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Re: "Fixed" Print Versions (was: wichita state's usability resources)

From: gregory j. rosmaita <oedipus@hicom.net>
Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2001 21:37:03 -0400 (EDT)
To: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>
cc: WAI Cross-group list <wai-xtech@w3.org>, w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.BSI.3.95.1010727212317.16286S-100000@ns.hicom.net>
aloha, kynn!

as someone who plys WAP sites/services with a screen reader & regular old
browser (usually lynx32 or IE5.5SP1) whenever i can, i wonder for which
profile i'd opt...  WAP sites (at least currently) have the advantage of
chunking and brevity -- the palm interface for the mirriam-webster's
dictionary, for instance, is precisely what i, as a user of the dictionary
wants -- a means to simply issue a query without having to wait while the
merriam-webster company's home page loads around the object of your desire
or so you don't have to wade through loads of links if you don't have a
"jump-to-first-form-field" mechanism available to you, or so you don't
have to remember 25 different search strings so that, by using either your
AT or the UA's search functionality, you can skip over all the intervening
(and to the user who can't ignore it, extraneous)  materials...  like it
or not, the majority of people who visit a site like www.m-w.com aren't
there to investigate the merriam-webster family of products and services
-- they are there because they are doing prosaic everyday things, such as
composing email using a web based interface without a spell check utility
on a public terminal, and they want the web to be as convenient as
reaching across the desk to pick up a well-worn reference book or opening
a drawer and pulling out one of the franklin talking dictionaries... which
is one of the reasons why wireless is so "hot" -- everyone wants to get
there before wireless providers figure out a way to effectively serve push
technology upon them... 
a company like merriam-webster's greatest assets are its reliability and
its usability -- if people can use it easily, they'll use it frequently,
and when the time comes to buy a big fat print or deluxe CD-ROM
dictionary, or even a cheap pocket dictionary for those "unplugged" 
weekends, people will immediately think of the dictionary which they know
and upon which they've come to rely, and just maybe, they'll make the
purchase online...
besides, there's a sort of justice, or at least irony, in the blind using
WAP portals to circumvent intrusive, distracting, and detrimental content
-- not many of the ads are alt texted (or, if they are, endowed with
meaningful alt text) to begin with -- increasingly, commercial sites are
deploying OnLoad pop-up ads which are little more than a small,
emasculated browser shell containing nothing but a GIF or JPEG, most of
the time without even a "click here to close" link or "Close" button... 

and then there's the fact that the only way i _can_ interact with the
wireless web is from a desktop, using text-to-speech technology...


TELEPHONE, n.  An invention of the devil which abrogates some of the 
advantages of making a disagreeable person keep his distance.
                         -- Ambrose Bierce, _The Devil's Dictionary_
Gregory J. Rosmaita, oedipus@hicom.net
            Camera Obscura: http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/index.html

On Fri, 27 Jul 2001, Kynn Bartlett wrote: 
> At 8:52 PM -0400 2001/7/27, gregory j. rosmaita wrote:
> >which is, in fact what you've done at http://kynn.com/resume/ where you
> >offer your resume in 3 flavors: "web", "print", and "xml" -- which, i
> >suppose, means you're still in the running for the highly coveted
> >positions i have to offer...
> Whew!  That's a relief!  :)
> BTW, since I can't stop talking about my employer these days (for some
> reason), I should probably add to this discussion the idea that one of
> the alternate interfaces in the "first cut" of our UI library generates
> a PDF file for printing upon request.  (E.g. a link saying "PDF file
> for printing" or whatever.)  It's also a fixed format -- although it
> eliminates the navigation and stuff -- but is also one of several we
> provide including more accessible versions.  This is a valid approach,
> right?  (BTW, the interfaces in the "1.0 UI library" are "screenreader",
> "palm/pda", "WML/WAP phone", "PDF", and something else...oh, yeah!
> "Graphical browser.")
> --Kynn
> -- 
> Kynn Bartlett <kynn@reef.com>
> Technical Developer Liaison
> Reef North America
> Accessibility - W3C - Integrator Network
> Tel +1 949-567-7006
> ________________________________________
> ________________________________________
> http://www.reef.com
Received on Friday, 27 July 2001 21:37:19 UTC

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