[rfc-i] Accessibility and figures

Paul E. Jones paulej at packetizer.com
Mon Apr 30 06:45:56 PDT 2012


I'm not sure this would help.  A diagram often exists to express some 
complex concept and text in the form of some data structure not so 
useful as an alternative, IMO.

That said, explaining a diagram fully is not necessarily reasonable, 
either.  Diagrams exists to aid in understanding and sometimes they 
exist to fully explain.  In either case, a data structure cannot be 
visualized in the same way as a picture.  Pictures are visual and, by 
their nature, not really accessible to blind people.

I believe explaining most diagrams in text is reasonable, as I think 
most figures should be used to assist in understanding the text.  If a 
diagram exists to fully explain what could have been written in text, 
then it's probably good to encourage authors to explain it in text. 
However, I'll be the first to say that it's almost silly to draw a state 
machine or things like Specification and Description Language (SDL; Rec. 
ITU-T Z.100) diagram, especially a complex diagram, and then to re-state 
in text every relationship.  So, sometimes accessibility needs cannot be 
met without doing the opposite in making the text less accessible by the 
rest of the world.


On 4/28/2012 1:39 AM, Joe Hildebrand wrote:
> On 4/27/12 8:10 AM, "Paul Hoffman"<paul.hoffman at vpnc.org>  wrote:
>> On Apr 27, 2012, at 12:33 AM, Larry Masinter wrote:
>>> for accessibility, every figure's content should also be described in
>>> accessible text.... that goes for ascii art too, for that matter.
>> What do you mean by "described"? Assume for a moment that you have a diagram
>> showing the relationship between entities, such as Figure 1 in
>> draft-iab-rfc-editor-model-v2. What do you propose that the accessibility text
>> for such a diagram say?
> digraph "Figure 1" {
>      IAB ->  "Independent Submission Editor";
>      "Independent Authors" ->  "Independent Submission Editor";
>      "Community at Large" ->  IAB;
>      IAB ->  RSOC;
>      RSOC ->  "RFC Series Editor";
>      "Independent Submission Editor" ->  "RFC Production Center";
>      "RFC Publisher" ->  "End Users&  Readers";
>      IAB ->  IAB ->  "RFC Production Center";
>      IRTF ->  IRSG ->  "RFC Production Center";
>      IETF ->  IESG ->  "RFC Production Center";
>      subgraph cluster_rfc_editor {
>          "RFC Series Editor" ->  "RFC Production Center";
>          "RFC Production Center" ->  "RFC Publisher";
>          label = "RFC Editor";
>          style = dotted;
>      }
> }
> (see: http://www.graphviz.org/)

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