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Re: Accessible CSS rollovers again

From: Joe Clark <joeclark@joeclark.org>
Date: Sun, 11 Aug 2002 13:01:40 -0400 (EDT)
To: WAI-IG <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.BSO.4.40.0208111222410.25666-100000@ns1.seeto.com>

>> These rollovers are designed to show extra text/images away from
>> the actual link. Eric Meyer calls them pop-ups but that term
>> doesn't seem right either. For an example take a look

> They have the negative characteristics of popup windows

No, they do *not*. Eric's CSS rollovers are not popup windows any
more than pigeons are gorillas. One of Eric's effects causes text or
an image to appear somewhere else on the same page during rollover
(and conceivably also on focus, which I hope will cause malcontents
to find something else to complain about, since both keyboard and
mouse events can trigger focus).

	To reiterate: The effects *appear on the same page*. There
are no popup windows.

	Over and over and over again, any use of existing specs that
provides for accessibility while also improving visual style is
immediately decried on this list. Examples?

* Text inside GIFs.
  A picture of text inside a GIF complete with alt
and title is accessible;  the claimed drawbacks of
screen-magnification software are unfounded because only the
unreleased Mac OS X 10.2 screen magnifier blows up *actual*
(primitive, non-GIF) text from the underlying TrueType or PostScript
font file, meaning that magnified real text and magnified GIF text
look equally bad in every other magnification system. alt and title
are sufficient to explicate even entire sentences rendered as
images. You may not like it, but designers do, and their opinion
counts as much as yours, as long as those designers take the time
to provide alt and title. The fact that you don't like it doesn't
make it inaccessible.

* Images, complete with alt texts, sitting inside <hx> tags.
  Heading tags can enclose inline elements. <img> is an inline
element.  Either you want us to conform to published formal grammars
(_pace_ WCAG 3.2; [X]HTML, which permits inline elements inside
<hx>, is a published formal grammar) or you don't. Here in the real
world, images can act as headings. Want an example?  Think of a Web
page reviewing all the actors who have played James Bond in the
movies, under which are given various fun and interesting
statistics, or simply biographical précis. Who says the actors'
head*shots* cannot act as head*ers*?
  WAI's impenetrable word-centric obsession needs to loosen a
little; WAI needs to retire once and for all its ongoing efforts to
remove, invalidate, minimize, and legislate against images on Web
pages (except inasmuch as the exact opposite is countenanced, i.e.,
requiring images on every single page for the rest of time because a
few learning-disabled people might allegedly find the page
marginally less confusing).

* Graphical imagemaps with every alt and title filled in.
  Charles, for example, continues to ride the hobbyhorse that
plain-text navigation (the only kind *anyone* *ever* really needs,
right?) should sit inside <map></map>. It is insisted-- typically
for WAI-- that, because a construct exists for a technique nobody
wants to use, the technique everybody does use, which can be made
perfectly accessible, should be discouraged or portrayed as
unnecessary in the first place. Who could *possibly* want, let alone
need, pretty pictures as navigation aids?
  Well, to answer that question, please start by explaining why
<map> can include images even in XHTML 2.0
<http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml2/mod-csImgMap.html#s_csImgMapmodule>. If
it's so harmful, why is it still legal?

* And now, pure-CSS rollovers.
  They can be triggered by keyboard or mouse and are an attractive,
standards-compliant addition to contemporary Web pages created by
designers who *want* their pages to be attractive and
standards-compliant. There is no accessibility harm caused by CSS
rollovers; to the contrary, they actually comply with WCAG 3.1 and
3.3. And finally, Eric Meyer has done a nontrivial amount of work
for me and with me in investigating the accessibility ramifications
of various CSS issues. You'll read all about it in due course.

One more time, everybody:

	Web designers take a dim view of accessibility because
accessibility advocates cling to primitive, outdated, and clearly
harmful biases against anything whatsoever that makes a page look
nice to a sighted visitor. Many visitors with disabilities have
perfect vision and appreciate attractive pages as much as
nondisabled visitors do.

	For the umpteenth time, *get over it*. We *will not* achieve
widespread accessibility until WAI learns to explain how
accessibility can be included in a visually sophisticated site.


    Joe Clark              joeclark@joeclark.org
    Accessibility:        <http://joeclark.org/access/>
    Weblogs and articles: <http://joeclark.org/weblogs/>
    <http://joeclark.org/writing/> | <http://fawny.org>
Received on Sunday, 11 August 2002 13:03:48 UTC

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