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Re: QED & Marshall McLuhan 4 points regarding 'a simple issue'

From: David Poehlman <poehlman@clark.net>
Date: Mon, 14 Jun 1999 12:07:09 -0400
Message-ID: <376528AD.B936AF22@clark.net>
To: jonathan chetwynd <jay@peepo.com>
CC: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>, Ann Navarro <ann@webgeek.com>, Kynn Bartlett <kynn-hwg@idyllmtn.com>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
my comments in the partial message below marked with dp

jonathan chetwynd wrote:
<snipped>
> Alt tags materially effect content, without them a blind person does not
> receive content, unless perhaps you argue that they do. Hardly then
> accessible.
dp materially perhaps, but not substantially.  when we talk about alt
tags, we are talking about an alternative to what you have placed on
your site because of the fact that it may not be delivered in certain
circumstances such as to a screen reader or a person using a text only
browser or with images turned off.  This then is fascilitated by the
"alternative text or whatever".
> 
> Similarly providing different sites for different browsers effects content.
dp yes, and it is not highly endorsed.  we ask that people provide one
site so that it can be maintained in a congruent fashion.  The
sophistication that we are headed towards it seems though with the use
of css and server tricks may make it possible for that site though to
be rendered differently when it arrives at the user end and that will
not and does not effect content.
> Also screen size, frames, soundcard, directX, real audio, macromedia, VRML,
> just about any difference in computer facility is catered for to some
> degree, all providing substantially different content.
dp atain, these are all optional and a matter of choice.  in the
guidelines they are provided for in order to provide and produce the
maximum effect.  Like images, they will not be delivered to some
browsers.
> 
> Even Gifs and jpegs are substantially different, even one might suggest as
> different as a thesis and a child's story. the one requiring considerably
> more interpretation in normal use, though providing far less information.
dp they look the same to me <g> but perhaps a jpg might be a bit
fuller and richer the gif is certainly clear enough.
> 
> It is merely that having progressed beyond childish things we imagine we
> have understood them. How misguided, one only has to read contemporary
> authors, such as Marina Warner or Angela Carter, to realize how little we
> know about storytelling.
dp would it  that this were relevant to our discussion.  storytell all
you want but we still have the rest of the www to contend with.  I
agree though that childhood is best understood by a child but the
shame is that a child does not have the skills to articulate it well
enough.
> 
> You surely would not suggest that people with LD should be deprived their
> vote, even though they have a limited capacity to understand the issues. We
> all only get to make a mark in any case, hardly a sophisticated
> communication.
> Which person would say they understood all the issues and that
> their vote is infallible, a fool perhaps.
dp I would be bold enough to say so.  I don't claim to understand all
the issues but the whole thing our democracy hinges on is <informed
choice> Informed means that the information has been comprehended to a
level upon which can be based a clear choice.  Would you want a barber
to remove your child's appendix? 
> 
> Responsible Web builders need to enable, and providing accessible materials
> for non-readers is only a start.
> W3C should be setting an example.
> Children need to know about these problems, they effect us all.
dp Children need to be children and run and play and gro up and learn
how to do the things that they must do in order to be adults so that
they can take part in society.  Older children can begin to grasp the
broader issues and they should be provided with the mechanisms for
doing so.
> 
> Bridge building might not teach one the tensile strength of materials, but
> it is considered a suitable means of initiating interest.
> Expressing the concern "Will a blind person enjoy visiting you site?"
> communicates the intention if not the method (yet).
dp I fail to understand the tie in between the two statements above. 
Teaching bridge building is a process that envolves teaching some
construction engineering.  Why? because the person building the bridge
needs to know that the materials selection and placement is going to
equal the desired outcome of the product which is that it actually
functions as a bridge.  This has little to do with the web.
As a blind person I don't have to enjoy what I access.
> I strongly object to your comments about lowest common denominator.
> In general the whole population would benefit from beng able to select
> material at a level they desired, providing it was easy to do.
dp easy to provide or easy to access.  The lowest common denominator
is actually apt here since it implies that there are increments which
there are.  we also apply it to browsers.
> I would be very surprised if their site did not have a picture of a ball, in
> fact most sports sites are accessible, many even having animated games
> designed for them. These were never requirements, they are marketing.
dp You said it marketing.  How much money is being made on the web
anyway?  Here I say again, you don't need guidelines or requirements
for this sort of thing or even mandates.  Just education and or
instruction for web designers to follow if they want to attract a
particular audience or reach certain people.  The only reason I say
again that we have guidelines for the web coming out of the wai is
that it began to change from a medium which could be <accessed> by all
to one that was beginning to lock out more and more of the population
by virtue of it's graphical trend.  This was an across the board issue
with regard to many end points.  I fail to see the necessity or even
the wisdom of having all sites use a high degree of bandwidth to
provide a styalistic view that they may wish they had not the want to
do.  The wai guidelines are concerned with the way and method of
content presentation, you on the other hand are talking about the
content its self.  It has been said here for instance, that text is a
distraction.  well, pictures are a distraction too, red hair is a
distraction, but they are a part of life.
> W3C is missing the boat on this one, in my opinion, not worth a lot
> admittedly.

