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Re: Clear communication: (was RE: Re: Accessibility of "CHM" format resources)

From: Orion Adrian <orion.adrian@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 7 Jun 2005 10:49:33 -0400
Message-ID: <abd6c8010506070749fdcf76@mail.gmail.com>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

On 6/7/05, John Foliot - WATS.ca <foliot@wats.ca> wrote:
> Orion Adrian wrote:
> >
> > I don't mind being corrected. What I do mind is saying, even taking
> > into perspective the commenters, that calling X, Y it someone
> > eliminates all my experience. I wasn't by the way just having a bad
> > day, but people do make typos, mistakes and so on. The rapidity that
> > people came down on me to challege my knowledge was disturbing.
> Orion,
> On June 6th you made a bold assertation to this list, and I quote: "I'm a
> certified Master CSS2 programmer"
> (http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-ig/2005AprJun/0398.html).
> You then proceeded to make comments about existing CSS issues using
> incorrect terms and descriptions, and argued with list members on whether
> CSS or HTML is programming or not. (It's not!)  Some long time list members
> took you to task (rightly so) about this apparent disconnect ("Masters"
> would never use wrong terminology), as well as questioned "exactly where"
> did you get this certification.

Masters will do many things that may seem contradictory. I am not a
machine. I do make mistakes, but that does not detract from my
conceptual understanding of the language or my ability to use it...
simply my knowledge of what is the most common vocabulary. As far as
taking me to task, it is not rightly so unless the purpose of this
list it to make certain people feel superior to others based on their
own levels of expertise. Not uncommon in the world, but thoroughly

> This list is about accessibility, and the need for clear communication is
> one of those little things that many of us 'fixtures' worry about.  Without
> clear communication, your ideas become less accessible, as end readers need
> to try and discern what it is you *really* mean.  Using incorrect
> terminology can cause a cognitive issue, as people do not understand what
> you are talking about.  You witnessed this first hand.
>         "WCAG Priority 1:14.1 Use the clearest and simplest language
> appropriate for a site's content."  (I might add to also use the appropriate
> and accurate language)

I would first point out that I'm not a website. While my personal
communication style is unique or at least non-standard, it doesn't
mean that I don't know what I'm talking about. A website should use
clear language in order to reach the widest audience. However, I would
never say that the designers of language, art, philosophy should limit
themselves in language, but rather use whatever richness they can
find. I find that when designers limit themselves in language they
limit where the language can go. My job is to find radically new ways
of doing a task X. I'm very good at it, or at least very successful at

> Many on this list also believe that a more-or-less strict adherence to
> published standards (whether they are right or wrong) is the best way to
> ensure that the content is accessible to as many as possible.  You argued
> for proprietary "extensions" authored by your self.  This too will be
> roundly beaten upon on this list.

I never said by myself. And I never implied vendor lock-in. Standards
are to be written by the most responsive body. Once known, the
Microsoft Office formats have been standardized on. Vendor lock-in is
bad, but I'll take specs from anywhere and get people to standardize
on them.

> You appear to have a technically rich understanding of the technologies (I
> don't know about "Master"), and you seem willing to contribute and comment
> on issues germane to this list - so for that, Welcome and thanks.  But
> please, choose your words carefully and if you claim to be an 'expert' be
> prepared to back it up.

What I felt almost immediately in the response to saying that I was a
CSS master programmer was that rather than deal with the comments I
was making or asking me to elaborate, I felt people immediately
focusing in on the statement which was mearly meant to demonstrate
understanding and time spent. As if hearing these words the sharks
were drawn to blood to inflict as much damage as possible. If that is
even an activity this group makes light of or enjoys, I really don't
want to be here. No one should take pleasure in the harming of
another, though that is something I have found that is common in my

I spend every day promoting the needs of the disabled and user groups
often overlooked. Early on I decried the use of small fonts (for
designer eyes), excessive graphics, lack of alt text and organization
that only a programmer could love. The treatment I received here was
deplorable. I started an effort at my college years ago to create
screen readible web documents, the fixing of documents with color
blind issues and the fixing of documents for people with manual
dexterity issues. I'm a usability and accessibility advocate so please
don't place me in the camp with designers obsessed with pixel

Orion Adrian
Received on Tuesday, 7 June 2005 14:50:11 UTC

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