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RE: Don't require <Q>

From: Robert Neff <rneff@bbnow.net>
Date: Wed, 17 Jan 2001 15:18:11 -0600
To: "Kynn Bartlett" <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>, "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>
Message-ID: <AHENJNNCANEHAIIBJNDGCEIGCDAA.rneff@bbnow.net>
It is my belief that you may design for specific browsers.  A company or
agency must consider its audience especially for the intranets.  However, if
they chose to do use specific browser like American Airlines, then they
better make sure they have a fantastic call center to take questions as a
back-up!

As an implementer, I detest subjective standards o I want quantitative
metrics.  There are simply too many browsers out there and there is no way
to test conformance to all, so it is my belief that corporations and
agencies need to make financial decision on how best to spend their funds
and interact with technologies to ensure they access the widest possible
audience.  This is going to take careful planning and risks.

But until there is a line drawn in the sand by the government or W3C where
all browsers must meet the specific standards, we are going to have
subjective discussions on how to make something accessible and what
constitutes an accessible site.

I, for one, am concerned that the community is its worst enemy. I am more
than glad that we have web content accessibility guidelines, but the next
step should be for the government and even challenge the us, where the WAI
states here are the browser requirements. THEN MAKE SURE IT IS FREE for
everyone.  Then we would have both the guidelines and browsers!  As a
implementor, I would test on this one browser that people can use and also
test on browsers that use my site the most.

I am not being cynical here.  I think this is actually doable.  Just think
if the most popular browsers and other browsers conformed to this standard.
Then if you really want to ensure buy-in, get the Access board to back this!
If I were a government or commercial web manager, I could state to use our
site, please use the browser X - and not be so concerned with thirty
browsers.

I expect heart from this one <smile>


 -----Original Message-----
From: 	w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org]  On
Behalf Of Kynn Bartlett
Sent:	Wednesday, January 17, 2001 2:02 PM
To:	Bailey, Bruce
Cc:	Bailey, Bruce; 'Web Content Accessibility Guidelines'; 'Leonard R.
Kasday'; 'Wendy A Chisholm'
Subject:	RE: Don't require <Q>

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 16:16:45 GMT

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