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

Re: A few thoughts on using dynamic web pages to improve

From: Scott Luebking <phoenixl@netcom.com>
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 1999 17:59:36 -0800 (PST)
Message-Id: <199911160159.RAA22966@netcom.com>
To: kasday@acm.org, phoenixl@netcom.com, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Hi, Len

I was thinking that with 508 requiring that government web pages be in
compliance with the guidelines by August of next year, there's probably
time to get the guidelines to have something like you wrote about
getting "optimal accessibility by generating pages dynamically, tailored
to the needs of the particular user".  (I very much like your phrasing.)

i'm not sure exactly what to call the page either.  The word "default" is
one possibility.  Another possibility is "general", but I'm not very
excited about that.

I believe that the blind format page needs the HTML like the LABEL tags,
etc.  A question to ask is whether a screen reader would be used with
the default page frequently enough to justify the developers going
through the effort to include features needed for screen readers.  It
probably depends on how much effort.  If the software is flexible
enough, it could probably generate some of that automatically, e.g. the
LABEL tags.  The ALT requirement could be argued that it's not just an
accessibility feature, but of more general benefit.  The purpose of
the web pages also has some influence on these decisions.

I'm not clear that it is very useful to push for the same presentation for
sighted and blind users.  The issue is whether efficiency is more important or
communication.  I suspect that people use interfaces far more often than talk
about them.  So, I would think efficiency should carry more weight.
However, if there is a need for this type of communication,
there could be a link to a page describing the differences between the
two presentations as a way to facilitate communication, (though there
would need to be work to keep this page updated).  This would be
especially helpful in a tech support situation.

With regards to the child-parent issue, that probably would depend on the
purpose of the web pages.  In a work/intranet environment, probably not
as critical.

I'm sorry, I don't quite get the point here

    "3. Even if dynamically generated pages are really equivalent, they can
    "send the message" that so called "text-only" pages are needed... and
    promote their use where they are hand written and subject to error."

Scott


> Hi Scott,
> 
> I agree that you can get optimal accessibility by generating pages
> dynamically, tailored to the needs of the particular user.
> 
> As for whether I'm implying that there's a "primary" page... well, sort of,
> but I prefer to word it differently, since that word might lead people to
> think that it's somehow superior to the other pages, when all I mean is
> that it's the page presented to the average non-disabled user who just
> takes the default presentation.  So I'll call it the default page.
> 
> To be really simple and concrete, would the default page have ALT text?  I
> think it should for a number of reasons:
> 
> 1. If a blind and sighted user are working--or playing--together, it's
> useful to have the same prsentation.  Lets say for example that the sighted
> person has a question about how to use a screen.  If the blind user is
> seeing a dropdown list and the sighted person is seeing radio buttons there
> will be confusion. This sort of thing turned out very useful in
> workstations I designed back when I was at AT&T.  As another example, a
> parent who is blind may want to be looking at or talking about a screen
> with a child who is sighted.  Sharing the experience more fully requires
> access to everything on the screen, including "decorative" images.  This
> last example is one a blind individual gave me back a few years ago when I
> was asking about ALT text on decorative images.
> 
> 2. Blind users can spot check that pages are equivalent and thereby gain
> confidence that all are.  Or find bugs to report back.  It's a way for
> users to do quality control.
> 
> 3. Even if dynamically generated pages are really equivalent, they can
> "send the message" that so called "text-only" pages are needed... and
> promote their use where they are hand written and subject to error.
> 
> 4. Accessbility features have advantages for non-disabled people.  E.g.
> simple ALT text makes a page usable even if there are delays downloading.
> A person would not want to switch to another page if they find images
> coming in slowly.
> 
> So that's why I think that even if there are optimal dynamically generated
> pages, the default pages should also be accessible.  I'm hoping you feel
> the same about that.
> 
> 
> Len
Received on Monday, 15 November 1999 20:59:58 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Tuesday, 19 July 2011 18:13:45 GMT