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le 14 février 2005
First of all, I would like commend Mr. Clark for addressing this topic at all. Accessibility is an important in computer development.
While the content seems to be accurate, and quite detailed to the point that you could use the information in the book to actually build a site with it, the writing is so poor and very difficult to read. Mr. Clark needs to throw away his thesaurus and hire an editor. He would be better off delivering his message in a clear and concise manner, and spend less time writing in a very "fancy" way that would be better suited for thesis papers rather than a book targeted towards the masses. This heavy style of writing makes it a difficult book to digest while riding the subway.
Pretentious - the one word I would use to describe the overall style of writing. This really put me off as a reader, making the content even more difficult to absorb. (In one case, the author actually explains his choice of word, "indention" as opposed to the more commonly used "indentation". His explanation seemed to imply that everyone who uses "indentation" is clearly *wrong*; two online dictionaries confirmed that "indentation" could have been used.) Of course, my opinion that the writing of this book is pretentious could also come from actually having met the author.
Read this book only if you really have the time to struggle through all his big words to get at the meaning behind them.
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le 7 novembre 2002
I was looking forward to reading this, but what a disappointment. I need information on what the laws and standards actually are, not what Mr Clarke thinks they *should* be. This book seems less about accessibility, and more about Mr Clark. For example, there is an extended section triumphantly detailing every typeface used, every piece of software the author used to write the book - with version numbers - and we even learn the colour of his Mac. We find out who his friends are, and what music he listened to while he wrote the book. We are privileged to be told which of his friends gave us the CDs of those pieces of music. All of which leaves no room for discussion about such fripperies as JavaScript or PDF. Who'd want to learn about those in a book about Accessibility?
The book is also maddening to read. I need information, delivered relatively neutrally. The typeface used next to figures has an annoying, pretentious little loop between 's' and 't's, making it difficult to read. The main title font has exactly the same size caps as lowercase, when Mr Clarke of all people should know that a lot of reading is carried out by recognising the 'shape' of words rather than reading each character (that's why READING ALL CAPITALS IS SO DIFFICULT). The index is poor and badly laid out, the screenshots are fuzzy and difficult to see. Then there's the author's verbal tic of dropping in french words when the English would suffice, which is tres annoying, n'est ce pas? Especially to those who don't parle Francais. The constant authorial interventions to demonstrate his own learning makes reading the book feel like being hectored by some prissy, preening self-obsessive.
My verdict (to take one of the chapter titles as a two-word summary): Why bother?
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