W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-gl@w3.org > January to March 2000

Re: Does the user know for sure whether the page is dynamic or static?

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Sun, 23 Jan 2000 19:59:19 -0600
Message-Id: <Version.32.20000123160414.0411f970@pop.iamdigex.net>
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
At 08:42 PM 1/23/00 +0000, Jonathan Chetwynd wrote:
>Al wrote:
>We need a way for people to be able to be sure that
>they are accessing the same information, even when it is presented
>This just cannot make sense, the presentation DOES affect the meaning.
>(bold is used as illustration not intention).

Let me try an example, then.  

Something which is bold in vision can be un-modified in the synthetic
speech, in which case information is lost.  Or it can be inflected a little
louder or with a heightened articulation index, in which case we come
pretty close to equivalent presentations.

In referring to "the same information" I actually was referring to a more
mechanical level where data engineering technology can help.  For example
in the matter of Mac prices.  A price in a web page should always have
effectivity information so people are not surprised if the merchant says it
is no longer good.  If an obsolete price quotation is not obviously
obsolete, then the response of the system is not predictable.  That kind of

>My concern as usual is that members are allowing themselves to get too far
>away from the common person. And that person's ability to use the tools.
>It is all very well Al not wishing  a "total disconnect between our
>set of rules and the Web run by money."
>Who is the code being written for the end users or the middle men?
>If accessibility is just a sop to salve the conscience of the money men
>count me out.

When you ask "who is the code being written for?" I am not sure we have the
same code in mind.  I am thinking about the content publishing and serving
code, and the web applications composed of server-side and client-side
scripts taken together with HTML or HTML-generating data.

There is an immense expectation of future profitability for those who own
the most successful code for managing the transit of information through
the web.  There is a lot of money chasing this expectation in the form of
code developed around profit motives.  The web of the future will be
defined by the code so developed.  We have no way around that.  We can't
stop it, we can try to steer it a little.  But to steer it we will do
better with the carrot of competitive advantage than with the stick of
moral disapproval.

The carrot is the fact that checking for known gross failure modes in
usability by people with disabilities has a ripple effect of making the
content better designed, usable, and more readily understood by many more
people.  It is a quality check tool for effective communication.  Effective
communication is where one sees the profits.  The Wall Street Journal wrote
this past Christmas shopping binge season about how e-commerce retailers
suffer a higher rate of returned purchases because the online medium does
not yet communicate as clearly to buyers just what they are buying.  This
is our leverage point.  Understanding what makes web pages comprehensible
across the full spectrum of adapted modes of access teaches how to make web
pages more readily and correctly understood by all.  It impacts the
comprehension rates for people with disabilities and people without.  Fewer
unhappy returns.  Increased return on investment.  QED.

I don't believe we should be pandering to people's greed for any moral
choice of my own, but because I don't see any other choice.  There's nobody
else out there, to speak of.

Received on Sunday, 23 January 2000 19:55:02 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 16 January 2018 15:33:31 UTC