RE: "Text-Only" Versions Considered Harmful

At 07:56 AM 2/16/2001, Jon Hanna wrote:
>Having failed to find anything I went ahead and wrote the article.
>It's at
>I'd be interested in any comments, additions, counter-arguments "hey,
>your page on accessibility issues isn't accessible to <insert group
>here>" etc. especially since I'm not very well qualified to write
>this, but decided to grab the bull by the horns rather than wait
>around for somebody who is.

Jon, I agree with all of the factors you identified as being
characteristic of poorly done text-only sites.  I have bookmarked
your page and plan to use it as a resource in my upcoming course
on web accessibility.

However, I think that you are only presenting part of the picture
by not mentioning the idea that an up-to-date, well-maintained,
accessible text-only option (as one of many) can benefit screen
reader users if built correctly.  This is what I have been working
on the last year or so -- designing sites which can magically
adapt to provide optimal interfaces for users, all from the same
content.  I believe there is value in this approach, and I would
hate for someone to read your page, see that we can create
versions of a site which consist only of text, and then decide
that what we're doing is "harmful" based on an incomplete
understanding of the issue.


Kynn Bartlett <>
Technical Developer Liaison
Customer Management/Edapta
Reef North America
Tel +1 949-567-7006

Received on Friday, 16 February 2001 11:55:12 UTC