Re: Internal data (was Re: Speech-enabling approach) (fwd)

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---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 15 Mar 1999 11:45:28 -0500 (EST)
From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@xxxxxx>
Reply-To: blinux-list@xxxxxxxxxx
To: "Linux General Discussion for Blind Users (mailing list)"
Subject: Re: Internal data (was Re: Speech-enabling approach) (fwd)
Resent-Date: 15 Mar 1999 16:54:40 -0000
Resent-From: blinux-list@xxxxxxxxxx
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The approach that we try to take in Web Coding is that good design is
universal design - making things which work for blind users is a first
class technical problem which is of the same importance as ensuring that
the graphics standards work, or that the information is transmitted and
received whole.

HTML provides lots of features for accessibility - ALT, LONGDESC, OBJECT,
LANG, the use of Aural Style Sheets and the ability of the user to control
presentation in great detail, the proper use of NOFRAMES, and so on.

Convincing people to use these features relies on a number of things - one
of which is leading by example - build sites which work for everyone, not
just sighted (nor just blind) people.

Charles McCathieNevile

--Charles McCathieNevile            mailto:charles@xxxxxx
phone: +1 617 258 0992
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative
MIT/LCS  -  545 Technology sq., Cambridge MA, 02139,  USA

On Mon, 15 Mar 1999, Dave Mielke wrote:

  There is even a very commonly available tool today which could be used by all,
  and isn't. Every IMG element has an ALT tag via which one can supply a textual
  string which describes whatever the graphic is. All non-graphical browsers pick
  up this string and display it instead of the image. While it's been there for
  years, the average sighted user is not sensitive to the fact that he should
  always be using it. Those who do, often are very careless with what they put in
  it so that, even though a string gets displayed, it's not very helpful.
  Another example of what's already available today is that frames can be named.
  I can't count any more the number of times I've come across frames named "top"
  and "bottom", or "left" and "right", rather than something truly meaningful
  with respect to their content so that I would more quickly be able to figure
  out which one of them to select.
  >I do know, for instance (I don't know
  >if you've heard of this) that there is a markup language that contains
  >pronunciation tags a speech engine can pick up.  
  I've heard of this sort of thing, though I've never actually went looking for
  it in order to give it a try. Once again, though, it's questionable whether or
  not sighted people will actually learn to use it effectively. The major problem
  is that they do not know any blind people who could try it out for them before
  they inflict it on the public at large. I rather suspect, perhaps far too
  pessimistically, that such a facility would be mostly abused, e.g. so that
  one's pages will make cutsy sounds in order to impress th friends of their

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