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RE: Don't require <Q>

From: Leonard R. Kasday <kasday@acm.org>
Date: Wed, 17 Jan 2001 17:45:03 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: "Robert Neff" <rneff@bbnow.net>, "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>, "'Wendy A Chisholm'" <wendy@w3.org>
The specific question of <Q> aside, if/when we get consensus here, how can 
we turn this into a general principle that will be put into 2.0?  And where 
would it fit in the way we are structuring 2.0?  I need the answer for 1.0, 
but it would be good to be explicitly address 2.0 at the same time.


At 03:18 PM 1/17/01 -0600, Robert Neff wrote:
>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
>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
>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
> >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,
>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
>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 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

Leonard R. Kasday, Ph.D.
Institute on Disabilities/UAP and Dept. of Electrical Engineering at Temple 
(215) 204-2247 (voice)                 (800) 750-7428 (TTY)
http://astro.temple.edu/~kasday         mailto:kasday@acm.org

Chair, W3C Web Accessibility Initiative Evaluation and Repair Tools Group

The WAVE web page accessibility evaluation assistant: 
Received on Wednesday, 17 January 2001 17:46:08 UTC

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