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RE: FrontPage98 & Accessible Output

From: Jamie Fox <jfox@fenix2.dol-esa.gov>
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2000 17:08:20 -0500
Message-ID: <01BF6432.1EE61200.jfox@fenix2.dol-esa.gov>
To: "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
There is a FrontPage98 b patch available at the microsoft site somewhere.  I can send it if someone can't find it.

-----Original Message-----
From:	Leonard R. Kasday [SMTP:kasday@acm.org]
Sent:	Friday, January 21, 2000 4:28 PM
To:	Jamie Fox
Cc:	w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject:	RE: FrontPage98 & Accessible Output

(this is off list to avoid list clutter... please reply to the 

Thanks very much for that info.  I needed it too.  Just one thing to tell 
the list... what patch are you speaking of?


  At 11:25 AM 1/21/00 -0500, you wrote:
>I have done our entire site in FrontPage98 with the patch.  The patch is
>relatively important.
>  http://www.dol.gov/dol/esa/public/programs/dbra/index.html  It seems
>pretty accessible.  All the files in the directory
>http://www.dol.gov/dol/esa/public/programs/dbra/survplan/ use CSS level
>By using the HTML tab in FrontPage the DOCTYPE statement can be inserted at
>the beginning of the file without a problem.  I think anything before <html
>lang="en"> is ignored.  Notice I declare the language and FP98 doesn't
>Code in FP98 can be ignored by the browser by using Insert > FrontPage
>component > Comment.  Anything written in the resulting dialog box will be
>put between comment tags and ignored.  I use this to get alt tags on
>hotspots on my images.
>In general I avoid the use of FP components because our server doesn't
>support them.  Not my decision.  I do use the date revised component
>because it works on every browser I've tested it on.
>I don't use the FP wizards, templates navigation bars or the like.
>One other thing, I don't use FP to publish.  I FTP directly from my hard
>drive.  It avoids any changes FP tries to make during the publishing
>The site is not perfect as I use some deprecated font face calls but only
>because I'm not allowed to use CSS on the whole site.  I'm not fighting it
>because I'm leaving here the 27th.  I have resorted to text only pages in a
>couple of places because I wasn't convinced my tables were sufficiently
>accessible  http://www.dol.gov/dol/esa/public/programs/dbra/survplan/.
>I haven't used FP200 because they won't buy it for me.  Department of
>Leisure has declared HoTMetaL Pro 4 as their supported editor and won't
>upgrade that either.
>For the two MS people here, I like FrontPage.  I appreciate the speed at
>which a patch for FP98 showed up after I wrote to you about the problems.
>  Maybe it was already in the works but it made me happy regardless.  I like
>the ability to hide code from the editor which HoTMetaL 4 didn't have.  It
>was HTML 3 or nothing.
>-Jamie Fox
>-----Original Message-----
>From:   Bruce Bailey [SMTP:bbailey@clark.net]
>Sent:   Friday, January 21, 2000 9:02 AM
>To:     Web Accessibility Initiative; KristineBradow; "Charles (Chuck)
>Cc:     ChrisWilson; EileenBonfiglio; megazone@megazone.org; JamieFox
>Subject:        Request for help with FrontPage!
>Dear Group,
>I need help again.  (Another non-theoretical problem this time.)  I am
>hoping you can bail me out as you have so often before.  Charles Munat is
>quite correct that I use this list as an extension of my brain.  Sometimes
>embarrass myself, but mostly it has be very rewarding.  When I posted my
>question about the apparent correlation between validity and accessibility
>had only some half-formed ideas about what the implications might be.
>Charles has done a great deal to move that discussion forward.  I hope the
>dialogue continues.  In the meantime, I am now dealing with harsh cold
>reality that might benefit from the intertwining of validity and
>accessibility.  This is all happening much quicker than I had expected.
>Short of hand-coding each page after the fact, has anyone had success
>getting Microsoft FrontPage to produce pages that are accessible and/or
>valid?  What are the techniques / strategies / configurations required?
>Is FrontPage 2000 any better (with regards to stands compliance) than the
>previous versions?  The product literature at URL:
>mentions "HTML Source Preservation" as a new feature (that FP 97 and 98 did
>not have).  I would guess that this is implemented by proprietary code
>escaped by comments.  Such a strategy, of course, would not work for
>the requisite DOCTYPE statement at the beginning of the file!  I could not
>find any reference to "validation" or "accessibility" on the FrontPage
>pages.  I am hoping (probably irrationally) that I just missed them.  I
>taken a superficial look at some of the sites linked to from Microsoft's
>"FrontPage Gallery", but found no examples that were EITHER accessible OR
>valid.  I will continue to explore FP2K, but as time is of the essence, I
>asking for your help now.  If any the Microsoft people here could get send
>me the FP2K trial (beta?) ASAP I would be most appreciative!  (Snail mail
>address is below.)
>More details follow, feel free to stop reading, but if you are going to
>respond to the list, please constrain yourself to answering the questions I
>ask -- no matter how strongly you feel that I am raising the wrong issues!
>Anyone responding to this should probably take the time (I did) to review
>the archived threads:
>"Microsoft FrontPage"
>"Can WYSIWYG editors produce clean code"
>so that we don't rehash material that has already been extensively covered.
>This is CC'd to folks who were fighting with FP (almost) a year ago.  I am
