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Frames & Font Sizes (was Re: 10.4 Re: Checkpoints 10.4 and 10.5)

From: Aaron Smith <aaron@gwmicro.com>
Date: Fri, 01 Jun 2001 13:35:37 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
This is a difficult situation for us. Window-Eyes users love frames because 
of the access that we provide for them. They're helpful in keeping content 
static while other parts of pages change. Something that many screen reader 
users complain about is the practice of putting a number of links at the 
top of a page for navigation (many times these links will appear on every 
page on a given site to create consistency). If these links are included in 
a frame, Window-Eyes users have a quick way to bypass those links and move 
to the rest of the page (I think JFW might offer this as well). So in this 
particular instance, it comes down to whether we do what standards wants us 
to do, or what our customers want us to do.

Having said that, I do understand that there are other ways to bypass 
links. And I also understand that our users aren't the only ones visiting 
our page. But can someone explain the animosity that people seem to have 
toward frames? You've told me that neither the W3C nor ISO recommends 
frames, but I haven't been able to get anyone to explain why. Can someone 
enlighten me?

Regarding the font sizes, in Internet Explorer, the Accessibility option 
titled "Ignore font sizes specified on Web pages" is a global option, and 
disregards font sizes for every page, regardless of whether fonts are 
specified in pixels or points. Note that a bug in earlier versions of IE 
kept this option from being saved when you exited the application, but, at 
least in IE 6, this option works 100% of the time. At the same time, I have 
also noticed that, at least in IE, if a font-size is specified in any 
format (px, pt, etc.), the text size cannot be changed unless the option 
mentioned above has been enabled. This is more of just a curiosity than 
anything else considering, as you said, the WCAG doesn't support absolute 
font-size formats.

At 10:55 PM 5/31/2001 +0100, David Woolley wrote:
> >
> > I don't want to get this off topic, but we simply recommend a frames
> > supporting browser, although our page does read fine in Lynx. The pixels
>Note that neither W3C nor ISO reccommend frames (not in XHTML 1.1 or
>ISO HTML and never in anything except the transitional alternative in
>earlier W3C HTMLs; they are in one of the modules in modular
> > can be resized in IE when the proper accessibility options are implemented
> > (ie. "Ignore font size specified on Web pages").
>Pages should work with "use largest font", which is something that can
>be left permanently enabled; "ignore document font sizes" has to be turned
>on and off on a page by page basis if you are not to lose too much
>for pages that do scale well.
>This is why the WCAG guidelines say don't use absolute (including point)
>font sizes.

Aaron Smith
GW Micro
Phone: 219/489-3671
Fax: 219/489-2608
WWW: http://www.gwmicro.com
FTP: ftp://ftp.gwmicro.com
Technical Support & Web Development
Received on Friday, 1 June 2001 14:36:16 UTC

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