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Re: the market hasn't spoken - it hasn't bothered to listened [was Re: fear of "invisible metadata"]

From: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>
Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2007 12:18:17 +0300
Message-Id: <95659AB8-B2CA-488F-BAF7-D30C814E3EE6@iki.fi>
Cc: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>, wai-xtech@w3.org
To: Gregory J.Rosmaita <oedipus@hicom.net>

On Jun 24, 2007, at 22:56, Gregory J. Rosmaita wrote:

> what is the point claiming the market has spoken, when most authors
> and authoring tools don't provide or promote the use of LONGDESC,
> the summary attribute for TABLE, and other accessibility oriented
> markup?

I wasn't referring to any particular language feature. I was saying  
that we should be informed and even be swayed by how markup gets used  
in practice even if you consider the usage "poor". It would be  
foolish to ignore actual usage.

> who would have thought, 25 years
> ago, that there would be curb-cuts on most street corners and
> ramps at most public accomodations?  the argument was made then
> that it is too much of an economic outlay to justify the small numbers
> of those it would help -- and then people using strollers and shopping
> carts started to use them, and i doubt if the teenagers skateboarding
> down the ramp at my local bank know why there is a ramp there, other
> than for their skateboarding pleasure...

There's a big difference in installing curb-cuts as part of the  
routine paving work and chiseling them in afterwards. Installing them  
as part of the routine is relative cheap while chiseling them in  
afterwards is relatively expensive.

If we apply the curb-cut analogy to HTML, the conclusion I draw is  
that we should move to markup with built-in accessibility roles as  
part of the routine authoring process instead of advocating after-the- 
fact chiseling with role=''. That is, we should push <progress>  
instead of a bunch of divs and spans with role='wairole:progressbar'.

> the lack of market share argument simply doesn't hold water when
> discussing accessibility and usability concerns,

I'm not making market *share* arguments. I'm arguing that we should  
be informed and potentially swayed by how markup features are used in  
practice. That is, how they are doing in the "market". Pretending  
that the design accessibility features cannot fail when exposed to  
the people out there (i.e. the market) makes no sense.

-- 
Henri Sivonen
hsivonen@iki.fi
http://hsivonen.iki.fi/
Received on Monday, 25 June 2007 09:18:33 UTC

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