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Re: Most Web Books Ignore Accessibility and Usability

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2001 08:45:43 -0500 (EST)
To: <jacques@knowsystems.com>
cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0103090843390.28413-100000@tux.w3.org>
I did some editing of a couple of chapters for a book called "How to Program
in XML" or something like that. Although it didn't have accessibility as the
overriding concern they were interested in comments on it (specifically
requested it) and a number of accessibility things did get included. (I was
looking at the chapters on CSS and HTML - I don't know how much got into the
later stuff on XML).

I know that other ublishers have approached accessibility people looking for
at least a bit of accessibility review.



On Fri, 9 Mar 2001 jacques@knowsystems.com wrote:

  May I add the following from personal experience:
  I wrote an eBook in 1998/9 on HTML, CSS, XHTML with reference to WAI and
  strictly following the W3C recommendations. The eBook is used successfully in
  training - both private colleges and university. When I contacted publishers for
  a paper-based version, nobody was interested.
  The eBook is still available - although it now needs a good revision. It
  consists of more than 800 HTML files with about 50'000 links, with hundreds of
  examples of what is supposed to happen as opposed to what does happen (ie
  browser interpretation).

  David Woolley wrote:

  > > My recent studies show an ignorance of accessibility and usability in
  > > most published books addressing preparation of materials for the internet.
  > Skimming most such books shows a general ignorance of the web standards
  > in general.  They tend to be collections of things that empirically
  > "work" on tbe big two browsers.  Also, as commercial books, they tell
  > their readers what they want to know, not what they ought to know.
  > On this second point, there is probably no value in trying to reach the
  > authors; they will probably take the standard commercial position, as
  > recently taken by Chris Wilson on the www-html mailing list, that
  > commercial organisations only have a responsibility to meet their customer
  > demands, not the public good.  You have to change the customer demands,
  > which will be more difficult.  You probably have to write your own books
  > which meet those demands better than the existing books.
  > > --=====================_18499184==_.ALT
  > > Content-Type: text/html; charset="us-ascii"
  > >
  > An informal sampling of mailing list postings shows that an increasing
  > proportion of mailing list authors are ignorant of the fact that their
  > mail programs include travesties of HTML bloating the size of their
  > article without including any extra information.
  > > <html>
  > > My recent studies show an ignorance of accessibility and usability
  > > in<br>
  > > most published books addressing preparation of materials for the
  > > internet. <br>

  - --
  Dr Jacques Steyn

  +27 (0)11 478-1259

Charles McCathieNevile    http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  phone: +61 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative     http://www.w3.org/WAI    fax: +1 617 258 5999
Location: I-cubed, 110 Victoria Street, Carlton VIC 3053, Australia
(or W3C INRIA, Route des Lucioles, BP 93, 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France)
Received on Friday, 9 March 2001 08:45:46 UTC

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