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RE: Fw: Disturbing trend in tables

From: Charles F. Munat <chas@munat.com>
Date: Wed, 17 Jan 2001 19:41:34 -0800
To: "'Anne Pemberton'" <apembert@crosslink.net>, "'Bailey, Bruce'" <Bruce_Bailey@ed.gov>
Cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000301c08100$8e3c1820$0100a8c0@aries>

On Wednesday, January 17, 2001 2:47 PM, Anne Pemberton wrote:

"It's not too long ago
that we all learned to use B, I and U ... now you want to change those easy
to remember commands with different commands. That's fine, but it isn't
really an 'accessibility' issue so much as a preference of some folks. Your
preference vs 'my' preference..."

Reply:

No, it *is* an accessibility issue. The B element tells me nothing other
than that you wanted the text a little darker. Did you intend to emphasize
it, or do you just like that style? If it is emphasis you wanted, EM or
STRONG should be used. These are rendered as "with emphasis" or "with strong
emphasis" in some contexts, whereas B might not be. If it's emphasis you
want, get it right. If all you want is a look, use CSS.

Bruce:
>how can you
>recommend Front Page to people who know LESS than you about HTML and
>disabilities?

Anne:
"Because it's the best tool currently available to us. Front Page is
included in the Office 2000 that we have on all the county PC's... "

Reply:

What is the difference between saying that the county uses FrontPage because
it can't be troubled to find a better option (like actually training people
to use HTML and CSS) and saying that web site owners can't be troubled to
worry about making pages accessible to people with cognitive disabilities?
Much of your post (and indeed your approach in general) seems to say that it
is too much trouble to learn how to build web sites using valid HTML (note:
valid has a technical meaning here that is specifically defined with regard
to HTML). Why shouldn't anyone use that same argument to say that it's too
much trouble to add the images necessary to help PWDs?

It takes only a few hours to learn the basics of HTML. A few more to learn
some simple CSS. You can build any web page you want to in Notepad without
much trouble at all. There are people on this list with no formal computer
training who do exactly that quite successfully. There are free HTML Editors
that do a pretty good job. Any of these would be better options than to use
a tool that not only fails to generate valid code (and needs plugins to be
able to add alt text to images), but also - like all WYSIWYG environments -
keeps the user ignorant of what is really going on.

Microsoft doesn't give a damn about valid code. Microsoft cares about profit
and market share, and their philosophy can be summed up simply: add
proprietary "enhancements" to lock people in to using their products. That
you use FrontPage (and think it's "best") because it comes with Word just
shows that they're right... so far.

FrontPage should have been (and could have been) producing 100% valid HTML
long ago. That this topic continues to come up on this list just goes to
show that Microsoft really can't be bothered (or, more accurately, that they
consider valid code as a *drawback* not a benefit, since it doesn't lock
users in to their software).

Anne:
"We
may differ on our interpretation of VALID html. To me, VALID html is the
code that's in the html book from the book store. When I (rarely) read the
code that's produced by a Front Page page, it looks valid enough to me ...
and it works when I hang it on the web ... You have a different
understanding of what VALID html is,"

Reply:

If we're going to start redefining words, why not redefine accessibility to
mean "accessible to my friends and me"? Valid HTML is HTML that validates to
a given HTML specification, a good reason to include the doctype
declaration. If you use valid in some other way, you simply won't be
understood. Slippery definitions don't do anything to help communication;
neither does sloppy use. The same can be said for HTML.


Charles F. Munat,
Seattle, Washington
Received on Wednesday, 17 January 2001 22:34:56 GMT

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