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RE: Textual Images vs. Styled Text, Round Three *ding*

From: Dave J Woolley <david.woolley@bts.co.uk>
Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2000 19:06:03 +0100
Message-ID: <81E4A2BC03CED111845100104B62AFB5824A6A@stagecoach.bts.co.uk>
To: "'w3c-wai-ig@w3.org'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
> From:	Kynn Bartlett [SMTP:kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com]
> I don't believe that the current WCAG checkpoint disallows
> images-as-text.  I feel that as written, the requirements
> ("appropriate markup" to replace images) are not met, as current
> styled text is not sufficient to replace image text.  Therefore
[DJW:]  My impression from this discussion is that,
pending clarification from the author of the document,
the requirement is so unclear as to be contractually
useless. This is a problem with contracts; contractors
generally won't accept contracts that require subjective
interpretation, as that makes it easy for the purchaser to
indefinitely delay acceptance and final payment.  That's why
passing Bobby with no errors is a good test, and A, AA or 
AAA is a bad test.

Personally, I consider single A to be a realistic limit for
commercial sites with a will for accessibility, but who are
not prepared to compromise "the experience" for the primary 

Other problems you will get at AA are compliance with published
DTDs, as most commercial sites do not comply## and even those
that want to may find it too difficult to eliminate proprietory
elements and attributes (the most recent IE DTD seems to be an
incorrect one for IE3 - as an example, one cannot have both
BGSOUND and LANG++ attributes on the same page and use a published$$
DTD (unless you publish one yourself!).  (OBJECT is an unsatisfactory
alternative on IE5, as you get lots of ActiveX warnings and a
visible media player, and, in the case in question, it broke the
formatting on NS 4.5.  This was on a hobbyist page I was trying
to make valid, out of hours.)

HTML was not designed to support house styles in documents, in fact
the original spec said there was no place for colour.  It's almost
inevitable that one uses lots of non-standard and implementation
dependent features to make it work the way the commercial web wants
it to work.

++ I wanted LANG because the page was in both English and German forms,
and, in particular, contained English and German proper names.
However, any HTML 4 feature would have done; personally I would 
have removed the sound!

## I really mean cannot comply, as many violate basic SGML rules.

$$ I'm assuming that the set of DTDs that is used by 
validator.w3.org represents the published HTML DTDs.
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Received on Friday, 29 September 2000 14:06:10 UTC

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