clear & simple

A dear friend and gifted writer - also a skilled Web designer and 
accessibility specialist writes:

"Obviously, I've only given it the most cursory of glances so far, but my 
first impression was that it's refreshingly lacking in the usual 
gobblydygook language of academia that's come to characterize most 
documentation of the W3C et al. I'm telling you, William, most people don't 
understand, much less use, words like "normative," and because they don't, 
they're put off by guidelines and recommendations that do. It seems to 
trigger some kind of defeatist attitude ("Yuck. I'm too dumb to do this 
because I don't even understand the instructions.") even before it sets off 
the lazy gene. ("Bleh. Too much work, this 'retrofitting.'")

"Guideline Guide tickled me."

Aside from the fact that she probably knows what I would like to hear in 
this regard, I think this is a very typical reaction to our document. Yes, 
we need a normative document but IMO it needs to be almost hidden away. 
More to the point is that if it can be presented in small bites, as called 
for, it might be less daunting. The way-too-extensive boiler plate at the 
beginning of each document is like the credits of a movie - one wonders at 
why they're being shown.

Of course, I could be wrong.


Received on Tuesday, 12 September 2000 15:55:29 UTC