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Re: Apple's iWeb - attractive to authors but producing bad pages (was: Legal Precedent Set for Web Accessibility)

From: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Date: Mon, 11 Sep 2006 10:05:54 +0100 (BST)
Message-Id: <200609110905.k8B95sO00376@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

Apologies for replying to myself, but further developments, I think,
help to highlight the designer psychology that results in poor
accessibility.

> Looking at another page <http://www.rowan-cottage.co.uk/Site/Articles.html>
> which praises this tool as an easy way to create web pages, it doesn't
> even guarantee well-formedness, at least when people start using scripting.

I got a rather interesting, but hostile ("I didn't ask for criticism" - 
although he did ask for people to register appreciation), response to
a criticism sent to the webmaster.  The main point he picked on was that
it wouldn't validate (I had said that it was not well formed and 
explained the consequences for true XHTML browsers).  He used the fact
that essentially all major sites don't validate and that his page worked
on normal browsers as the counter argument.  I was surprised that he
was aware of validation, but the bad precedent set by major sites seems
to be a big problem.  This seems particularly relevant in terms of
the past history of this thread.

I also said that he could have got to a clickable site very simply
by hand inserting a elements.  His response was that, for ordinary 
people, this was really difficult to do.  I suspect, though, that he
was really talking about producing sites with all the bells and whistles
of commercial sites, and that he simply wasn't prepared to produce a
straightforward site.

The other point he responded to wasn't explicit, but I had used Lynx and
had therefore got the "needs Javascript" banner.  In his view, the only
people who turn off scripting are professional designers trying to 
deliberately break other web sites.  His claim is that 99% of people
have scripting always on (my impression is that the figure is somewhat
lower than this).  I haven't written HTML code professionally for 
several years; when not using Lynx, I block scripting for security reasons.

He didn't react to my pointing out the lack of alt attributes, and links
with no foreground content, and their implications for blind users,
nor to the impact of pixel units on: high resolution displays, poor
eyesight, and reflowability, nor to the use of <div class="paragraph",
or style attributes.

Unfortunately, I failed to mention the meta-refresh-0, with no page
content, redirect, although I think it would have fallen under the
category of "works on all normal browser".

Although the real problem is with Apple, who are most unlikely to pay
any attention to a complaint from a, non-customer, member of the public,
I thing the iWeb part of this site is worth a look because it gives
an idea of web designer psychology by listing the sorts of characteristics
of web sites that designers consider important enough to want to work
round the tools.  Accessibility, of course, is not one of them.
Received on Monday, 11 September 2006 09:15:37 GMT

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