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Re: Responses to Tantek Çelik issues raisedduring third last call of UAAG 1.0

From: Jon Gunderson <jongund@uiuc.edu>
Date: Mon, 09 Jul 2001 16:43:54 -0500
Message-Id: <4.3.1.2.20010709153051.026ad818@staff.uiuc.edu>
To: "Tantek Celik" <tantek@cs.stanford.edu>
Cc: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
Tantek,

The main difference between what I think you want and what the group can 
provide is you would like something based upon usability of the rendered 
fonts, especially in the Macintosh environment.  We tried that approach and 
invited font experts to help in defining minimal usable sizes based on 
pixels or something else.  Our main obstacles in achieving a minimum limit 
based on a minimal size in pixels were internationalization and hardware 
issues.   The groups only other choice was to say whatever the operating 
environment supported.  This is approach is based on system capability and 
not on usability as we had wished.  It is assumed by using this requirement 
that the system would provide a set of usable font sizes.  The limitation 
of this approach, as you have pointed out, is that it may require user 
agents to render content that is in a font size that is not very usable to 
anyone.  But that is the best the working group can currently provide.  We 
are open to suggestions to improve this (or any part) of UAAG specifications.

So the group resolved not to specify a minimum size in pixels in either the 
guidelines or techniques document.
This problem is part of the statement that was included in the 22 June draft:

"This checkpoint does not include a "lower bound" (above which text sizes 
would be required) because of how users' needs may vary across writing 
systems and hardware."

Questions:
1. What capabilities does the Mac OS environment provide to developers for 
specifying the size of text rendered on the graphical display?

2. What system resources are available to allow the user to choose the font 
sizes available for a particular font family?

This dialog today has refreshed my memory of this important and difficult 
issue.

