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From Stefano Mazzocchi <stef...@apache.org>
Subject Re: AW: [OT] Design Rant
Date Fri, 21 Dec 2001 13:46:20 GMT
Henning von Bargen wrote:

> A HTML page should simply be coded in a linear fashion
> (I read that somewhere in an article about designing web pages for impaired
> readers), so that it is usable with screen readers.

Oh, please, let's avoid the 'one-size fits all' syndrome that seems to
hit every W3C WG after a few years: the web architecture has the ability
to syndicate content, that means that you should ask for the content
that suits your needs the best. That's the way to go.

Sure, you can use CSS print media or aural media, but how that compares
to ad-hoc solutions like XSL:FO and VoiceXML? IMHO, poorly.

> As a rule of thumb, it should be more or less possible to read the html code
> like a book if you think all the html tags stripped off.
>
> Tables should be used for tabular data only inside the content
> and (as a practical exception) can be used inside toolbars at the top and
> bottom which aren't part of the content.

I have an exercise for you: try to apply these design principles to your
favorite newspaper (the paper version, I mean)

Now answer this question: what is more economically feasible: selling
the newspaper as a 200 pages (one size fits all) A4-sized book written
because the ocr->speech software for visually impaired people are easier
to write, or adopting a publishing system that is able to present the
newspaper content (the value-add) in a format that suites people needs?

Sure, the first solution is much easier for the publisher since it
doesn't have to have different 'output' channels and manage all of them
at the same time, but it's a much more realistic approach to publishing
problems.

The technology of the press created the same kind of problems that we
are facing today almost 400 years ago.

People, wake up! Don't think printed pages are obsolete just because
they are 'fixed' or because your screen doesn't yet weight 2 grams,
doesn't bend and doesn't have 2500 Dpi!

We must go back and learn from the history of printed publishing:
moveable char sets are the equivalent of stylesheets. Non-book layouts
(newspaper) were an entirely new way of presenting information (just
like portals).

The best web content management and publishing system will be the one
that will be used for *both* the 'paper' version and the on-line version
of a newspaper. 

Until that happens, we have still a long way to go.

-- 
Stefano Mazzocchi      One must still have chaos in oneself to be
                          able to give birth to a dancing star.
<stefano@apache.org>                             Friedrich Nietzsche
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