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Re: Accessibility of "CHM" format resources

From: Tina Holmboe <tina@greytower.net>
Date: Tue, 7 Jun 2005 03:17:24 +0200 (CEST)
Message-Id: <200506070117.j571HOFU013844@asterix.andreasen.se>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

On  6 Jun, Orion Adrian wrote:

> I consider it petty criticism when it has nothing to do with the
> argument I was trying to make but is rather a backdrop.

  The argument you were trying to make was a statement:

    "CSS still is unusable for most of the web and requires
     such an act of contortion to get anywhere near a
     desireable result."

  which is easily disproven. Unless you by "desirable result" mean
  "looking exactly as in the Photoshop drawing, everywhere", then all
  you need to do is look at a real life example of a website which
  actually *use* CSS, and only CSS, for layout.

       http://www.w3.org/Style/ ? http://www.opera.com ?

  Neither seem to jump through too many loops, and they are definetly
  not dire pictures as you claim they must be. They work, both of them,
  using CSS for layout - not a table in sight. Both could be improved,
  code-wise, but that's *not* what we are "discussing".

> (the actual languages themselves). I find that the current view of
> them is very limited. What gets considered a programming language and
> what doesn't very much seems to revolve not around the actual term,
> but rather impressions left behind by the early prominent programming
> languages.

  No, what is consider a programming language depends on whether or not
  it is Turing-complete. That, of course, is a definition, one "we" have
  all agreed on.

  You are free to create your own definition, but, if you want to
  communicate with others, a minimum of common ground is needed. Per the
  definition programmers world wide agree upon, neither HTML nor CSS are
  programming languages.

  Whether you consider them such will just serve to confuse the rest
  of us and, ultimately, lead to your statements being dismissed. When
  someone talk about how much chocolate cream is needed for a K70 grade
  concrete, builders tend to zone out until he goes away and leaves them

> As a matter of conformity, no it's not traditionally called a
> programming language nor thought of as one. I, however, hold a broader
> view.

  And that's the real gist of it, isn't it?  You've brought forth the
  Big Argument, with which no-one can argue. Regardless of what I say,
  I'm on the closed-mind side.

  Nothing new.

> I do have a firm grasp of programming, accessibility, platform design
> and many other things. It doesn't really matter where I got them. So

  I doubt this claim. However, let's move on to the issues raised:

    "I'm talking about the pains it takes to setup a multi-column

      - I assume you refer to re-flowing, newspaper-style, content
        columns, as the usual menu-content-menu styles are easily
        achieved. Now, newspaper-style columns of content might just be
        a rather poor idea on the web - I'm pondering what'll happen if
        one magnify the content; how to tell where one column end and
        another being ... - and is, regardless, covered in CSS 3.

    "I'm talking about poor naming of elements."
      - there are no elements in CSS, unless you mean pseudo-elements. I
        can only assume that you've gotten them mixed up with the SGML term.
        Perhaps you are referring to *properties* - the only one I can think of
        with a really *odd* name is "text-align", but regardless: what has the
        names of properties to do with the usability of CSS?

    "I'm talking about implicit interactions between properties that authors
     still have to learn."

      - This one I don't understand. Unless giving a GUI-based frontend, one might
        presume that authors will always have to *learn* the language they are
        working with. Again, what has this got to do with whether CSS can be used
        to achieve layout today?

    "I'm talking about thge lack of user constants, a simple construct with
     no cascading technical issues."

      - We can discuss that, of course; though there really are little point
        in having such a feature in CSS per se. However, and again, does this in
        any way prevent you from using stylesheets, today, for layout? That was
        your original contention, after all.

    "I'm talking about the absurdity that are the display models (box, inline,
     replaced, table, list)  Some are good, most are bad (especially table)."

      - Do tell. What's bad about 'table'? I'm not certifiable, you see, so
        I don't know.

     "I'm talking about the inability to specify clearly that one element is
      relative to another independant of the relationship in code."

       - Um? Elements - in the markup language - are relative to one another
         depending ENTIRELY on their relationship in code. CSS should not, and
         must not, do anything to impact that. The *markup language* define
         the structure; CSS does not.

     "I'm talking about the claim that CSS works with many languages (as
      long as they're tree-based and called HTML or XML)."

        - This has what to do with the usability of CSS on the web today?

     "I'm talking about the non-modularity (only recently addressed) of CSS
      and the total lack of extension mechanism including those things that
      would allow for other languages to be styled."

       - Again I am confused. Are you thinking about allowing authors to extend
         CSS? Or those who write the spec? The modularity of CSS 3 is simply
         a matter of convenience, after all.

     "I'm talking about all the little annoyances that come about any time
      I've ever tried to code up a CSS page."

       - Indeed. These annoyances can have many reasons - poor browser support,
         poor layouts, poor medium adaptation, poor knowledge of the languages
         involved, details lacking from the languages, and so forth.

         Which do you think it is?

  We can discuss whether CSS adds to, detracts from, or has no impact on
  accessibility. That's fine. But that's *not* what we are doing above;
  I'll take my own advice and move on.

  More important would be a discussion of the *natural* language we use
  when we discuss things. I am still struggling with WCAG 2, but I really
  can't ask them to clear it up *again*. We *need* to use the same words
  about the same things, so that the *meaning* of the words are conveyed[*]

  Are there any Certified WCAG 2 Programmers out there who could give me
  a hand?

  Mind, I am sorry I lost my temper. Mea culpa. I really should know

  Except for when using XML ...

 -    Tina Holmboe                    Greytower Technologies
   tina@greytower.net                http://www.greytower.net/
   [+46] 0708 557 905
Received on Tuesday, 7 June 2005 01:17:31 UTC

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