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Re: Breaking your own rules?

From: Ian B. Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2004 09:06:12 -0500
To: Hutchinson Philip <Philip.Hutchinson@lsc.gov.uk>
Cc: site-comments@w3.org, wendy@w3.org
Message-Id: <1080050771.1219.30.camel@seabright>
On Tue, 2004-03-23 at 06:52, Hutchinson Philip wrote:
> Hello
> When I view the page of your website which gives WAI Accessibility
> Guidelines for level one ie http://www.w3.org/TR/WAI-WEBCONTENT/
> I am surprised you have some vertical text in the left hand side say
> Recommendation!
> As I recommend to people who I provide guidance not to do this. I'd
> appreciate your comments

Hi Philip,

I think that what is most important is that all users have
access to the information provided by the document. One piece of
information provided by this document is that this is a W3C
Recommendation. That information is available as text just
below the title.

The background image in the upper left hand corner is included by a 
style sheet. In browsers that support CSS, the image remains on the
screen even when you scroll. This is considered stylistic in this
document, providing a (relatively discreet) reminder of the status
of the document. This particular feature is not available to all
users and it would be hard to implement for people using audio

Different users will thus have different experiences with the document,
but all users will have access to the key piece of information; the
document status. 

There is another issue, however, that of representing text in an image
rather than using style sheets. Note that the W3C logo is also an image 
of characters. It is preferable to style text rather than put text in
images. W3C has not yet made the switch, perhaps due to the fact that
the text is vertical; I don't recall whether CSS Level N lets authors 
style text this way. However, we have felt comfortable with the
current solution since the text is also available in ordinary reading
order for users who cannot make use of the background image.

I hope this helps. Please note that my colleagues in the Web
Accessibility Initiative may have more to add (or may wish to
correct me!)

 _ Ian

Ian Jacobs (ij@w3.org)   http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
Tel:                     +1 718 260-9447

Received on Tuesday, 23 March 2004 09:06:38 UTC

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