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Re: Simplicity of Authoring and Accessibility Tools

From: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Date: Sat, 20 Jan 2001 12:30:51 +0000 (GMT)
Message-Id: <200101201230.f0KCUpp21476@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Anne wrote:
> 	But, I suspect you will be equally horrified to learn that the state of
> Virginia has as one of its instructional standards (for technology) that by
> eighth grade each Virginia student will have created their own web page. 

The difficulties most people have with doing HTML properly are in
understanding that good writing has a structure.   I would have thought
that that was one of the things that you should have been trying to
teach as part of general language skills.  (I come from the last 
generation that was taught English grammar at school in the UK, but
I think that basic structure is still taught.)

Most of the bad HTML design comes from people trying to show off their
knowledge of "HTML", but what they are actually showing is their ability
to remember tricks rather than any deep knowledge.  They probably impress
their peers but not those who really know.

Once you understand the structure of what you are trying to write, HTML
is really quite simple.  There are some technicalities like:  DOCTYPEs,
which can be provided as a skeleton document; quoting rules (e.g.
&lt; and &amp; - a common error in URLs, which don't actually occur
that often in simple pages); and URLs (but I don't think FP hides these,
except possibly within a closed "web" (not to be confused with the web in
"world wide web").

It is actually the people writing bad HTML that have created a mystique
about the difficulty of writing it, by redefining people's expectations
to be well outside the scope of HTML, or what is possible in a browser
indepedent way.

If you want to teach highly graphical presentation, you should use the
tools for the job:  a desk top publishing package and PDF.
Received on Saturday, 20 January 2001 10:17:58 GMT

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