Jon



At 12:56 PM 7/9/2001 -0700, you wrote:
>Thanks Jon.
>
>By the way, here is a reference to a document by Todd Fahrner which
>discusses (among other things) the 9 pixel minimum for legible text.
>
>  http://style.cleverchimp.com/font_size_intervals/altintervals.html
>
>Tantek
>
>----------
> >From: Jon Gunderson <jongund@uiuc.edu>
> >To: "Tantek Celik" <tantek@CS.Stanford.EDU>, "ian b. jacobs" <ij@w3.org>
> >Cc: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
> >Subject: Re: Responses to Tantek Çelik issues   raisedduring third  last 
> call
>of UAAG 1.0
> >Date: Mon, Jul 9, 2001, 12:15 PM
> >
>
> > Tantek,
> > The checkpoint currently does not set a box size.  Your argument for 9
> > pixels seems satisfactory to me.  I know we considered having this type of
> > information in the note.  I am not sure why we did not include it.  Ian do
> > remember why we didn't include this information in the note?
> >
> > Jon
> >
> >
> >
> > At 12:04 PM 7/9/2001 -0700, Tantek Celik wrote:
> >>From: Jon Gunderson <jongund@uiuc.edu>
> >>Subject: Re: Responses to Tantek Çelik issues raisedduring third last call
> >>of UAAG 1.0
> >>Date: Mon, Jul 9, 2001, 7:44 AM
> >>
> >> > But there is no need to allow the user in this case [8x8 pixels] to
> >> decrease
> >> > the font size.
> >> >
> >> > Since there is no accessibility requirement for smaller sizes, no 
> priority
> >> > is associated with adding this capability to a browser.
> >>
> >>Good.  I will take this to mean that it is ok for the font size preference
> >>in a UA to have a lower limit of 8 pixels.
> >>
> >>As an example, currently in IE5/Mac we have both the ability to set the
> >>default medium font size (in pixels) and the resolution of the display
> >>(since the Macintosh provides no capability in the operating system for
> >>doing so).  IE5/Mac also provides the ability to instantly "zoom" the size
> >>of all text on any page through its easily accessible "Text Zoom" menu.
> >>
> >>Our font size preference is a menu of typical/popular options
> >>(12,14,16,18,24) and an "Other..." option which allows the user to enter
> >>their preferred default medium font size.  If the user enters a size less
> >>than 9, the value is set to 9.  This was based upon input from Todd 
> Fahrner,
> >>a screen font/typography expert who noted that 9 pixels is really the
> >>practical minimum for readable text (8 pixels being too small).
> >>
> >> >From my understanding of this discussion, IE5/Mac would NOT be 
> considered to
> >>be compliant with this checkpoint (despite having perhaps the most
> >>comprehensive user control over font size and screen resolution of 
> available
> >>visual web browsers as noted in numerous reviews).
> >>
> >>Also from my understanding of this discussion, if we changed this lower
> >>bound to 8, then we would be compliant with this checkpoint.
> >>
> >>I'd like to ask the (perhaps rhetorical) question, who would be helped by
> >>this change?
> >>
> >>Either way, I'd like to suggest that a parenthetical comment be added 
> to the
> >>checkpoint description summarizing what you said about western characters
> >>and 8 pixels (or my suggestion: 9 pixels) being the effective limit of
> >>readability.
> >>
> >>Thanks,
> >>
> >>Tantek
> >>
> >>----------
> >> >From: Jon Gunderson <jongund@uiuc.edu>
> >> >To: "Tantek Celik" <tantek@CS.Stanford.EDU>, "Ian B. Jacobs" <ij@w3.org>
> >> >Cc: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
> >> >Subject: Re: Responses to Tantek Çelik issues raisedduring third  last
> >> call of
> >>UAAG 1.0
> >> >Date: Mon, Jul 9, 2001, 7:44 AM
> >> >
> >>
> >> > It was difficult for the working group to come up with a required 
> minimum
> >> > size for many reasons, including internationalization issues.  It can be
> >> > assumed for western characters that are visually rendered in a box less
> >> > than 8x8 pixels it would be difficult or impossible for most people to
> >> > read.  If an author specified a font size that resulted in a graphical
> >> > rendering in a box less that 8x8 pixels box accessibility 
> requirement would
> >> > be to increase the text size (probably needed for everyone) to one 
> that is
> >> > readable.  But there is no need to allow the user in this case to 
> decrease
> >> > the font size.
> >> >
> >> > Since there is no accessibility requirement for smaller sizes, no 
> priority
> >> > is associated with adding this capability to a browser.
> >> >
> >> > Jon
> >> >
> >> >
> >> > At 02:13 AM 7/9/2001 -0700, Tantek Celik wrote:
> >> >> > ------------------------------------------------------------------
> >> >> > Issue 512: Checkpoint 4.1: Range of text sizes
> >> >> > http://server.rehab.uiuc.edu/ua-issues/issues-linear-lc3.html#512
> >> >> > ------------------------------------------------------------------
> >> >> >
> >> >> > Issue summary: Is it a P1 requirement to allow configuration of very
> >> >> > small text sizes?
> >> >> >
> >> >> > Resolution:
> >> >> >
> >> >> >  - The UAWG agrees that the intent of this checkpoint is to allow the
> >> >> >  user to choose large, not small, text sizes.
> >> >> >
> >> >> >  - However, after consultation with other Working Groups, the UAWG
> >> >> >  concluded that, in light of internationalization issues (and 
> others),
> >> >> >  the WG could not come up with a lower bound on the requirement
> >> >> >  with any confidence.
> >> >> >
> >> >> >  - Therefore, the WG resolved to leave the checkpoint as is with a
> >> >> >    note in the Techniques document:
> >> >> >
> >> >> >    <BLOCKQUOTE>
> >> >> >     The primary intention of this checkpoint is to allow users with
> >> >> >     low vision to increase the size of text. Full configurability
> >> >> >     includes the choice of (very) small text sizes that may be
> >> >> >     available, though this is not considered by the User Agent
> >> >> >     Accessibility Guidelines Working Group to be part of the priority
> >> >> >     1 requirement.  This checkpoint does not include a "lower bound"
> >> >> >     (above which text sizes would be required) because of how users'
> >> >> >     needs may vary across writing systems and hardware.
> >> >> >    </BLOCKQUOTE>
> >> >>
> >> >>I would like to point out that the reason I raised this issue is 
> that some
> >> >>very small text sizes are illegible (e.g. anything less than 9px
> >> >>unsmoothed), and therefore, it may be preferable for a UA to set a 
> "lower
> >> >>bound" for the purposes of avoiding "unusable" configurations.
> >> >>
> >> >>Is it a P2 (or P3) requirement to permit users to configure the size of
> >> text
> >> >>to such illegible sizes?
> >> >>
> >> >>Thanks,
> >> >
> >> > Jon Gunderson, Ph.D., ATP
> >> > Coordinator of Assistive Communication and Information Technology
> >> > Division of Rehabilitation - Education Services
> >> > MC-574
> >> > College of Applied Life Studies
> >> > University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign
> >> > 1207 S. Oak Street, Champaign, IL  61820
> >> >
> >> > Voice: (217) 244-5870
> >> > Fax: (217) 333-0248
> >> >
> >> > E-mail: jongund@uiuc.edu
> >> >
> >> > WWW: http://www.staff.uiuc.edu/~jongund
> >> > WWW: http://www.w3.org/wai/ua
> >> >
> >> >
> >
> > Jon Gunderson, Ph.D., ATP
> > Coordinator of Assistive Communication and Information Technology
> > Division of Rehabilitation - Education Services
> > MC-574
> > College of Applied Life Studies
> > University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign
> > 1207 S. Oak Street, Champaign, IL  61820
> >
> > Voice: (217) 244-5870
> > Fax: (217) 333-0248
> >
> > E-mail: jongund@uiuc.edu
> >
> > WWW: http://www.staff.uiuc.edu/~jongund
> > WWW: http://www.w3.org/wai/ua
> >
> >

Jon Gunderson, Ph.D., ATP
Coordinator of Assistive Communication and Information Technology
Division of Rehabilitation - Education Services
MC-574
College of Applied Life Studies
University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign
1207 S. Oak Street, Champaign, IL  61820

Voice: (217) 244-5870
Fax: (217) 333-0248

E-mail: jongund@uiuc.edu

WWW: http://www.staff.uiuc.edu/~jongund
WWW: http://www.w3.org/wai/ua
Received on Monday, 9 July 2001 17:42:39 GMT

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