W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > April to June 2004

RE: alt text & punctuation - best practice?

From: <Ianl@dyslexic.com>
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 2004 02:09:38 +0100
Message-ID: <6EAA2EBD3DDF4E4F95649DEA2B10D2422F6335@dyslexic.com>
To: <joeclark@joeclark.org>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

> > Our web house style has been to punctuate headings for some 8 years
or
> > so. Has screen reader design moved on enough that we can now stop?
>
> How about stopping because it was always incorrect?

Says who? Which conservative, overprescriptive, paper based style guide
that predates electronic text and screen readers?

>
> > I don't accept that punctuated headings are "incorrect" any more
than
> > punctuated bullets are.
>
> Different cases. Wait till you find out what you can do with end
> punctuation on the *last* item in a list.

What's different? Punctuating bullets was largely wrong in my style
guide 20 years ago, too. And what's the point about the *last* item?

>
> > It is a matter of habit and house style.
>
> It's a matter of wrong habits and incorrect house style.
>
> > A universal colon looks (to me at least, who is used to it) just as
> > normal in a heading as an exclamation mark or query.
>
> Nope. Among many other reasons, colons are not end punctuation.

Precisely. And headings are beginnings, not ends. That's why a colon is
appropriate on a heading. More so, in my opinion, than a full stop. But
I wouldn't be as dogmatic as you.

>
> Sadly, on this topic, you are completely mistaken. And in any event,
> user-agent flaws are not Web authors' responsibility.
>

I'm really surprised at the conservatism and hostility that our policy
seems to have aroused. We are always looking to improve and we will
certainly change our policy and our recommendation:
	When I am convinced that nearly as many screen reader users find
it a nuisance as find it a benefit;
	When most screen readers deal intelligibly with headings;
	(A start would be for the UAAG to specify behaviour for UAs to
deal with headings};
	When Audio CSS is widely supported (We'd use that instead).

Meanwhile, given a choice between the convenience of screen reader users
and the aesthetic sensitivities of those who think that Gutenberg
represents the last word in usability and style, I know which side I'm
on.

I personally think that right justified text is aesthetically more
pleasing than ragged right. (Gutenberg did too, probably). And WordStar
made it really easy. But I stopped doing it when I realised that it was
less legible.

Maybe it's time for some of us to lose our hang-ups about punctuated
headings, as well?

Regards
Ian Litterick
www.dyslexic.com
Accessibility? Think about your dyslexic readers too:
http://www.dyslexic.com/articles.php?artid=2



> --
>
>     Joe Clark | joeclark@joeclark.org
>     Accessibility <http://joeclark.org/access/>
>     Expect criticism if you top-post
>


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Received on Tuesday, 22 June 2004 21:10:00 UTC

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