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RE: Why I don't attend the weekly teleconference (Was: Input on the agenda)

From: Murray Maloney <murray@muzmo.com>
Date: Sat, 27 Jun 2009 11:01:38 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Cc: John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu>, 'Shelley Powers' <shelley.just@gmail.com>,public-html@w3.org
At 01:10 AM 6/24/2009 +0000, Ian Hickson wrote:
>On Tue, 23 Jun 2009, John Foliot wrote:
> > Ian Hickson wrote:
> > >
> > > (The browser vendors are the ultimate gatekeepers, of course, in that
> > > they get to decide what actually gets implemented. It's our role as
> > > editors to make sure we do what they want, otherwise our documents are
> > > nothing but rather dry science fiction.)
> >
> > Actually Ian, the end users are the ultimate gatekeepers, because if the
> > browser, no matter how 'superior' it might be technically, does not
> > support the end users, then they will not use it.
>Yeah, to some extent that is true. However, I think that is reflected in
>what the browser vendors implement, since they are motivated to make sure
>they don't ignore their users (since, as you say, they would then lose
>market share).

I, for one, do not trust the browser makers to get it right any more than I 
trust the banks to get it right. And, meaning no disrespect to Ian, I have 
no more faith in his prognostications that I do in the head of the U.S. 
Federal Reserve.

"Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions 
to protect shareholders' equity, myself included, are in a state of shocked 
disbelief," he told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

> > Perhaps we should help guide the browsers toward what the end users
> > require, instead of passively sitting back and taking whatever they
> > choose to deliver?
>As far as I can tell, that describes what happens pretty well.

I am reminded of Captain Renault in the 1942 film Casablanca, who said "I'm 
shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!"

> > To that end, I and the other 'engineers' (per James; I prefer empath vs.
> > scientist myself: same discussion, different perspective), we seek to
> > speak for those end users who fill the edge cases that the HCI process,
> > by its very nature often excludes (can you say 80/20 rule?)  For us,
> > close enough is never good enough, and we do not and cannot accept that
> > perspective - for our constituents *are* the 20% (and actually,
> > according to _data_, just to introduce a third thread in a very busy
> > day) closer to 25%:
> >
> > In 2004 a study commissioned by Microsoft showed that among adult
> > computer users in the United States:
> >
> >     * 1 in 4 has a vision difficulty
> >     * 1 in 4 has a dexterity difficulty
> >     * 1 in 5 has a hearing difficulty
> >
> > The Microsoft Survey also found that 16% of users have a cognitive
> > difficulty or impairment, and few (3%) have a speech difficulty or
> > impairment.
>This is exactly the people I want to help. However, we have to *actually
>help them*, not just provide solutions that theoretically might help them
>but in practice do not (such as longdesc, summary, etc).

Ian, I don't think that it is fair to imply or assert that longdesc and 
do not work in practice. Since you argue that browser makers are the ultimate
gatekeepers for visual representation of HTML, why do you not allow the same
role for AT makers? Isn't it up to the AT people to say what works for them?


Received on Saturday, 27 June 2009 15:14:40 UTC

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