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Maps and navigation Re: Accessible CSS rollovers again

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 12 Aug 2002 12:23:16 -0400 (EDT)
To: Joe Clark <joeclark@joeclark.org>
cc: WAI-IG <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0208121206330.30835-100000@tux.w3.org>

Apparently I have not been clear.

Use pictures! They help people! Use them in headings. Use them to identify
navigation. Use them in ways that solve more problems than they raise.

There is long-running discussion on this topic in the WCAG group, and I think
I have argued consistently for the last couple of years that it is important
that web pages are illustrated. Not "put a couple of pretty pictures there
for the disabled folks", nor "put a couple of cool images there because they
somehow make pages bettter". Illustrate content. This is hard to do, but Joe
gives good simplistic example technique below.

The point about using plain-text inside map is not to do it instead of
graphics, it is that map is better html than "skip navigation links". By all
means, if you have a graphical version of a navigation bar, use it. If you
have an abstract XML version and derive a user interface, please include one
that allows for graphics to be used.

I don't know where the idea comes from that images should not be used in
headings. It is possible Joe knows WAI better than I do, and it sppears
certain there is some piece, or page, or set of documents he knows that I
don't. So without some pointers there is little I can do to follow up, except
say that he seems not to be talking about what WAI says as a rule.



On Sun, 11 Aug 2002, Joe Clark wrote:

>* 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?
Received on Monday, 12 August 2002 12:23:22 UTC

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