WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives

Re: PPT to clean HTML


From: Jukka K. Korpela
Date: Dec 16, 2004 3:44AM

On Thu, 16 Dec 2004, michael.brockington wrote:

> > How would that _improve_ accessibility?
> I think that this is one of those cases where the developer has to be
> practical - 100% accessibility (if there were any such thing) is probably not
> achievable, so a conversion to HTML would be a massive improvement.

I asked "how". HTML can be much less accessible than other formats, and in
this case, the _real_ format would be an image format, not HTML - HTML
would be just "glue" that connects the images.

> NB: WCAG 11.1 Use W3C technologies when they are available and appropriate
> for a task

That's one of the most foolish clauses in WCAG. For accessibility, you
should simply use the technology that promotes it best. If it happens to
be defined by W3C, so be it.

> In this case I feel that the possibility of diagrams etc makes conversion to
> JPEG + Text the most appropriate technology.

JPEG isn't a W3C technology. Neither is GIF. (Why would you use JPEG for
representing text and diagrams??)

If the presentation contains diagrams, the appropriate method is to
present them as GIF images (perhaps with SVG versions presented as
alternatives) embedded into HTML documents and with textual presentations
of their essential content in a suitable way - which would often mean
that a separate presentation needs to be written by someone.

But it would be absurd to present _all_ the content, even the texts, as
images, and call this a massive improvement in accessibility.

> I can't believe you said this - how is a proprietary technology that needs a
> deliberate (ie non-automatic) install better than HTML?

By giving access to text as text, for one thing. It's _much_ better when
"HTML" actually means a set of images linked together via HTML.

Real HTML - using images only for content that is inherently visual -
would be a real improvement, but as I wrote in my first comment, it's
hard work.

> > Besides, I just tested it on OpenOffice. It turns each slide
> > into an image (jpg or gif - this is selectable) _without_ any
> > alt text.
> This is the only valid point.

No it isn't, but it alone makes the approach all wrong.

Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/