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Re: RIT - Javascript

From: William Loughborough <love26@gorge.net>
Date: Mon, 04 May 1998 06:51:40 -0700
Message-ID: <354DC7EC.C26F18F4@gorge.net>
To: "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
LQ:: "If the page is designed to be seen, then it's not designed to be

WL:: Whoa!  On your enhanced-designs website (for example) are some
snowflakes and this points out one of the main bones of contention at
the WAI face2face meetings and within the blind community.  By putting a
null as the ALT= text you deprive the blind user from sharing with her
sighted colleagues the *information* that "snowflakeness" is in there
somewhere.  The question of whether the graphic is gratuitous has been
decided by the author, not the user.

Incidentally the fact that Bobby disqualifies the site for its logo on
the basis of its use of bad HTML table practices and an unTITLEd <hr> is
IMHO a Bobby anomaly since Lynx doesn't choke on linearizing the
columned tables.

Although mine is not the most popular opinion in this matter, I believe
that insofar as access to the Web is concerned: if there is a reasonable
way to access it (in this case Lynx), it is accessible even though some
(however popular) browser is useless ergo we should emphasize only those
features of website design that make documents truly inaccessible.  And
please don't bring in the argument that any site is accessible if one
uses a human "intervenor".

In response to the above-quoted use of "seen" I believe that the verb
"to see" is actually most often used to mean "to understand" rather than
"to convert photons into brain-interpretable neural patterns by a
retina" - hence all sites are "designed to be seen."

If a website is designed to be seen *only* as "eye candy" then what you
say might be OK but it is a rare instance in which an author would agree
that there is *no* information in a "graphics-mainly" page.
Received on Monday, 4 May 1998 09:54:57 UTC

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