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Re: Textual Images vs. Styled Text, Round Two *ding*

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2000 05:45:48 -0400 (EDT)
To: Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>
cc: William Loughborough <love26@gorge.net>, Kynn Bartlett <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.21.0009280542320.23123-100000@tux.w3.org>
Well, SVG does provide a solution, and is implemented in a number of systems
and operating systems already (plus it can be read as "generic XML" - text
with a stylesheet).

But for general use it is probably still a little while before it is used
widely enough to be considered a solution.

Which leaves us, as Kynn says, looking for the best solutions available now.


On Wed, 27 Sep 2000, Kynn Bartlett wrote:

  [Note:  I have restricted the distribution of this followup to
  only the WAI IG mailing list, lest it continue to spill over into
  the other mailing lists.]
  At 03:43 PM 9/27/2000 , William Loughborough wrote:
  >WL: The reason I'm sure that I do need to make the point "forcefully" is that somehow it has been allowed to slip by that images of text are a special case of images. They are not. 
  Actually, I disagree, there _is_ a special case of textual images
  (and it's what Len identified when he started this discussion).
  When images are used to represent text, that text is no longer
  affected by the user's controls over text size/font/color.  This
  is also true when images are representing non-textual information
  as well (such as a picture of my dog).  In the dog picture
  scenario, the user has no expectation that her text settings will
  apply to the size of the image of the dog.
  However, in the textual image scenario, the user has every reason
  to expect that her text settings _will_ apply to the buttons and
  headings which were made as graphics.  Why?  Because the user is
  not expected to have to differentiate between "text" and "images
  as text" -- they appear the same to the end user, they're "words
  on the screen."
  Len is correct in identifying this as a special case that needs
  to be dealt with, because it can introduce problems which are
  unique to textual images -- most obviously, "how can you allow
  the user to scale up images where the text is too small for her
  to read?"
  (There is a similar problem with images which are too small to
  view -- you may not be able to discern my dog if the picture is
  tiny -- but there is no user expectation that her "increase font
  size" button will work.)
  Textual images obviously do introduce an accessibility hurdle
  because they break the "change font size" function in the browser,
  which may be essential for many users with low vision.  The only
  question now is "what should be done about that and who should
  do something about it?"  Len proposes that WCAG 1.0 forbids the
  use of textual images, because HTML+CSS can be used; I maintain
  that it is not an acceptable solution and that we need to look
  a little harder.
  There is no obvious, easy solution and it's not simply a case of
  declaring that "images are images".

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, Australia
September - November 2000: 
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Received on Thursday, 28 September 2000 05:45:55 UTC

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