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Re: Undoubtedly, an oversimplification ...

From: Felix Miata <mrmazda@earthlink.net>
Date: Sat, 03 May 2014 15:04:45 -0400
Message-ID: <53653DCD.9020303@earthlink.net>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
On 2014-05-03 10:28 (GMT-0400) accessys@smart.net composed:

> how do we encourage/educate/mandate accessible practices and usable websites for all.??

WCAG is broken, built on a poor foundation. It lacks stress on legibility as the 
foundation for most else that affects usability and accessibility.

1: Who are the majority of web developers and stylists? Not the blind. Not the low 
vision. Quite the opposite: they are those who are comfortable sitting in front of 
computer displays most of every working day. This translates to high vision, average 
or better. Also these people are detail oriented, comfortable and aware generally 
with things small. This situation needs to be stressed, highlighted, in order that 
these people remain conscious at all times of the vastness of the number of people 
who see less well than they do, and the desirability of things bigger than what they 
themselves are comfortable with, what they consider to be optimal.

2: What makes the web different from what went before? Billboards, book pages, 
newspaper columns, boxcovers and the like all have a *fixed* *physical* *size* that 
needs to be taken into account during the design process. Fixed physical size is 
absent on the web. This absence is a valuable feature that needs to be embraced 
during design, and stressed in WCAG. Embracing it means divorcing any semblance of 
absolute size from design, that is, ensuring sizing within design is limited to 
relationships among design components. Doing this means not being concerned at all 
with how many pixels are required to produce the individual object sizes and the 
overall physical size of a whole page on the screen the designer is viewing while 
working. Instead, sizing needs to be done with an adaptable unit whose size is 
determined according to the physical conditions of the user and his viewing device. 
Until user agents are universally able to scale device px to CSS px using non-integer 
values, the px unit is wholly incapable of this. Even if it could, it would still be 
inappropriate, because the px unit disregards whatever optimal happens to be at the 
viewer end. Rem, em, ex & % have neither of those problems inherent, so they need to 
be the units used in producing the desired relationships within any design. Those 
units automatically scale the relationships to fit the physics of the viewing 
hardware, and the preferences and other characteristics of the viewer, producing the 
highest likelihood of optimal physical size, and minimizing usability and 
accessibility limitations stemming from physical sizing.

So, start by fixing WCAG's foundation, by emphasizing the foundation of 
accessibility, and usability, stressing the importance legibility, which in large 
part means strongly discouraging use of the CSS px unit.
"The wise are known for their understanding, and pleasant
words are persuasive." Proverbs 16:21 (New Living Translation)

  Team OS/2 ** Reg. Linux User #211409 ** a11y rocks!

Felix Miata  ***  http://fm.no-ip.com/
Received on Saturday, 3 May 2014 19:05:09 UTC

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