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Re: Using em or percent for properties that need to change

From: Patrick H. Lauke <redux@splintered.co.uk>
Date: Tue, 17 Aug 2004 18:07:23 +0100
Message-ID: <41223B4B.70408@splintered.co.uk>
To: W <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

Andy Budd wrote:
[...]
> Personally I see accessibility being 
> about accessing the content, not customising it in any way you 
> personally see fit.

But what if the visitors *need* to customise the presentation as otherwise
it doesn't make an ounce of sense to them? We're not just talking about
designers who prefer their layouts elastic or fixed...

> Pretty much all the arguments I've heard so far are based on peoples 
> personal 'preferences'.

To be a bit more trite: users with disabilities are people, and they have
their preferences as well.

> Sure it's a nice idea that layouts expand if the 
> text is expanded. It's true that when lines of text get very short they 
> can get more difficult to read.
> 
> However, is this an accessibility issue?

Yes, just in the same way that using clear and simple language is an
accessibility issue
http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10/#gl-facilitate-comprehension
Looking at the above you may follow the same reasoning about
"accessibility is the ability to access content", but this obviously goes
beyond mere "technical accessibility".


> Anyway, if a user wishes to up the size of their text, who is to say 
> that they want the layout to change as well.

And who is to say that they're not? Ideally, they should have the option
to do both, if they so desire...hence my proposal to implement alternative
stylesheets to cater for a few select cases.

> It sounds to me that you 
> are just imposing your own personal preferences on the user, without 
> thinking about their wishes.

The same happens if you set the size to fixed and *their* wishes were for
the layout to be elastic.

At the end of the day, it comes down to this (Derek already mentioned this,
but I'll be a bit more blunt): nobody is forcing you to make your site AAA.
If you feel that some of the guidelines (or the generally held 
interpretation
of said guidelines) are wrong or misguided, don't claim it - or claim 
AAA and
have an explanation/rationale for why you feel the site is AAA even though
some interpretations of the guidelines might say otherwise.

IMHO, anyhow...

Patrick H. Lauke
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Received on Tuesday, 17 August 2004 17:07:00 UTC

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