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  1. #26
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    I agree that a text only version is virtually unnecessary. If you have a lot of content, a lot of effort could be involved in something targeted at such a small portion of users. Just make your web site viewable for as many browsers and 800x600 resolution and I would think you're in the clear.
    iPodbank - Forum for iPod, music, tv and movie enthusiasts.
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  2. #27
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Hey,

    Making a text version of a website can be pretty neat. If you have people with sight difficulties it can be great. With Mac OS X's built-in speech system that reads the text, or Microsoft Window's TTS (Text To Speech) add-on, blind people can easily listen to the web's content.

    However, this is in most cases unnecessary, unless you have visitors having sight problems.

    But text form is also neat, for example for search engines. I bet a text-based version of a website safes ugly descriptions in the search engine. For example, introductions like "Yellow Submarine requires: the macromedia flash 4 plugin with a 800 x 600 resolution or higher Go get the flash player now. " are not very attractive, and I suppose that could be avoided with a text-only version.

    Can also be neat if W3C standards are not good, for people with other browsers than the website was designed for.

    Just some thoughts of mine. The first few things that popped into my mind.
    Friðrik Már Jónsson
    Student & Web Designer

  3. #28
    gingham dress, army boots... silver trophy redux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vprp
    I agree that a text only version is virtually unnecessary. If you have a lot of content, a lot of effort could be involved in something targeted at such a small portion of users. Just make your web site viewable for as many browsers and 800x600 resolution and I would think you're in the clear.
    that misses the point. what about transcripts of audio/video, for those who can't see/hear them? avoiding mouse-only behaviours, and making sure the site still works if javascript is unavailable? lots more, but...that's what accessibility is about, not 800x600 and maximum browser coverage...
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  4. #29
    gingham dress, army boots... silver trophy redux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eZtro
    Making a text version of a website can be pretty neat. If you have people with sight difficulties it can be great. With Mac OS X's built-in speech system that reads the text, or Microsoft Window's TTS (Text To Speech) add-on, blind people can easily listen to the web's content.
    which they also can if your site is coded to proper standards, separating content (xhtml) from presentation (css), without the need for any special text-only version.

    But text form is also neat, for example for search engines.
    ditto. search engine spiders will love your properly structured, semantically valid markup, provide alternatives for audio/video, ensure it works (at least has workable fallback options) without javascript or plugins.
    re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
    [latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]
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  5. #30
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    Sorry Redux I just don't think (this might be just me though) that people know what you are talking about when you say coding "within standards". I am a n00b bigtime here, but I have figured out what it means, but as time passes those who don't know, or just think they know will either be brought up to speed or fall behind..
    2pesos

  6. #31
    SitePoint Evangelist Redivider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jspew
    Sorry Redux I just don't think (this might be just me though) that people know what you are talking about when you say coding "within standards". I am a n00b bigtime here, but I have figured out what it means, but as time passes those who don't know, or just think they know will either be brought up to speed or fall behind..
    2pesos

    It's definitely not just you. A lot of people probably have no idea what any of this means.

    But if you don't know what coding "within standards" means, you shouldn't be developing websites (aside from a personal site or whatever), let alone taking part in this discussion.

  7. #32
    Google Engineer polvero's Avatar
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    hmm...
    as M. Johansson mentioned just a little bit back about cell phones...I wonder how cell phones render css?
    since I don't have one of these dandy phones with a browser on it, what does any page look like? what kind of rez are they using?

    also I'd like to echo the thoughts that were previously mentioned about "if you have to make a second copy" etc... there's definitely some issues that you probably need to deal with in the first one

  8. #33
    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by polvero
    I wonder how cell phones render css?
    It's different on all phones.

    what does any page look like?
    It's different on all phones.

    what kind of rez are they using?
    It's different on all phones.

    In summation: just use text. Any layout more advanced will annoy said cell phone owner.
    Mattias Johansson
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  9. #34
    Google Engineer polvero's Avatar
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    so...if all cellphones are different...I wonder what css specs some could render. Do phone's have css 2.0 capabilities?

    I viewed my site in IE 1.0 and it degraded very nicely (no, not the site in my sig - that one broke up very badly) so I'm assuming it should work out just fine on a phone even when it spits out just text and no css formatting.