>hoping they have had some successes since, but I would also be interested
>hearing from you if you gave up with FrontPage in frustration!
>I am saddened to say that web authoring responsibilities are being taken
>from me and given to a secretary.  There are some very good reasons for
>this, and the idea has been in the works for a while, so I am not actually
>fighting the change.  I had hope that my successor would be more skilled,
>but in lieu of that, I expect to have fair opportunity to get her set up.
>She has little interest and motivation in doing the work, so her personal
>commitment to accessibility and validity is quite minimal.  Fortunately, I
>work with an agency that, if nothing else, gives frequent lip service to
>accessibility, even if that message does not always work its way into the
>trenches.  I am sorry to have to admit that if the "worker bees" don't buy
>into a policy, that policy is rarely implemented because frequently
>enforcement is lax by middle and upper management.  Adding to this
>is the fact that, as with many bureaucracies, decisions are often made at
>the top (probably for some good reasons) which have fairly disastrous short
>and long term consequences.  One of those decisions is that our parent
>agency -- and therefore us too -- is standardizing on Microsoft brand
>In the meantime, this might buy me year (and maybe by then Microsoft will
>fix their product) -- but it might get me no time at all, I am advocating
>strongly that we settle for Allaire ColdFushion.  I picked ColdFushion only
>because of the good press it has gotten on this list.  I will only have one
>shot at non-Microsoft product, so I am aiming high.  I want something that
>can handle tasks from start to finish and is scaleable, hence my preference
>for ColdFushion -- which can do not only the WYSIWYG editing, but also the
>actual serving of dynamic pages should our needs grow to that point.  This
>is why I recommended ColdFushion over HoT MetaL Pro or Dream Weaver, which
>have also been positively reviewed here.  If I have made a terrible choice
>here, please let me know ASAP.  Odds are, I can pull a switcharoo on my
>"pointed haired boss" since basically anything-but-FrontPage sounds the
>to him.  That is, if I am allowed to buy anything but FrontPage.  My
>practical WYSIWYG experience is limited to Netscape Composer and Adobe Page
>Mill.  I found both to be okay (their broken code is not too hard to fix)
>for initial layout (and spell checking), but do most of my work with text
>editors.  I have given some time to earlier versions of FrontPage and have
>used the HTML export features of Word and WordPerfect.  All of those
>experiences were exercises in frustration.
>I have little illusion that eventually my agency will be using FrontPage.
>The argument that it produces invalid and inaccessible code will only get
>so far.  I really don't mind acquiescing to the powers in Redmond.  I am a
>realist and, as State Employee, have an extremely high tolerance for
>frustration.  My subtle campaign to turn us into a Linux shop have gone
>nowhere at all, but I didn't really expect it to.  Given all this, my
>preference would be to fix, counteract, and/or work-around the problems
>FrontPage.  I could settle for accessibility if I can't get validity, but
>given the more fluid nature of the former, and unambiguous yes/no state of
>the latter -- and taking into account who will be doing the actual work --
>*REALLY* want valid HTML 4.  I can put adequate time into setup and
>configuration, some time into training (not enough though, for example, to
>teach HTML), but almost no time into follow-up, monitoring, and policing.
>Yes, it is a far from ideal situation.  I will do what I can to change it.
>For now, these are the circumstances.  If it helps, consider this an essay
>question, and work within the parameters of the exercise.  It usually does
>not help one's grade to respond, "This question is wrong.  What you should
>be asking is..."  Please answer to my plea for help in the context I have
>asked for it.
>Granted, I am trying to solve the wrong problem.  The long term objective
>SHOULD be to make people care and to educate them about the issues.
>Learning HTML ain't that hard.  Hand-fixing code is not unreasonable.
>  Blah,
>blah, blah.  None of that helps me.  Please write me off the list if you
>feel obliged to comment on these tangential meta-problems.
>Given the situation as I describe, can anyone provide advise on how to
>configure and setup a FrontPage workstation so that it facilitates the
>creation and publication (posting) of accessible and valid HTML documents
>non-technical personnel?  One thing I do plan to do is to set up template
>documents that include "referrer" links to the W3C Validator.  That
>is, of course, worse than useless if Front Page is not able to create
>documents that validate.  One of my proposed sample documents is at URL:
>I will also endeavor to disable the program propensity (if it has it) to
>generate "default" ALT tag content.  What else can I do?
>Thank you all for your time.
>Bruce Bailey
>Webmaster for the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) Division of
>Rehabilitation Services (DORS)
>Maryland Rehabilitation Center
>2301 Argonne Drive
>Baltimore, MD  21218-1696

Leonard R. Kasday, Ph.D.
Institute on Disabilities/UAP, and
Department of Electrical Engineering
Temple University
423 Ritter Annex, Philadelphia, PA 19122


(215) 204-2247 (voice)
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Received on Friday, 21 January 2000 17:08:38 UTC

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