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Currents: An E-Journal Realism and a General Economy of the Link

by Adrian Miles 
InterMedia UiB and RMIT 

Currents in Electronic Literacy Spring 2001 (4), < 

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Access, particularly in relation to the World Wide Web, generally includes problems dealing with the development and adoption of coding and presentation standards for content. Accessibility covers the implementation of appropriate international standards for HTML coding (as defined by the various Document Type Definitions for HTML developed by the World Wide Web Consortium) and also involves issues that deal with speed of access (page size), information architecture, and access for users with disabilities.

These are the issues covered by usability experts such as Nielsen, in extensive detail. However, concentrating on such concerns tends to regard hypertext writing as informational, a technical process that is to ensure the arrival of rather unambiguous, intentional, packets of meaning.

However, it would be reasonable to describe the problems that users have with links as not being one of their redundancy or transparency (that links say what they mean) but in being able to find the specific content within a site, essay, or project. In other words, users are less bothered by what a link says or looks like than in being able to find what they're looking for.

Access is an important issue, whether considering the World Wide Web or any other publication environment, but its assumptions only refer to a very singular model of discourse and of communication in which clarity and transparency of information remains paramount.

Currents: An E-Journal