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Re: Development Cost

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 9 Mar 1999 18:48:42 -0500 (EST)
To: "B.K. DeLong" <bkdelong@naw.org>
cc: w3c-wai-au@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.04.9903091831000.18094-100000@tux.w3.org>
The argument does cut the other way as well. If there is an identified
need for a solution which companies claim is too expensive to implement,
then it will not be done until somebody demonstrates a good way to do it.
In the case of speech recognition and machine translation these turned out
to be remarkably difficult, and took a very long time to reach maturity.
However, they are now moving from the wish list to the "well, it works ok
until' list, and we can expect them to become trivial to implement at some
point in the future.

If we don't identify an itch, it won't get scratched.

Let me just reiterate that I am not saying "all developers must be forced
to everything and hang the expense". I am saying that this group's primary
role is to identify the needs of a particular community, and produce
guidelines describing how those needs can be met. In addition, this group
has taken an approach of specifying the relative importance of meeting
each of those needs, to give some guidance to developers who are trying to
implement the guidelines, generally in a commercial environment where
there are many factors at work as to how important each of these
strategies is, which I expect will have some bearing on which problems are
solved in individual products released by individual developers.

Charles McCN

On Tue, 9 Mar 1999, B.K. DeLong wrote:

  At 05:36 PM 3/9/99 -0500, Charles McCathieNevile wrote:
  >Enforcement of these guidelines and assessment of how much they cost a
  >particular manufacturer to implement are both beyond the scope of the
  >group as currently chartered.
  >There are two reasons why I feel that the cost of implementation should
  >remain an issue which is beyond the scope of this group.
  I cannot agree more with what you said. By harping on these two issue we
  would be limiting the amount of accessibility we could recommend authoring
  tools contain or produce. Especially if we use the excuse "no one will
  implement it due to the cost incurred." 
  Besides, concerned individuals will always step in to help with the
  enforcement of standards. Look at the Web Standards Project. They've taken
  CSS 1 and HTML 4.0 and made the Web development community aware of how
  unimplemented these recommendations are. Currently, Netscape is rewriting
  their browser to become as compliant as possible and Microsoft has even
  admitted it now recognizes Web developers as a potential client and user.
  We should not limit ourselves because we think our recommendations will
  interfere with a company's cost or product-to-market schedule. If the
  companies do not implement our AU Recommendations, a new group will spring
  up to educate the public to ask for those features or buy a different product.
  B.K. DeLong                  360 Huntington Ave.
  Director                         Suite 140CSC-305
  New England Chapter     Boston, MA 02115
  World Organization        (617) 247-3753
  of Webmasters

--Charles McCathieNevile            mailto:charles@w3.org
phone: +1 617 258 0992   http://www.w3.org/People/Charles
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative    http://www.w3.org/WAI
MIT/LCS  -  545 Technology sq., Cambridge MA, 02139,  USA
Received on Tuesday, 9 March 1999 18:48:47 UTC

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