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Re: Question about Data Tables

From: Nick Kew <nick@webthing.com>
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 2003 20:23:14 +0100 (BST)
To: Josh Hughes <josh@deaghean.com>
cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.21.0304221954530.1929-100000@jarl.webthing.com>

On Tue, 22 Apr 2003, Josh Hughes wrote:

> Nick Kew wrote:
> > Unless perhaps you were misusing the word validator to mean some
> > kind of smart-heuristic checker?
> 
> Well, this is I have so far:
> http://condor.gmu.edu/josh/validator/

Indeed, it is as I thought.  That may be a useful tool, but it is not
a validator.  If you call it one, you'll be rightly dismissed as
snake-oil by people who understand the term.

Your first accessibility problem is your use of microfonts.  I was
able to read your page, but I had to squint somewhat.  Smaller-than-
standard print should be confined to isolated words - or "smallprint".
Also making some of your links the same colour as the main body
text (black) is irritating and detracts from usability.

I tried pointing it at one of my regular test subjects (www.google.com)
and have several additional comments:

1. Your different views at the top are a Good Thing (assuming they
   work correctly in due course).

2. Your list of comments is a little lame: there's nothing to reference
   them to what in the document they're talking about.  When something
   is a user check, wouldn't it be better to reference (e.g. link to)
   *what* the user is expected to check?

3. Some of the messages are wrong (no Forms at google???).  But I guess
   that's down to being work-in-progress.

> To help you through the user checks, the validator generates a text-only, 
> de-styled, and de-scripted versions of the page. The text-only version is 
> the one I'm currently concerned about. The idea is to re-write the table as 
> it might be read in a screen reader.

Ah, I see.  Any particular screen reader?  Don't expect them to do
the same thing.

You may wish to review the recent thread on this list discussing Jakob
Nielsen's piece on one-dimensional vs two-dimensional presentation.

And have you looked at Lynxview, Betsie, or mod_accessibility's
betsie-emulation?

> I just wanted to make sure that "guessing" the scope was part of the 
> standard, and could reliably be expected from screen readers.

Nope, if we could "expect" screen readers to infer scope, then we
could omit the attribute altogether.  Best to make it a user check
if anything looks suspect.

p.s. in case you didn't know, this is your competitor speaking:-)
http://valet.webthing.com/access/


-- 
Nick Kew

In need of paying work - http://www.webthing.com/~nick/cv.html
Received on Tuesday, 22 April 2003 15:23:18 GMT

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