  10. #35
    SitePoint Enthusiast trigxine's Avatar
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    polvero:
    Most cells absolutely do not have CSS2 capabilities. Hell, some browsers (cough IE cough) can't even do that! They have, for the most part, unless it's a smartphone or a PDA/phone, about the CSS savvy of Navigator 4.7.

  11. #36
    Google Engineer polvero's Avatar
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    that's great to know.
    i guess the main trick is just designing with compliance, usability and accessibility all in mind.
    Kind of reminds me of how Design by Fire guy designs...
    first make your entire site like a giant list, then style it. This way you'll have a good idea before you "design" of how your site will render w/o a stylesheet.

  12. #37
    SitePoint Enthusiast trigxine's Avatar
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    Exactly. That's the technique I usually take with my sites. Just make some lists with classes or IDs as to how you're going to lay it out, fill in sample content, and then style the lists, adding divs as necessary.

  13. #38
    Web developer chrisranjana's Avatar
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    Yes it helps for linx brower for command line acces too. Good idea.
    Chris, Programmer/Developer,
    Laravel Php Developers, Ruby on Rails programmers,
    Moodle, Opencart, Magento, Geodesic Classifieds/Auctions,
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  14. #39
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    Here's an article some of you might be interested in reading...

    http://www.it-analysis.com/article.php?articleid=12118

  15. #40
    Drupaler bronze trophy greg.harvey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M. Johansson
    In summation: just use text. Any layout more advanced will annoy said cell phone owner.
    My summation would be use a sensibly ordered, all div/CSS layout. Then any users with special requirements, whatever they may be, can turn off images and detach a page from the stylesheet and it's fine. It effectively *IS* a text only page then. Like redux said from the start, do it properly and this isn't an issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by polvero
    I viewed my site in IE 1.0 and it degraded very nicely
    That's the key!

    G

  16. #41
    Google Engineer polvero's Avatar
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    anyone else willing to check out how their's degrades see it here:
    http://www.dejavu.org/emulator.htm

  17. #42
    SitePoint Zealot moagw's Avatar
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    Anybody know the percentage of people using phones to surf?? and are they buying or just goofing around when they are online?

    BTW, what about in the logs to tell if phones are surfing my site I have a LENGHTY list, but I haven't heard of most of them..

  18. #43
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    I think the site should be built with accessibility in mind, if you meet web standards properly, you should not have to develop more than one version of your site. Everyone should be able to read it by default.

    I've always hating multiple versions of sites, unless you happen to have a flash version, and a non-flash version...

  19. #44
    SitePoint Zealot ChrisCarter's Avatar
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    Here's a question:

    Do any screen readers or cell phones support the @import command for CSS?

  20. #45
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    I'm not actually sure, but if so... there's the answer to this thread, just separate your CSS and HTML and it should work for all devices, that's part of the significance of web standards.

  21. #46
    eCommerce specialist hotnuts21's Avatar
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    I love this thread, it has given me such an insight into it all. I was however somewhat coincidently asked to create a text-only site for a client, what they wanted was the whole link etc.

    So I managed to get a script together, that creates the text only/print friendly page on the fly. Dont worry I have told them that they should be aiming to go for a standards site and they are, but they want an acceptable mid-ground.

    What the scripts does, is basically strip out all HTML tags, except those which I specify can stay. I have two versions a pure text and one which still includes images. It just looses everything else.

    I would like your feedback on what other tags, you think can stay, or should be included to make it as good as possible. Here is the current list of tags.
    <HTML><HEAD><TITLE><BODY><FORM><INPUT><A><BR>
    <P><LI><OL><UL><SELECT><OPTION><TEXTAREA><a><img><id>
    You can see it in action here, with links to both versions at the very bottom of the page. Note, this isnt the client who wants the works, just a client whos site I am testing it on
    http://www.jeremymoorephotography.co...site/index.php

    Thnx
    Search & Rescue Aberystwyth Lifeboat
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  22. #47
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    I like the second text version more, the first one still showed some images... I'm on Firefox (in case you've only been testing with IE so far)

  23. #48
    eCommerce specialist hotnuts21's Avatar
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    Yeah the only difference between the two is that one has images and the other doesnt.
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  24. #49
    Non-Member Prosubmit's Avatar
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    Good point Digitalman!

  25. #50
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    A text only version of your site (can be done with CSS very easially if you have the skills to separate content from presentation). Of course it will not only serve as a "print-friendly" version of your site but it will also be more accessible as people with Palms and cell hpones surfing your site will be better off.


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