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RE: Internationalization (was [w3c-wai-ig] <none>)

From: John Foliot - WATS.ca <foliot@wats.ca>
Date: Wed, 1 Oct 2003 11:40:17 -0400
To: "W3c-Wai-Ig" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>


It seems to me that while Unicode is in fact the way to go, as mentioned if
the appropriate language pack/font is not installed on the user computer
then there may in fact be an accessibility/usability issue.  For example, we
recently published an article about "Unified Canadian Aboriginal
Syllabics" - the glyphs used by aboriginals in Canada's Nunavut Territory
(where it has shared "Official Script" along with the more common Roman
scripting - English and French).


As part of the article, the entire Unicode table of glyphs is presented
along with the encodings required for rendering in (X)HTML.  However,
without the font packs installed (and a Unicode Inuktitut keyboard driver
for Windows NT 4, Windows 2000 or Windows XP - not sure about Macs) the end
user (for the most part, you folk) will NOT get the character rendering.

This then conceivably creates a problem in terms of internationalization.
Once you have forked the user to the appropriate content area reliance on
Unicode rendering (in association with the required fonts, etc.) is, or
should at least be, a non-issue.  But what about the fork page itself?  If I
were to code up a page with UCAS glyphs as rendered in Unicode, and you
don't have the font pack installed (and I'm guessing that most, if not all
of you don't) then what you get is a series of small "boxes", or question
marks, or whatever.  How is this (can this?) be accessible?

I don't have the answer, but unfortunately it seems to me that at some point
visual clues (be they flags or bitmaps of the "text" with appropriate alt
text rendered in Roman scripting) would have to be the most accessible
solution (pragmatism vs. standards zealously).  Thoughts?

John Foliot  foliot@wats.ca
Web Accessibility Specialist / Co-founder of WATS.ca
Web Accessibility Testing and Services
http://www.wats.ca   1.866.932.4878 (North America)

> -----Original Message-----
> From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org]On
> Behalf Of Tom Croucher
> Sent: Monday, September 29, 2003 8:46 AM
> To: 'WAI-IG'
> Subject: RE: [w3c-wai-ig] <none>
> I agree with that sentiment, there is a difference between pragmatism
> and bullheadedness however I don't think this is one of them. Certainly
> opera does not have a problem with Unicode encoding without me having
> done anything special. I would not be surprised if Mozilla, Safari and
> IE have that facility either, so I don't see this as forsaking anyone. I
> merely thinking that on the grounds of accessibility as a justification
> the notion of putting text in an image is ridiculous.
> Tom
> -----Original Message-----
> From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org] On
> Behalf Of P.H.Lauke
> Sent: 29 September 2003 13:38
> To: WAI-IG
> Subject: RE: [w3c-wai-ig] <none>
> > Let the
> > user agents deal with encoding and different languages.
> > Putting text in
> > images is merely holding back the progression of technologies
> > that would
> > fix this issue properly. I might be a progressive zealot but
> > someone has
> > to ;)
> Maybe extreme, but I would liken this to the debacle about sending
> XHTML1.1 as true application/xhtml+xml, regardless of possible issues
> with
> browsers such as IE6...nice in principle, but maybe not the best
> course of action in a real-world scenario...
> imho, anyway ;)
> Patrick
> ________________________________
> Patrick H. Lauke
> Webmaster / University of Salford
> http://www.salford.ac.uk
Received on Wednesday, 1 October 2003 11:40:25 UTC

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