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RE: Fw: Disturbing trend in tables

From: Anne Pemberton <apembert@crosslink.net>
Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2001 17:47:02 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: "Bailey, Bruce" <Bruce_Bailey@ed.gov>
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

	Believe me, I *am* listening, and I do indeed want to ferret out the
answers to my questions because I believe I speak for more than just myself
(if it was just me, I'd collar one of you guys and hash it out offlist).
But, the words that are coming as the rebuttals aren't getting down to
where the heart of the problem is. I cannot take the arguments presented
here to the administration and effectively argue that we need to go in a
different direction from Word/Front Page. In fact, the county was quite
content to line up a *free* web site that is horrid - lousy navigation,
useless naming of subdirectories and pages, and no way to so much as add an
alt tag in the online page creator (or using Word, as they advocated in the
"free" training they provided). 

	You are probably right that I don't have so inclusive a view of the web as
to separate it from print. Very often, the first thing I do when I find a
useful site, is to print it. (mostly to have the link address in hard copy
so I can get back to it another time). I understand the advantage of having
a link inline that allows the user to click to a definition, more
information,etc. either when they encounter the term on first reading or a
subsequent one. I understand the advantage of using multi-media that can
present a whole lesson on the web, including post-lesson activities (often
intended to be printed and used). But there may be something that I am
missing that makes web publishing unique from paper publishing so that the
underlying commands have to be changed. 

	So, maybe it would  help if those trying to help in this "education of
Anne" could explain the distinctions more clearly. When I was a special ed
teacher, I often dealt with "brick walls" that separated what regular kids
could do/try vs. what special kids could do/try. "But, why?" was my best
tool for asking folks to consider thinking "out of the box". I got
comfortable using that technique <grin> .... 

      I had a long chat with my principal this morning, and she (like you
guys) wants to channel my actions more towards being a team player than a

	On the issue of B/bold vs strong, etc, I'm still confused what difference
a command makes that is read/used by machines. When does the user
see/hear/feel B instead of Strong? Do some outputs reveal the command
instead acting on the command? What am I missing here?




At 02:32 PM 1/18/01 -0500, Bailey, Bruce wrote:
>Dear Anne,
>If you've heard these arguments over and over again, why don't you listen?
>Charles is vocalizing the consensual opinion of every informed person on
>this list.  Why don't you believe him?  If a hundred people tell me that I
>am wrong about something, eventually I actually start to consider that my
>preferred belief may, in fact, be incorrect!
>Certain group or groups of disabled folks (e.g., the blind) are unable to
>use pages created in Front Page.  Please stop recommending it to newbies.
>If you continue to use it, please also use Bobby (or Tidy, or some other
>repair tool) to fix the P1 errors FP routinely introduces.
>You have missed something.  I see SEVERAL better solutions than using
>FrontPage.  I understand your reluctance to follow Charles advice about
>learning HTML.  Really, it's not that hard.  It is pretty much impossible to
>use ANY html editor and produce valid and accessible code without
>understanding HTML.  I hope this changes, but there ARE other tools that are
>not nearly as error prone as FrontPage.  The composer built into Netscape
>Communicator doesn't produce valid HTML either, but it's better than FP, and
>it's free.  Allaire HomeSite is inexpensive, it can be used in a WYSIWYG
>fashion, and it has a built-in validator.  Adobe PageMill (might be
>discontinued) is pretty good, and not expensive either.  Finally, as Charles
>pointed out, NotePad is free and is included on your school systems too.  If
>you insist on recommending FP to teachers, please make it clear to them that
>the results are unprofessional (i.e., not syntactically valid) and probably
>inaccessible (i.e., don't meet all the P1 checkpoints of WCAG 1.0).
>To echo what Charles wrote earlier, the term "valid html" has a very
>discrete and formal definition.  Validity is a yes/no status item.  One can
>test a page for validity by parsing it through the W3C validation service at
>URL:  <http://validator.w3.org/>  Saying that a page is "valid to me" is
>nonsensical, devote of meaning, and just plain silly.
>I use a very concrete definition for web accessibility, and recommend that
>you do too:  "An accessible web page is one that meats all the P1 checkpoint
>of the WAI WCAG."  As Kynn is quick to point out, sites can be more or less
>accessible than other sites, but this is using another definition of term
>"accessible".  It is a little confusing, but we haven't come up with clearer
>language, especially since "accessible" means something completely different
>in the mainstream.
>Using "B" and "I" versus "strong" and "emphasis" is NOT merely a matter of
>preference.  The former is highly indicative of a profound lack of
>understanding of the philosophy behind HTML.  It is routed in conventions
>associated with the print (and paper) medium and demonstrates an inability
>to make the abstraction to the proper creation of electronic documents,
>especially those destined for the Web.  Are you not clear that print (and
>paper) is highly inaccessible?  Why would you want to constrain yourself to
>an anachronistic model when the Web can be so liberating, especially to
>people with disabilities?
>Anne, I am sorry if I sound like I am picking on you.  I think you are
>courageous in that you keep presenting the simple arguments of the many
>(majority?) of web authors who truly misunderstand the medium.  Those folks
>are reluctant to voice their opinions on this list, so it is helpful to have
>them expressed.  By bringing these views up, you give us the opportunity to
>rebut them.  Thank you.
>-- Bruce
>> ----------
>> From: 	Anne Pemberton
>> Sent: 	Thursday, January 18, 2001 6:52 AM
>> To: 	Charles F. Munat; 'Bailey, Bruce'
>> Cc: 	w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
>> Subject: 	RE: Fw: Disturbing trend in tables
>> Charles,
>> 	Very good arguments, and the very ones I've heard over and over.
>> I've
>> been referred to the Neilson site, to read over and over his disclaimer
>> for
>> not having illustrations because he doesn't know how and doesn't feel it
>> important to learn or get help to do it. And he's saying so on a public
>> site that is much-ballyhooed as an important source of reasons to do
>> accessibility "right".... 
>> 	Unless someone can state that a certain group or groups of disabled
>> folks
>> are unable to use pages created in Front Page, I will continue to use the
>> tool and recommend it to newbies. Who says you need an add-on to put alt
>> text? You don't .... you right-click on the image, click on properties,
>> and
>> type in your alt text. 
>> 	Unless I've missed something, there is no other html authoring tool
>> that
>> is easy to use (for newbies, wysiwyg, of course), that we don't have to
>> spend any money to acquire, and that can be learned in a short time.
>> Short
>> of telling teachers they can't do their own web pages, which is exactly
>> the
>> opposite of what I need to tell them, I  don't see a better solution. Do
>> you? 
>> 					Anne
Received on Thursday, 18 January 2001 19:10:02 UTC

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