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Re: Creating web pages

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 1999 17:31:27 -0400 (EDT)
To: Anne Pemberton <apembert@crosslink.net>
cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.10.9907201707350.29442-100000@tux.w3.org>
There are several strategies that make an suthoring tool good for producing
an accessible web.

One of them is making the tool itself accessible - the web is not like
television in that people can create for themselves. This was one of the
basic purposes of creating it - to allow people to connect things they were
interested in in their own "web" of ideas.

In addition, there are a number of factors which can help. Prompting the
author for required information (a tool which doesn't allow the author to
add alternative text to images or sounds is never going to be easy to use in
producing 'universally' accessible plages), providing appropriate help,
checking for obvious machine-testable errorss are all important.

Also vital, as Anne mentioned, is the author's personal style -  some tools
are popular because they allow editing of the HTML code directly, while
others are popular for precisely the opposite reason - that the author does
not have to look at the code ever. Some tools are very highly customisable,
others work 'straight out of the box', but offer little in the way of complex
extensions for creating specific powerful functions.

The Authoring Tools working group welcomes feedback on features which make
tools good or bad to use, as well as general review of its guidelines which
are intended primarily to provide a developer's lines which are intended to
lay out the requirements for a tool which is accessible, produces accessible
websites, and not interfere more than absolutley necessary in the developers'
freedom to build tools in as many ways as they can think of, to suit the
various different types of users.

http://www.w3.org/WAI/AU for the nitty gritty details of that group's work.

If you have general feedback on authoring tools (or comments on the
guidelines), you could send it to w3c-wai-au@w3.org although it will also be
noticed if it is on the interest group list.

The ATRC at the University of Toronto have also done some work on the
accessibility of authoring tools - http://snow.utoronto.ca/atrc I think. (I
am on holiday, so if I have given a wrong address I will repost it in a day
or two).

Charles McCathieNevile
(W3C Staff contact, Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines Working Group)

On Tue, 20 Jul 1999, Anne Pemberton wrote:

  At 01:13 PM 7/20/1999 GMT0BST, Emma Duke-Williams wrote:
  >From a few recent communications it seems that Publisher is'nt a 
  >great package to use to create accessible web pages;
  
  It really depends on who the page is supposed to be accessible to. If your
  audience is cognitively-disabled folks, children, or the if point of the
  web site is to share graphics, then Publisher 98 does a very good job of
  letting you manipulate the graphics to efficiently create an effective
  design. Yes, to make it more universally accessible you need to make some
  additions to the html after Publisher puts the page/s into html. But with
  tweaking the html, Publisher will design and do most of the work of
  creating a good web page that passes Bobby.
  
  As an example, last Christmas when I needed to put 72 edited photos up on
  the web quickly and attractively (a small sample up led to EVERYONE at the
  party wanting to see THEIR picture on the web!), Publisher was the tool
  that got the job done. Neither Front Page nor Word could have handled the
  graphics as efficiently. The text on the page was inconsequential.
  
  I suspect a person's preferred working style has as much to do with the
  selection of an authoring tool as anything. 
  
  					Anne
  
  
  
  
  
   
  Anne L. Pemberton
  http://www.pen.k12.va.us/Pav/Academy1
  http://www.erols.com/stevepem/apembert
  apembert@crosslink.net
  Enabling Support Foundation
  http://www.enabling.org
  

--Charles McCathieNevile            mailto:charles@w3.org
phone: +1 617 258 0992   http://www.w3.org/People/Charles
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative    http://www.w3.org/WAI
MIT/LCS  -  545 Technology sq., Cambridge MA, 02139,  USA
Received on Tuesday, 20 July 1999 17:31:33 UTC

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