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Re: learning HTML

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Sun, 9 Apr 2000 23:05:33 -0400 (EDT)
To: Lyceum Academy <taymade@home.com>
cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.20.0004092301001.16892-100000@tux.w3.org>


(the long version:

Certainly it is important for authoring tools to include how to make
accessible (and valid and well-designed) content, and the example of how to
write HTML that is included in Amay is the sort of thing I have in
mind. There are good and bad ways to use any program, and tutorials,
documentation, and the user interface itself should all guide the author
towards doing the right thing as the natural way to use the tool (this is a
major theme of the Authoring Tool Guidelines).

That people need to learn to hand code in order to produce valid pages
strikes me as a bad reflection on Authoring tools, and in looking at a
variety of them I am pleased that in general they are improving drastically
in this regard.

In some sense my question is one of priority - are there enough good enough
tools that we can stop concentrating on the backwards-looking strategy of
teaching people to write code and start teaching them to use tools better -
essentially an easier thing to do.

Charles McCN

On Sun, 9 Apr 2000, Lyceum Academy wrote:

  If I understand this correctly, you are saying that the time has come for
  the Authoring tools to be more sophisticated because more people are using
  them as compared to the small minority of people who actually write the code
  from scratch.  Well, I agree more people don't hand code as compared to
  those who do. The more I speak with other web authors, the more I find that
  they all use some kind of editor for doing their sites.  I find it difficult
  to use an editor for writing html because when I put them through the
  validators I use, I end up having to rewrite so much to make them
  accessible.  Yet, when I write my own html code, I have no problem with it
  passing accessibility standards.
  So, I believe that since the majority use Authoring tools, these tools
  should be developed with accessibility standards built in.  Maybe even throw
  in a tutorial in the readme file about what the code is used for and why.
  As I am not an expert on this, these only only my thoughts.
  Joyce Taylor
  -----Original Message-----
  From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
  To: WAI IG <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
  Date: Sunday, April 09, 2000 6:33 AM
  Subject: learning HTML
  >Just some personal thoughts at the moment. Comments are invited
  >I have been teaching HTML almost since i started learning it, and I have
  >always taught people how to write HTML code as the way to make sure that
  >results suppor accessibility. But I have come to believe that most people
  >writing HTML should not bother with source code.
  >It is important to know how to use the language (as it is ith english, or
  >italian, or C++), but there are tools which mean it is not important to
  >the underlying code. THis is similar to most modern wod-processors - it is
  >imortant to know how to use them, but it doesn't really matter how they
  >represent the information about what is a heading or a presentation
  >style. This is kind of unsurprising really - it was designed to be editied
  >with WYSIWYG tools (or audio equivalents - What You Hear Is What You might
  >Get, or whatever).
  >So I am thinking about how to update the tutorial stuff I wrote a coupleof
  >years ago to take account of this.
  >There will always be a role for people who understand the underlying code
  >inside out - it is one way to make sure you are writing things correctly,
  >it is essential if you are going to develop software. But that is a very
  >small minority of people using it. It seems to me that the effort would be
  >better spent in finding better Authoring Tools.
  >I wrote a couple of pages for Amaya (the W3C authoring tool, which is a
  >test-bed rather than a product, but the tool I have used for almost
  >everything I create on the web over the last year) on how to write HTML
  >well. They are part of the help files, but are also on the Web -
  >http://www.w3.org/Amaya/User/HTML-elements/infotypes is a general
  >introduction to writing HTML (that doesn't mention angle brackets at all)
  >there is a page on Accessibiltiy in Amaya at
  >Charles McCN
  >Charles McCathieNevile    mailto:charles@w3.org    phone: +61 (0) 409 134
  >W3C Web Accessibility Initiative                      http://www.w3.org/WAI
  >Location: I-cubed, 110 Victoria Street, Carlton VIC 3053
  >Postal: GPO Box 2476V, Melbourne 3001,  Australia

Charles McCathieNevile    mailto:charles@w3.org    phone: +61 (0) 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative                      http://www.w3.org/WAI
Location: I-cubed, 110 Victoria Street, Carlton VIC 3053
Postal: GPO Box 2476V, Melbourne 3001,  Australia 
Received on Sunday, 9 April 2000 23:05:36 UTC

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