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RE: LIFT Text Transcoder

From: Léonie Watson <lw@nomensa.com>
Date: Fri, 24 Feb 2006 11:39:27 -0000
Message-ID: <2A876A583754DD4E8E03CFE899FA16064B7893@saturn.intranet.nomensa.com>
To: "WAI Interest Group" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

Patrick Lauke wrote:

"I'll be contentious and say: if a site is built well from the start (e.g. separating content from presentation - no tables for layout, for instance - and proper structuring via headings etc) there is no difference between using a "proper" text browser, screen reader, or other AT with content that's been passed through the transcoder. In my mind, this is only useful if the original site is not built with standards etc to begin with...a band-aid solution, at best."

	Eloquently put. I'd add to this technical argument by saying that for many people a text only option is a second class solution.

	It's rare to find a text only site that offers the same quality of content as a primary site. Even with tools such as Betsie or the transcoder, as Patrick later said, there are always elements that can't be touched by this kind of technology.

	If the site is designed right in the first place, there's no need to take on the burden of an additional site, paying the licence for another tool to make up the shortfall of poor design and no need to relegate people to a second best site.

Regards,
Léonie.    

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Patrick H. Lauke
Sent: Thursday, 23 February 2006 19:05
To: WAI Interest Group
Subject: Re: LIFT Text Transcoder


ATI wrote:

> I have the following two questions if anyone has used or using the 
> LIFT Text Transcoder http://transcoder.usablenet.com/tt/index.html
> 
> 1. Can I use the LIFT Text Transcoder offline? I mean, if I provide 
> the web content or the product by CDS, can a blind user use the LIFT 
> Text Transcoder with out connecting through the internet line?
> You know, some people are using very slow internet connection and 
> others even don't have internet connection at all.

 From what I can see, it's a server-side solution that needs to fetch web content, transform it, and then re-deliver it via the browser...so my guess would be no.

> 2. who is the main beneficiaries of LIFT Text Transcoder?

I'll be contentious and say: if a site is built well from the start (e.g. separating content from presentation - no tables for layout, for instance - and proper structuring via headings etc) there is no difference between using a "proper" text browser, screen reader, or other AT with content that's been passed through the transcoder. In my mind, this is only useful if the original site is not built with standards etc to begin with...a band-aid solution, at best. And, if the original site is *badly* inaccessible, even the text transcoder won't be able to magically make it accessible (e.g. if you have videos embedded in pages, not using structural markup, or similar situations, LIFT won't automatically generate text transcripts or give proper structure to the pages either).
I'd argue that it's a server-side solution to a problem that, if the site is designed/built properly, does not exist. The core functionality and a lot of the customisation options that the transcoder provides (such as changing font size or colour) are things that, in my view, should all be handled client-side.

P
--
Patrick H. Lauke
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Received on Friday, 24 February 2006 11:39:45 GMT

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