W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > April to June 1999

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

From: Nick Traenkner <nick@kentinfoworks.com>
Date: Fri, 21 May 1999 15:03:30 -0400
Message-ID: <3745AE01.79E4B593@kentinfoworks.com>
To: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-hwg@idyllmtn.com>
CC: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Kynn Bartlett wrote:

> It's another issue, too.  I (and others) maintain that properly
> done HTML means accessible HTML, and that means no need for a
> text-only copy.

And of course browsers which support the mechanisms available to make work
those pages which require no text-only views. While they are getting better, I
am (as I am sure many here are) disillusioned by the progress of both
Microsoft and that other company that I can't remember at the moment (started
with an N I think...). I am sure this has a lot to do with the fact that
although it seems old hat to me, HTML4 and CSS etc... are young

But this is a real problem right now- some (business) clients demand hacked
HTML- in this case, text-only looks like a good solution, especially if you
can do it without duplication. They aren't concerned that the AOL 3.0 browser
that doesn't support CSS will render a page readable- they're concerned that
it will render the page "ugly"- image is very important to them (though I do
fight against 'marketing creep' as much as possible, in favor of accessible

> Three words:  "Separate. But. Equal."  You will people who very
> strongly consider the idea of "ghettoization" of the disabled to
> be a worse sin than inaccessible pages.  While I am not quite so
> dogmatic about this, I can certainly see the point and I think
> there is an implicit assumption that "disabled folks cannot use
> the web as well as others can, therefore we need to make special
> accomodations for them" and that is insulting when in reality,

This is not so much a usability issue then as it is a political issue (not to
imply political = not important). By offering a text-only view of a site, you
are creating information ghettos. Interesting point- one I would not have
considered, being disability-impaired. My view is that until everyone supports
the proper application of HTML/CSS special accomodations may be neccessary for
those web authors who must work within the constraints of a customer with
high-visibility (actually the trick is getting them to constrain themselves).

> Sorry for raising my voice.

No problem, just as long as the voices aren't so loud that no one hears what
is being said.

Received on Friday, 21 May 1999 15:03:36 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Wednesday, 7 January 2015 16:08:31 UTC