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Re: Are Small Text buttons level 2 compliant

From: Leonard R. Kasday <kasday@acm.org>
Date: Tue, 26 Sep 2000 12:08:54 -0400
Message-Id: <4.3.2.7.2.20000926115205.00ccdbb0@pop3.concentric.net>
To: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Cc: "w3c-wai-gl@w3.org" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>, WAI ER group <w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org>, WAI UA group <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>
Re Charles's comment

>If these are provided by an image, and the equivalent can be formatted
>according to user preferences, then I think that it satisfies the user
>requirement but not WCAG.
>
>I am not sure that alternatives can be formmatted in existing user agents.

I don't think it satisfies the user requirements for people with some 
degree of low vision, especially if the font size is relatively small.

As for formatting alternatives in existing user agents:

If it's simply text inside an image, you can always piece it together using 
a table and image fragments. Some such images get ugly when the font size 
gets bigger, or when font color and background are changed, but that's 
better than not being able to change font size  or color at all.  (also, 
this technique breaks down if there's pictorial detail immediately behind 
the image, but we should avoid that anyway since it decreases legibility)

There are some buttons that can't be formatted this way, e.g. if the text 
is written around the circumference of a circle.  But in that case the page 
can't get a double A rating, IMHO.

Of course when once we can count on browsers implementing CSS positioning, 
we can  simply position the text in front of any image we please.  And once 
we have good suport for SVG and accessibility thereof, we'll have much more 
flexibility.

Len



>On Tue, 26 Sep 2000, Leonard R. Kasday wrote:
>
>   To the people of WCAG,
>
>   Many sites use small buttons, menus or tabs that have text as images, e.g.
>
>   FAQs, Our Team, About Us, Consumer Products, Web Sites, Computers, 
> Welcome,
>   News, How-to, Connect,
>
>   (this is a mixture from several web sites)
>
>   Do these pass the following priority 2 checkpoint? [1]
>   3.1 When an appropriate markup language exists, use markup rather than
>   images to convey information. [Priority 2] For example, use MathML to mark
>   up mathematical equations, and style sheets to format text and control
>   layout. Also, avoid using images to represent text -- use text and style
>   sheets instead.
>
>   I contend no, small image buttons/menus/tabs fail this checkpoint: 
> since an
>   accessible markup exists, viz. ordinary HTML.  Plus the last sentence
>   explicitly says to not use images for text.
>
>   Feasible methods exist. You can get rid of the link underline, and control
>   color and font with a stylesheet.  Rectangular buttons are easy.  If you
>   want something a bit fancier like rounded corners, it's straightforward to
>   piece together the text parts with slivers of images.  That's a bit of a
>   kluge, but in balance I think it's better than making the whole thing 
> text,
>   given the importance of that checkpoint to people with low vision, who can
>   otherwise simply enlarge the fonts and/or change the colors.  (Loads 
> faster
>   too).
>
>   I expect some objections to this position, since a number of well known
>   sites in the disability area use such images, so there are clearly folks
>   who didn't think this was a violation.
>
>   By the way, the one place I would allow text as images are in logos, where
>   there are substantial reasons for making the look exact.
>
>   Len
>
>   p.s.
>   This isn't an academic question for me: e.g. full WCAG is now Pennsylvania
>   State Policy, so we've got to know if image folkder tabs are "legal".
>
>   [1]
> 
>http://www.w3.org/TR/1999/WAI-WEBCONTENT-19990505/#gl-structure-presentation
>   --
>   Leonard R. Kasday, Ph.D.
>   Institute on Disabilities/UAP and Dept. of Electrical Engineering at 
> Temple
>   University
>   (215) 204-2247 (voice)                 (800) 750-7428 (TTY)
>   http://astro.temple.edu/~kasday         mailto:kasday@acm.org
>
>   Chair, W3C Web Accessibility Initiative Evaluation and Repair Tools Group
>   http://www.w3.org/WAI/ER/IG/
>
>   The WAVE web page accessibility evaluation assistant:
>   http://www.temple.edu/inst_disabilities/piat/wave/
>
>--
>Charles McCathieNevile    mailto:charles@w3.org    phone: +61 (0) 409 134 136
>W3C Web Accessibility Initiative                      http://www.w3.org/WAI
>Location: I-cubed, 110 Victoria Street, Carlton VIC 3053, Australia
>September - November 2000:
>W3C INRIA, 2004 Route des Lucioles, BP 93, 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, 
>France

--
Leonard R. Kasday, Ph.D.
Institute on Disabilities/UAP and Dept. of Electrical Engineering at Temple 
University
(215) 204-2247 (voice)                 (800) 750-7428 (TTY)
http://astro.temple.edu/~kasday         mailto:kasday@acm.org

Chair, W3C Web Accessibility Initiative Evaluation and Repair Tools Group
http://www.w3.org/WAI/ER/IG/

The WAVE web page accessibility evaluation assistant: 
http://www.temple.edu/inst_disabilities/piat/wave/
Received on Tuesday, 26 September 2000 12:06:52 GMT

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