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RE: Fw: Disturbing trend in tables

From: Robert Neff <rneff@bbnow.net>
Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2001 13:55:38 -0600
To: "Bailey, Bruce" <Bruce_Bailey@ed.gov>, "'Anne Pemberton'" <apembert@crosslink.net>
Cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <AHENJNNCANEHAIIBJNDGAEJKCDAA.rneff@bbnow.net>
Actually, I recommend using page authoring tools in conjunction with HTML &
CSS Validator & Bobby.  Lets face it there is not one tool that is a total
solution AND people or web developers will not learn HTML and consider it to
be too technical.  The purpose is to be productive and get the information
up and until the tools will do this automatically for us, we have three
separate levels of developers.  The first is beginner, who probably in not a
coder, but can certainly help the office.  Second is advanced coder who may
or may not know HTML.  Third is someone who knows HTML and how to use tools
and takes the time to include Remember design houses do not require HTML -
they want developers who can post pages.  There is a cost and schedule
impact to take the time to do this and comes back to customer requirements.


 -----Original Message-----
From: 	w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org]  On
Behalf Of Bailey, Bruce
Sent:	Thursday, January 18, 2001 1:33 PM
To:	'Anne Pemberton'
Cc:	w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject:	RE: Fw: Disturbing trend in tables

Dear Anne,

If you've heard these arguments over and over again, why don't you listen?
Charles is vocalizing the consensual opinion of every informed person on
this list.  Why don't you believe him?  If a hundred people tell me that I
am wrong about something, eventually I actually start to consider that my
preferred belief may, in fact, be incorrect!

Certain group or groups of disabled folks (e.g., the blind) are unable to
use pages created in Front Page.  Please stop recommending it to newbies.
If you continue to use it, please also use Bobby (or Tidy, or some other
repair tool) to fix the P1 errors FP routinely introduces.

You have missed something.  I see SEVERAL better solutions than using
FrontPage.  I understand your reluctance to follow Charles advice about
learning HTML.  Really, it's not that hard.  It is pretty much impossible to
use ANY html editor and produce valid and accessible code without
understanding HTML.  I hope this changes, but there ARE other tools that are
not nearly as error prone as FrontPage.  The composer built into Netscape
Communicator doesn't produce valid HTML either, but it's better than FP, and
it's free.  Allaire HomeSite is inexpensive, it can be used in a WYSIWYG
fashion, and it has a built-in validator.  Adobe PageMill (might be
discontinued) is pretty good, and not expensive either.  Finally, as Charles
pointed out, NotePad is free and is included on your school systems too.  If
you insist on recommending FP to teachers, please make it clear to them that
the results are unprofessional (i.e., not syntactically valid) and probably
inaccessible (i.e., don't meet all the P1 checkpoints of WCAG 1.0).

To echo what Charles wrote earlier, the term "valid html" has a very
discrete and formal definition.  Validity is a yes/no status item.  One can
test a page for validity by parsing it through the W3C validation service at
URL:  <http://validator.w3.org/>  Saying that a page is "valid to me" is
nonsensical, devote of meaning, and just plain silly.

I use a very concrete definition for web accessibility, and recommend that
you do too:  "An accessible web page is one that meats all the P1 checkpoint
of the WAI WCAG."  As Kynn is quick to point out, sites can be more or less
accessible than other sites, but this is using another definition of term
"accessible".  It is a little confusing, but we haven't come up with clearer
language, especially since "accessible" means something completely different
in the mainstream.

Using "B" and "I" versus "strong" and "emphasis" is NOT merely a matter of
preference.  The former is highly indicative of a profound lack of
understanding of the philosophy behind HTML.  It is routed in conventions
associated with the print (and paper) medium and demonstrates an inability
to make the abstraction to the proper creation of electronic documents,
especially those destined for the Web.  Are you not clear that print (and
paper) is highly inaccessible?  Why would you want to constrain yourself to
an anachronistic model when the Web can be so liberating, especially to
people with disabilities?

Anne, I am sorry if I sound like I am picking on you.  I think you are
courageous in that you keep presenting the simple arguments of the many
(majority?) of web authors who truly misunderstand the medium.  Those folks
are reluctant to voice their opinions on this list, so it is helpful to have
them expressed.  By bringing these views up, you give us the opportunity to
rebut them.  Thank you.

-- Bruce

> ----------
> From: 	Anne Pemberton
> Sent: 	Thursday, January 18, 2001 6:52 AM
> To: 	Charles F. Munat; 'Bailey, Bruce'
> Cc: 	w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> Subject: 	RE: Fw: Disturbing trend in tables
>
> Charles,
>
> 	Very good arguments, and the very ones I've heard over and over.
> I've
> been referred to the Neilson site, to read over and over his disclaimer
> for
> not having illustrations because he doesn't know how and doesn't feel it
> important to learn or get help to do it. And he's saying so on a public
> site that is much-ballyhooed as an important source of reasons to do
> accessibility "right"....
>
> 	Unless someone can state that a certain group or groups of disabled
> folks
> are unable to use pages created in Front Page, I will continue to use the
> tool and recommend it to newbies. Who says you need an add-on to put alt
> text? You don't .... you right-click on the image, click on properties,
> and
> type in your alt text.
>
> 	Unless I've missed something, there is no other html authoring tool
> that
> is easy to use (for newbies, wysiwyg, of course), that we don't have to
> spend any money to acquire, and that can be learned in a short time.
> Short
> of telling teachers they can't do their own web pages, which is exactly
> the
> opposite of what I need to tell them, I  don't see a better solution. Do
> you?
>
> 					Anne
>
Received on Thursday, 18 January 2001 14:54:02 GMT

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