Discriminatory Convensions and Aesthetics

It is not long ago that we had to fight architects how complained about
wheelchair ramps. They claimed they could not design buildings with ramps
that were beautiful. Now, I admit that some older buildings required some
very creative retrofitting to look good. Today, building have ramps
designed into the layout and they look really good.

There are many discriminatory aesthetic conversions on the web, and in its
predecessor, print. Are small subscripts and superscripts useful or
necessary, or are they just conversion, habit? Publishers who wanted to
save paper probably found that books would sell just as well if sub/super
scripts were reduced in size. That probably saved paper by enabling less
line separation. Does this conversion really make sense on a flexible
medium like web content, or is it discriminatory habit?

I  think that the clear active elements SC addresses one of these
discriminatory aesthetics. When a super / sub script is a link it is
something completely different than anything that ever existed on paper. It
is a super script character and a link - a paper impossibility. Why do we
use paper conversions for this important extension of paper capability? I
think the answer is habit.

For those of you on AG WG with full sight and no cognitive disability try
reading some unfamiliar document at 50% print size, and pump your display
resolution as high as it can go. Try and hit little links. I doubt they
will look very pretty to you. I am very serious about this. Don't comment
until you have tried it. Maybe the new ACT document would be good.

Sincerely, Wayne

Received on Tuesday, 14 March 2017 21:09:48 UTC