W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > September 2007

Re: Screen-reader behaviour

From: Al Gilman <Alfred.S.Gilman@IEEE.org>
Date: Sun, 2 Sep 2007 10:48:30 -0400
Message-Id: <p06110402c2fdf173b733@[192.168.1.100]>
To: public-html@w3.org, wai-xtech@w3.org

At 3:58 AM +0200 31 08 2007, Sander Tekelenburg wrote:
>not to flood <wai-xtech@w3.org>]
>
>At 13:18 -0400 UTC, on 2007-08-30, Al Gilman wrote:
>
>[...]
>
>>  There are two reasons why the things the WAI asks for sound very
>>  abstract:
>>
>>  1) people with disabilities vary widely in their needs, and there are
>>  years of experience in assistive technology and universal design
>>  that have gone into distilling a common-mode abstraction of what
>>  the client side needs from the content production and server segment.
>
>Are you saying you have input from real actual flesh and blood developers of
>Jaws and such?

Yes.

>Can you get them to participate in the HTML WG?

I seriously doubt it.

>The theory is
>important, but without input from the practice side, we aren't going to get
>anywhere.

I'm sorry, the accessibility APIs are practice, not theory. That's
what I've been telling you. "Pave the cowpaths" and "Don't re-invent
the wheel" translate to "support the accessibility APIs; at least
there you have an established connection to multiple ATs."

>What Gregory just explained about Jaws 8 looks even more horrible
>than what I'd seen of it (Jaws 4). We need to know why Jaws is so horrible,
>or else we can't do much for it.

1) You will probably be scandalized at the quality of the user
experience using the present Web with present AT. This is why they
can sound urgent in their pleas. But "get over it." It's still a lot
better than nothing and worthy of respect in setting out an
evolutionary approach.

2) Blaming Jaws is not scientific problem isolation. There's enough
blame to go around on all sides. One major source is indeed the lack
of a spec they can code to that actually reflects the main corpus of
web content. The plans in HTML5 to create a concrete and pragmatic
parse spec will radically improve this. So don't claim failure; what
I fully expect you will complete will be a contribution of no small
magnitude.

3) We not only have AT vendors talking to us, we have them
implementing WAI-ARIA so that very-lightly-improved coding practice
in Web Applications will create function available through AT which
is presently outright unavailable.  This is our response to "solve
real problems."

"Evolution, not revolution" applies to the programming practices of
AT even more than to the mainstream Web. These are small businesses
serving small markets and the forward march of technology in their
products is concomitantly slower than in the main.

Al

>
>
>--
>Sander Tekelenburg
>The Web Repair Initiative: <http://webrepair.org/>
Received on Sunday, 2 September 2007 14:48:52 UTC

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