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Re: How Much Of A Problem Are Tables Used for Design?

From: Claude Sweet <sweetent@home.com>
Date: Thu, 18 Nov 1999 18:51:39 -0800
Message-ID: <3834BB3B.2EE72DF4@home.com>
To: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-hwg@idyllmtn.com>
CC: WAI Interest Group Emailing List <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Kynn Bartlett wrote:
> 
> At 01:54 PM 11/18/1999 , Claude Sweet wrote:
> >I get the feeling that there is a secret society promoting Accessibility
> >and everyone who joins MUST suffer the pain and steep learning process
> >in order to qualify for membership all the while someone keeps hollering
> >"Its easy to do, if I can learn how to write accessible code - so can
> >you!"

> Fortunately, though, markup _is_ gawshawfulsimple, and is some of
> the easiest computer "programming" [sic] you'll ever have to do.
> Thus, it's not that bad to ask someone to learn HTML, if they want
> to be able to do it right.

Kynn,

I respect you as a person, but I must disagree with your position.

Asking someone to learn something is fine, but placing an unfunded
MANDATE that everyone MUST learn html is entirely another matter.

Education is constantly facing some politician passing a bill to have
schools perform a specific task, but fails to provide the necessary
resources to accomplish the mandate.

It is not fair to impose the task of learning to hand write html code
and become an experienced web designer. It would be great if funds are
provided to establish a school or district wide department with paid web
designers who will take the data from teachers to create an accessible
web site.

If it is so easy, why is it such a difficult job to DEMONSTRATE how easy
it is to do it right?

It is not that long ago that computers in education were reserved to
people who could program them. The Apple II lent itself to simple
programing and as public domain software appeared, the user base
increased. The launching of the graphic user interface of the Macintosh
produced an explosion of users in K-12 and high education.
The development of commercial software opened up the use of commercial
software to individuals of all ages that were not interested in getting
under the hood of the computer and really didn't want to learn to
program a computer to produce meaning finished materials.

Creative minds quickly took to computing because it expanded their
ability to communicate and accomplish things without becoming a computer
engineer.

I am sorry, but too many times I had a "born again DOS person" tell me
how simple it was to learn DOS. It is just da ja vu to hear proponents
of accessibility associate themselves with "its simple to learn to use
html!". That may be true if your FULL-TIME occupation is developing and
designing web pages; however, that is NOT TRUE when the creation of a
web page is way down on your list of important daily tasks to complete
and accomplish in a profession manner.

When html templates are commonly available that demonstrate how to
produce specific types of web pages, especially constructed to provide
examples that educators in various grades and disciplines can use -
then, and only then will you achieve your accessibility goals. Expose
students to accessible web pages, train them to recognize accessible
issue, expect them to produce accessible web pages, and eventually a
whole new generation of decision makers will be in important positions
to insure accessibility becomes the norm rather than the exception.

That's my opinion and with $2.50 you have the price of a cup of coffee.

Claude Sweet
Educational Technologist
Received on Thursday, 18 November 1999 21:52:01 GMT

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