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Re: NewsWatch: TechWeb article (WAI, jbrewer, Jakob Nielsen)

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 2 Jul 1999 22:49:33 -0400 (EDT)
To: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-hwg@idyllmtn.com>
cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.10.9907022240490.4467-100000@tux.w3.org>
Hi Kynn, and everyone

Actually, I think the use ofwell-designed databse technology will be a boon
for accessibility. In the authoring process it can make it far easier to
produce pages with appropriate alternative content, and consistent
navigation. The use of databses can provide a very powerful tool for managing
the creation and addition of metadata which can often be very useful in
improving the accessibility of a site. However I agree that it still needs to
be used appropriately. There are a few common downsides in the current crop
of products, which can lead to reduced accessibility...

1. Fixed page style generation.
This is a situation where the author can control the content of page, but not
the structure of a page. Effectively this is the same as an authoring tool
generating inaccessible HTML and not providing any way to fix it.

2. Unstable site structure
A lot of the value of the web is based on things staying in the same place.
Database systems seem to make it easire for people to do the periodic
rebuilds of everything that some sites are prone to, which can lead to vast
qunatities of information vanishing.

3. lack of real links
This is an extension of the above problem - sites which use some complpex
magic to make the reader believe they are always at the one page. In many
cases this is compunded by trhe magic being inaccessible too. Sigh.

just some late night thoughts...

Charles McCN

On Fri, 2 Jul 1999, Kynn Bartlett wrote:

  Didn't see a mention of this here yet:
  As usual, I don't agree with Jakob on this issue, mainly because it's
  too "easy" of an approach to assert "there is a technological solution
  to providing access to disabled users!" and then leave the rest as an
  exercise for the user.  Do we really think that web developers and/
  or programmers will automatically know how to make pages optimized for
  blind (deaf, etc) people using database technology?  These days it's
  rare to find proper ALT text, so I can't share Jakob's enthusiasm in
  his belief that transformation-based content delivery will prove to
  be a great enabling technology for the web.  At least, not without a
  huge amount of work still to be done.

--Charles McCathieNevile            mailto:charles@w3.org
phone: +1 617 258 0992   http://www.w3.org/People/Charles
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative    http://www.w3.org/WAI
MIT/LCS  -  545 Technology sq., Cambridge MA, 02139,  USA
Received on Friday, 2 July 1999 22:49:42 UTC

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