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Re: "until user agents?" - revisiting baseline capabilities

From: Lisa Seeman <seeman@netvision.net.il>
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001 10:06:21 +0200
Message-ID: <001601c086a5$b61db560$da90003e@seeman>
To: "Jason White" <jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.edu.au>, "Web Content Accessibility Guidelines" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

It is a bit like making our assumtion list, and linking these ussumtions to
our checkpoints (wich assumtions are relevent to wich checkpiont). Wendy
pointed out that we need to specifie our assumtions anyway.

Futher we should note that by global stardardes, both Spain and Israel have
relivltivy high standards of living (both rated between 15  20 top
contries). No were near the US, but still high. (I belive Riussue is rated
in the late  thirties.)  That impies that global baseline critiera, may well
be almost non exixtent.

However baseline cfrytieria are truely site specific. Information sites can
be made to conform to global crytiera, However a Minosate law firm, need not
worry about about global criteria. A federal or US GOV site, also can afford
some leniency. On the other hand, one of the most gratifying part of working
with special need, was providing on line support to parents of LD children
in rural India, were the school teacher had not heard of any forms of LD. It
would have been a shame to have lost that opportunity by inappropriate site

Perhaps it should help to see our job as to provide the information. Let us
worry less about how to legislate its implementation. We can provide the
information, so that web designers legislators and others can make informed

It would seem that conformance is a multi dimensional concept. With issues
like user groups, extent of ease of access and baselines all existing in
separate planes. We could have fun with the implication of this, by
attributing to each checkpoint relative x,y,z functions (Kynn, Sean -
something you would like to do one night when you can not sleep) so that
people can select their criteria, and get their relative guidelines, or
conformance level ;) May be not.

But still calling it like it is is a good direction to take.


-----Original Message-----
From: Jason White <jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.edu.au>
To: Web Content Accessibility Guidelines <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Date: Thursday, January 25, 2001 6:11 AM
Subject: RE: "until user agents?" - revisiting baseline capabilities

>One approach to the "user agent capability" problem, which I don't think
>has been clearly enunciated thus far, would be as follows:
>1. To make it clear that socio-economic factors, which may be a direct or
>indirect result of various forms of discrimination, can affect access to
>computing resources and may thus preclude certain individuals and groups
>from taking full or immediate advantage of recent developments in user
>agent software and/or assistive technologies.
>2. To acknowledge openly that any firm criterion as to when a particular
>technology or feature has become so widespread as to be available, for
>practical purposes, to everyone who uses the web, is bound to be somewhat
>arbitrary and to exclude certain individuals who, for whatever reason,
>have not upgraded their hardware and/or software.
>3. To state that, for the purpose of defininng conformance to the
>guidelines, such socio-economic considerations will not be taken into
>account, but that implementors of the guidelines should bear them in mind
>in deciding to what extent their content should be backward compatible.
>Thus, implementors would be free, within certain limits, to weigh the
>advantages of backward compatibility against other factors, such as the
>added convenience, improved features and reduced development costs which
>may be associated with newer technologies.
>4. To prescribe, for purposes of conformance to the guidelines, that a
>particular format, protocol or feature of any given technology may be
>utilized or relied upon in web content when the following conditions have
>been met: (1) there exist one or more implementations thereof, available
>under major operating systems (E.G. MacOS, MS-Windows and Unix); (2) these
>implementations are compatible with assistive technologies; and (3) the
>implementations are interoperable. For this purpose, only the latest
>versions of user agents and/or assistive technologies will be considered;
>if user agents/assistve technologies vary across platforms, only the
>common features thereof (available on all platforms for which development
>is ongoing) will be taken into account.
Received on Thursday, 25 January 2001 03:06:10 UTC

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