07:38 PM 5/20/1999 -0400, Judy Brewer wrote:
>On your last question, whether the position that "text-only isn't
>necessarily accessible" is well documented, hmmm, not sure that it is. We
>are collecting additional questions for future FAQ's; this might be good to
>expand on.

Excellent points from Judy, especially the fact that it's
hard to find reliable "bad examples!"  Usually by the time
we've found them, we've also told them what's wrong and they've
fixed the problem!  (Those sneaky webmasters!)

As far as text-only being _less_ accessible, there's a good
argument to be made that structural content is preferable to
non-structured.  While you can ASSUME some structure in plain
text, structured HTML makes it a LOT easier to do things like
pull out the headers or identify tabular data (not to mention
the amount of rich metadata that can be included with markup).

This is a logical, not empirical, argument for markup being
more accessible than plain text.  I don't feel that plain,
unmarked text (as web pages) serve anyone's needs, not the
majority users nor those with special considerations!

Kynn Bartlett <kynn@hwg.org>
President, Governing Board Member
HTML Writers Guild <URL:http://www.hwg.org>
Director, Accessible Web Authoring Resources and Education Center
Received on Thursday, 20 May 1999 19:46:28 UTC

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