> 
> The reason our site has very small gifs is that we are attempting to provide
> a means of searching on the www. This precludes providing streaming (linked)
> wonderful graphics and sounds, just now.  A small budget would help.
A small buget would help me too.  Small gifs are tough to see by the
visually impaired.
> As far as proposals for recommendations I append these again, having not
> seen anything better:
<snipped to the end>
they look lots like style and litterally rewriting content to me.
We must find a way that allows the content to stay the same but have
the end result match the need.

jonathan chetwynd wrote:
> 
> > The guidelines that prescribe ALT text for images provide a mechanism for
> > content to be delivered -- the process of understanding that content takes
> > place after access to it.
> 
> Alt tags materially effect content, without them a blind person does not
> receive content, unless perhaps you argue that they do. Hardly then
> accessible.
> 
> Similarly providing different sites for different browsers effects content.
> Also screen size, frames, soundcard, directX, real audio, macromedia, VRML,
> just about any difference in computer facility is catered for to some
> degree, all providing substantially different content.
> 
> Even Gifs and jpegs are substantially different, even one might suggest as
> different as a thesis and a child's story. the one requiring considerably
> more interpretation in normal use, though providing far less information.
> 
> It is merely that having progressed beyond childish things we imagine we
> have understood them. How misguided, one only has to read contemporary
> authors, such as Marina Warner or Angela Carter, to realize how little we
> know about storytelling.
> 
> ----
> 
> > What's at issue is when is it appropriate to provide "simplified" versions
> > of content, or significant page weight in images and multimedia content to
> > meet the needs of individuals who don't really have the cognitive ability
> > to manage the material.
> 
> You surely would not suggest that people with LD should be deprived their
> vote, even though they have a limited capacity to understand the issues. We
> all only get to make a mark in any case, hardly a sophisticated
> communication.
> Which person would say they understood all the issues and that
> their vote is infallible, a fool perhaps.
> 
> Responsible Web builders need to enable, and providing accessible materials
> for non-readers is only a start.
> W3C should be setting an example.
> Children need to know about these problems, they effect us all.
> 
> Bridge building might not teach one the tensile strength of materials, but
> it is considered a suitable means of initiating interest.
> Expressing the concern "Will a blind person enjoy visiting you site?"
> communicates the intention if not the method (yet).
> 
> ---
> 
> > The reason that the WAI guidelines have been successful so far is that
> they
> > DON'T require catering to the lowest common denominator. Requiring
> > simplified text in inappropriate situations is a quick way to kill that
> > success.
> 
> If this was suggested, it was not by me. I understood the WAI produced
> recommendations, not requirements.
> I strongly object to your comments about lowest common denominator.
> In general the whole population would benefit from beng able to select
> material at a level they desired, providing it was easy to do.
> 
> ---
> > the Green Bay Packers football team must have an image of a football
> 
> I would be very surprised if their site did not have a picture of a ball, in
> fact most sports sites are accessible, many even having animated games
> designed for them. These were never requirements, they are marketing.
> W3C is missing the boat on this one, in my opinion, not worth a lot
> admittedly.
> 
> The reason our site has very small gifs is that we are attempting to provide
> a means of searching on the www. This precludes providing streaming (linked)
> wonderful graphics and sounds, just now.  A small budget would help.
> 
> ---
> 
> As far as proposals for recommendations I append these again, having not
> seen anything better:
> 
> > Four suggestions, first two for now, then two for later.
> >
> > individual markers:
> > Authors that consider the content of their site to be primarily graphical,
> > are advised to provide an icon to be used by third parties as a link to
> that
> > site.
> >
> > meta markers:
> > These authors are further advised that an icon (with link) of their
> choice,
> > indicating a topic area should be provided.
> >
> > photos:
> > Could HTML incorporate an image tag indicating that the content was
> royalty
> > free?
> >
> > links:
> > It would be helpful if links indicated whether they were to content of a
> > similiar type.
> >
> > It is important to be aware that image producers would want to retain
> > copyright in case their images were used in a grossly defamatory way. To
> > have offending sites removed from the www where possible.
> > Obviously problems arise where people post the images of others as their
> > own. This is common to all media.
> >
> 
> Browsers might then provide a visual history and my current site would be
> redundant.
> 
> jay@peepo.com
> 
> Please send us links to your favourite websites.
> Our site www.peepo.com is a drive thru.
> When you see a link of interest, click on it.
> Move the mouse to slow down.
> It is a graphical aid to browsing the www.
> We value your comments.
Received on Monday, 14 June 1999 12:06:07 GMT

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