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Re: conflation of issues or convergence of interests?

From: Al Gilman <Alfred.S.Gilman@IEEE.org>
Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2007 10:36:31 -0400
Message-Id: <p06110409c2cfaf8aef48@[192.168.1.100]>
To: "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <oedipus@hicom.net>, public-html@w3.org, Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>, wai-xtech@w3.org

** summary

Lachy, would you accept this as a friendly amendment?

"don't presume that a solution that works for one user situation
ports to others.  Universal design takes more care than that."

If we take that as a working guideline, along with "prefer
solutions that get used more over solutions that get used
less (when they both afford the same functionality)"

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2007Jul/0924.html

We might have the beginnings of a working agreement.

** details inline

At 9:41 AM -0400 27 07 2007, Gregory J. Rosmaita wrote:
>lachlan wrote, quote:
>This is why we should avoid conflating accessibility issues with
>technological barriers, i18n issues, and whatever else.  There is no
>one-size-fits-all solution, and it doesn't help to pretend that one can
>be developed.
>unquote
>
>could you clarify precisely what you mean?

How about 'clarify somewhat'?  Let's see if we can build peace
and harmony inch by inch.

Looking at an accessible web from inside the computers,
increasing the coverage or universality if people-to-people
sharing of understanding is achieved by "different strokes
for different folks" variability in the user experience.

There are both things that have to be the same and things
that have to be different.  When the different user experience
revolves around different data, and we haven't yet got the
universal format that makes this unnecessary, there need to
be well-wrought ways to manage the access to the options.

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/wai-xtech/2007Jul/0068.html

Once there are alternatives to be chosen among, as is needed in
the case of sound, image, and many things that we term 'media,'
there is no fixed pecking order among better and worse alternatives
"for a given user."

Lachy gave a good example where the appropriate mending
of the communication pipeline varied for different barriers to
be overcome.

>  the purpose of HTMLx is to
>ensure that the web is usable for everyone -- from someone with a very
>slow connection and a text-browser to someone who cannot see or use
>their hands to interact with a computer...
>
>accessibility has always been the canary in the W3C coalmine -- what
>you and others fail to grasp is that there IS cross-over between
>internationalization issues and interoperability issues and general
>usability; no one is looking for a one-size-fits-all solution, as
>that runs counter to the whole concept of accessibility, which is in
>the eye, ear, fingertip, or whatever else is available to the user...
>
>accessibility issues ARE technical issues -- that's why the Web
>Accessibility Initiative exists -- to ensure that there are multiple
>solutions AVAILABLE to the user in order to fit the users' needs;
>no one is pretending to have a one-size-fits all solution, but if
>a solution can provide for better accessiblity, better usability,
>better internationalization, and is platform neutral, why should it
>not fall under the HTML WG's purview -- yes, we as a working group
>can't fix flash, but there are those working with it's developers
>on making it more accessible, but in the interim, the fact remains
>that there is a need for equivalent alternative content, which it is
>this WG's responsibility to provide the mechanisms for embedding and
>exposing equivalent alternatives, INCLUDING the option to have a
>side-by-side rendering of the image AND it's description...

As I read Lachy's remarks, that is exactly what he was saying --
that too trite a decision rule doesn't give the user access to
the variant that works for them.

And yards and yards of interactive dialog or infrequently used
configuration settings are a solution in principle but rarely in
practice.

So managing the access to alternatives remains a challenge that
the accessibility smarties and the rest of the HTML WG share.

>no, one size never fits all, but we are not attempting to fix the world,
>just the world wide web, and in order to do so, we need to have
>alternative mechanisms with multiple methods of exposition, which are
>tailorable, and which provide equal functionality for anyone anywhere...
>
>it's not an either/or proposition -- accessibility, internationalization,
>and interoperability MUST be considered at EVERY stage of the development
>process, in order to avoid awkward after-the-fact semi-solutions that
>merely pass the buck from the web-based technology to a third-party
>assisstive technology; there is nothing magical about speech synthesis,
>screen magnification or speech input -- they are all equally valid means
>of interacting with a web application, and as such, must be addressed,
>and taken into consideration during all our deliberations...
>
>that is why so many of us who have worked predominantly in the
>accessibility field, dealing with gaping perceptual black holes and
>other barriers erected by others, are committed to ensuring that one's
>web experience is NOT predicated on proprietary plugins -- if a
>functionality exists which is currently only addressed by a proprietary
>application or plugin, then it IS the purview of the HTML WG to ensure
>that an individual's experience of the web not be compromised by the
>use of third-party plugins WITHOUT the markup language which is used
>to embed them providing a native fallback mechanism to provide equal
>functionality and content...
>
>i also take issue with your example of downloading movie trailers --
>that trivializes the issue -- those of us with disabilities are trying
>to communicate with one another, with the wider world, make a living,
>and get and hold a job, all of which is predicated upon the use of
>standards that promote accessibility, internationalization, and
>interoperability...  compared to that, watching a movie trailer
>downloaded from the web exposes your argument as the logical straw man
>that it is...
>
>what puzzles me is why there is such a fear of accessibility issues; the
>question is moot -- the W3C has made a commitment to making the web
>accessible to all, regardless of the reasons why it is not currently
>accessible to all, through the establishment of the Web Accessibility
>Initiative, just as it has committed itself to the pursuit of
>internationalization and quality assurance...
>
>if accessibility is to be achieved, it must be considered from the very
>outset, and continually serve as a guiding principle, for what is
>accessibility other than a sub-set (or super-set) of usability?  the
>model of finding solutions after the fact has failed repeatedly in the
>past; the WAI was established PRECISELY to avoid this vicious
>developmental cycle which is more of a whirlpool to those caught inside
>it...
>
>gregory.
>   --------------------------------------------------------------
>   BIGOT, n.  One who is obstinately and zealously attached to an
>   opinion that you do not entertain.           -- Ambrose Bierce
>   --------------------------------------------------------------
>                Gregory J. Rosmaita: oedipus@hicom.net
>   Camera Obscura:             http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/
>   Oedipus' Online Complex:    http://my.opera.com/oedipus/
>   United Blind Advocates for Talking Signs: http://ubats.org/
>   --------------------------------------------------------------
Received on Friday, 27 July 2007 14:36:59 GMT

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