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Re: Accessibility of "CHM" format resources

From: Orion Adrian <orion.adrian@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 2005 09:37:28 -0400
Message-ID: <abd6c801050606063742d9d349@mail.gmail.com>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

I read the linked comments and it seems to me there is a desire to see
the web controlled by the W3C. Things like:

    "The current guidelines recommend W3C technologies (e.g., HTML,
CSS, etc.) for several reasons:

        * W3C technologies include "built-in" accessibility features.
        * W3C specifications undergo early review to ensure that
accessibility issues are considered during the design phase.
        * W3C specifications are developed in an open, industry
consensus process."


"By contrast, if CHM were a W3C technology, we would be guaranteed
that it would have specific built-in accessibility features, and
information about these would be easily available, and they would be
supported in any viewers or browsers that have been designed to comply
with W3C recommendations."

despite the fact that CHM is based on HTML 3.2. So what we're really
trying to say here is that if CHM were a updated W3C technology it
would be these things.

Well frankly the W3C has been doing a lousy job of late. It took 6
versions of HTML to get even close to an accessible spec. CSS still is
unusable for most of the web and requires such an act of contortion to
get anywhere near a desireable result.

To many and myself especially the W3C has failed in their mission.
Hyperlinking and an open text based format were really the only
successes that have come along. Even XML was poorly designed (problems
we're seeing now with attributes in XHTML).

So let's not assume that the W3C has a lock on usable content, because
they were late to the game and have been poor performers since.


Orion Adrian

On 6/6/05, Barry McMullin <mcmullin@eeng.dcu.ie> wrote:
> Hi All -
> There have been some recent reports here in Ireland of a
> concentrated attempt to market the "CHM" format (otherwise known
> as "Microsoft HTML Help" format) as some sort of panacea for
> accessibility of web based resources (specifically in preference
> to HTML/XHTML plus CSS).  I should note that, as far as I am
> aware, this marketing initiative has not been initiated by, or
> even with the knowledge of, Microsoft.
> In any case, in response to this I have prepared a brief note
> providing "Some Comments on Accessibility of CHM Format
> Resources".  It is available at the following URL:
> http://eaccess.rince.ie/white-papers/2005/chm-2005/
> I would greatly appreciate any reactions - or, indeed,
> corrections - to this.
> Many thanks,
> - Barry.
Received on Monday, 6 June 2005 13:37:30 UTC

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