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Re: The Core Beliefs of Usability and Their CSS Application

From: Orion Adrian <orion.adrian@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 2 Jul 2005 18:04:54 -0400
Message-ID: <abd6c8010507021504757ada59@mail.gmail.com>
To: www-style@w3.org

On 7/2/05, David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk> wrote:
> 
> > (if money is involved). If the computer can do it, let it. Let's find
> > a way for computers to do the accessibility and portability work for
> > us. Expecting the content author so far hasn't been too successful.
> 
> Both of these are difficult AI problems as they involve things like
> character recognition of deliberately difficult text, deep semantic
> understanding of both text and images, combined with a knowledge of
> the laws and codes of practice on what can be legally put in real
> print (in order to provide summaries of images that are appropriate
> in context), etc.
> 
> Because web pages are usually, in part, advertisements, they are very
> subtle means of communication and it is very difficult to mechanically
> extract the intended psychological impact (it can also unacceptable to
> the author to explicitly encode this).
> 
> Actually, with alternative text, it would be better, from a semantics
> point of view to make the text the primary content when the image is
> used for text replacement, in which case the AI problem becomes that
> of working out the house style and generating appropriate text as
> image.
> 
> Even if they can be mechanically derived, they still have to be part
> of the document standard because they have to go over the wire in
> order to work on the old browsers, or on the slow machines that
> may be all that is available on a mobile phone or in a poor country.
> (Some people argue that accessibility only applies to those that are
> considered legally disabled, I consider it about making content available
> to as many people as possible.)

Content negotiation is a good means of what I'm talking about. It
allows for fallback mechanisms without the pain. It should also be
fairly trivial to create an image in a non-lossy format and create
packages for the major web server systems that would automatically
convert the image to something they end client could use caching the
results for a period of time. This is what I'm talking about. I don't
think a document should ever specify a parcitular format for media
since formats change and are a concern of the system, not of the
author.

Orion Adrian
Received on Saturday, 2 July 2005 22:04:57 GMT

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