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RE: CSS vs personalization

From: Phill Jenkins <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2017 11:34:46 -0600
To: Jonathan Avila <jon.avila@levelaccess.com>
Cc: WAI IG <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-Id: <OFE33BFB87.A6648572-ON862581FA.005FCB72-862581FA.0060944C@notes.na.collabserv.com>
I agree with Jonathan's very valid points: 
"For low vision users I'd add that it is very difficult in many browsers 
to even apply user style sheets.  Most browsers are turning this off or in 
the case of mobile don't even offer an option.  Stylesheet injectors like 
Stylish are popular on non-mobile but the styles get inserted at the 
document level not the user level.   For the user to figure out . . . is 
very difficult. . . But for the average user and without normed 
conventions . . great difficulty . . . "

In my opinion, "user style sheets" are a myth and broken!
(remember access keys? good goal, but never really worked)

Assistive Technologies, such as ZoomText and CSS injectors seem to work 
well for many users, but they are not everyday end user "user style 
sheets". 
___________
Regards,
Phill Jenkins
Senior Engineer & Accessibility Executive
IBM Research Accessibility
linkedin.com/in/philljenkins/
ibm.com/able
facebook.com/IBMAccessibility
twitter.com/IBMAccess
ageandability.com



From:   Jonathan Avila <jon.avila@levelaccess.com>
To:     WAI IG <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Date:   12/17/2017 11:35 AM
Subject:        RE: CSS vs personalization



For low vision users I'd add that it is very difficult in many browsers to 
even apply user style sheets.  Most browsers are turning this off or in 
the case of mobile don't even offer an option.  Stylesheet injectors like 
Stylish are popular on non-mobile but the styles get inserted at the 
document level not the user level.   For the user to figure out what 
hierarchy of selectors in order to overwrite the CSS is very difficult. 
For example, some types of selector such as those that use IDs have a 
higher precedence, etc.   Also challenges with authors using CSS 
background images to communicate information without a way to communicate 
that the background image is not decorative is problematic.  Yes, we could 
require role="img" be added to all non-decorative CSS Background images to 
help users know when it's safe to remove background images and when it's 
not.  But for the average user and without normed conventions to do this 
users have great difficult in sorting this out.  Use of icon fonts is also 
an issue when users want to replace the font family but end up destroying 
font icons.

Some of these issues overlap with the issues experience by users with 
cognitive disabilities.

Jonathan

Jonathan Avila
Chief Accessibility Officer
Level Access, inc. (formerly SSB BART Group, inc.)
(703) 637-8957
Jon.avila@levelaccess.com
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-----Original Message-----
From: Tobias Bengfort [mailto:tobias.bengfort@posteo.de] 
Sent: Sunday, December 17, 2017 5:54 AM
To: WAI IG <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Subject: CSS vs personalization

While reading the section about personalization in the "Cognitive 
Accessibility Roadmap and Gap Analysis" I was wondering how this relates 
to CSS in general.

I think personalization would be easy if there was no CSS, that is, if the 
presentation of CSS was completely up to the user agent. I do not think 
that CSS will go away anytime soon. However, we need to be aware of this 
conflict.

As far as I understand, CSS exists for three reasons:

- Historically, default styling was bad (and it still is).
- Branding
- To extend the semantics of HTML (in many cases in combination with
JavaScript)

The last point is especially important because it means that ignoring CSS 
may break the UI. To make this a bit more concrete: If I were to strip all 
styling from all links on a page and replace it with my own "personalized" 
styling, it would potentially break layout, alignment, and color contrast. 
Also, some application specific semantics might be lost.

Can you point me to some resources where this conflict has been discussed 
before? What practices should I as a CSS author avoid in order to not 
stand in the way of personalization?

tobias
Received on Monday, 18 December 2017 17:35:16 UTC

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