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RE: Don't require <Q>

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Wed, 17 Jan 2001 12:02:09 -0800
Message-Id: <4.2.0.58.20010117115810.00b418c0@garth.idyllmtn.com>
To: "Bailey, Bruce" <Bruce_Bailey@ed.gov>
Cc: "Bailey, Bruce" <Bruce_Bailey@ed.gov>, "'Web Content Accessibility Guidelines'" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>, "'Leonard R. Kasday'" <kasday@acm.org>, "'Wendy A Chisholm'" <wendy@w3.org>
At 11:36 AM 1/17/2001 , Bailey, Bruce wrote:
>Still, I would argue that the window of opportunity for making a timely
>amendment to Checkpoint 3.7 has passed.  I know that this argument comes up
>every six months ors so, but I can't help myself!  Part of the point of
>specifications is to give the browser vendors something to shoot for.  The
>"until user agents" clause does nothing to promote this.  We also regular
>debate when is "until" up?  Since the latest releases of the "big two" are
>compliant on this particular issue, I have to argue that, at list with
>regard to this particular point, we have arrived!  The formal WCAG 1.0 is
>now twenty months old.  The first formal release of HTML 4 was more than
>four years ago.  There is no excuse for the "popular" browsers being broken,
>and we should not dilute our standard to make up for their behavior --
>especially when they are (finally) fixing the problem.

So are you saying that people should expect to be able to access the
web only if they are using the most recent browser verions?

That's really what the "until user agents" clauses are about --
backwards compatibility based on the understanding that few, if any,
user agents actively follow the standards (and even fewer,
historically).

I disagree with the -phrasing- of "until user agents" (since it
puts an unreasonable and inscrutable burden upon the web designer to
somehow have perfect knowledge on something which even we are 
unable to agree upon), but I do agree with the thought behind it,
which is that if you know of a common problem caused by lack of
support by the browsers, it's not enough to simply say "LA LA LA
NOT LISTENING WE'LL DO WHAT THE STANDARD SAYS AND THAT'S IT".

This is why I propose replacing "until user agents" not with
"it's the standard, dummy" but with concrete guidelines which
say "as of 2001, there is not support for this method in the
majority of browsers, so relying upon the standard will cause
you problems."

--Kynn

-- 
Kynn Bartlett  <kynn@idyllmtn.com>                http://kynn.com/
Technical Developer Relations, Reef           http://www.reef.com/
Chief Technologist, Idyll Mountain Internet   http://idyllmtn.com/
Contributor, Special Ed. Using XHTML     http://kynn.com/+seuxhtml
Unofficial Section 508 Checklist       http://kynn.com/+section508
Received on Wednesday, 17 January 2001 15:03:09 GMT

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