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From: Jason White <jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.EDU.AU>
Date: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 18:33:44 +1100 (AEDT)
To: WAI Markup Guidelines <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.SUN.3.95.981118182343.12800C-100000@ariel.ucs.unimelb.EDU.AU>
This was written in response to Charles McCathie-Nevile's latest
contribution on this topic, with the subject line appropriately renamed.

For the most part, I think the latest draft handles the issue of scripts
quite well: it recommends that they be made directly usable, where
possible, but the basic point is that alternative versions of the document
that do not depend on scripts, and offer the same functionality, must be

As Charles has intimated, the best solution is to use server-side scripts
to produce interactive content, as a substitute for, or an alternative
supplied in parallel with, Javascript and other client-side scripts and
applets. This technique does not appear to be expressly stated in the
guidelines, however. An accessible site must be capable of serving only
HTML plus style sheets, to a client that does not support scripts, image
files, audio files, etc., with all information conveyed in well marked up
HTML, but with those other (multimedia) services provided for those who
can take advantage of them. This appears to be the essence of what the
guidelines are requiring in many of their specific recommendations.
Server-side scripts and data bases which generate content dynamically are
of the utmost benefit in achieving the desired goals; and they need to be
mentioned in appropriate parts of the guidelines, as valuable techniques,
with further elaboration in the "techniques document".

Moreover, sites in which the content is largely generated by the server
from data bases, or which use templates to achieve internal consistency,
are easier to maintain (and this is also a significant advantage of style
Received on Wednesday, 18 November 1998 02:33:49 UTC

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