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Re: Browser and Technology Support [Was: Re: [w3c-wai-gl] <none>]

From: Jim Ley <jim@e-media.co.uk>
Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2001 16:22:09 -0000
Message-ID: <015901c145de$39ed6500$ca969dc3@emedia.co.uk>
To: "Matt May" <mcmay@yahoo.com>, <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>, "Wendy A Chisholm" <wendy@w3.org>
"Wendy A Chisholm" <wendy@w3.org>

> Jim states that scripting is not safe and therefore questions if we
> support it.  It is my experience that client-side scripting is used
> often for security reasons.  For example, when submitting personal data
> a site, if you have to continue sending it back to the server for data
> verification, each time it is sent through the 'net is a possible
> breach. therefore, many sites prefer to do the verification on the
> client-side to avoid possible security breaches as the info travels the

No, I question if it should be allowed to be used as the sole method of
bringing accessibility, both on practical grounds of it not being
possible, and on desirability grounds, of it being dangerous.  I
acknowledge and know it can bring enhancements, but don't see it being

Your example above, is not an example of why I see client-side validation
being valuable, in any case that makes no difference to the accessibility
of a page, it's purely an enhancement, or were you suggesting that a
server should accept whatever it is sent? - I hope a little thought will
remove that notion.

> There are many good cases that e-commerce sites build for using

Please make them?  If we look at a popular e-commerce site, say
http://www.tesco.com , we see they throw their extensive scripting and
make an accessible site without any http://www.tesco.com/access/
Scripting can bring usability and acccessibility enhancements.

> As for the question if scripting has ever been used to make an
> site accessible - yes it has.  When I worked at the Trace R&D Center,
> Novak created a javascript that would let the user navigate a table.
> was before user agents or assistive technologies were able to navigate
> tables cell by cell, row by row, column by column.  I have also seen a
> client-side script that creates a navigation window that hovers over a
> creating large icons for people who do not move well.

These are part of the User Agent domain, indeed if we include this as
Alan Flavell has already noted in the thread, I've created lots of such
methods.  However was the content that was enlarged accessible before? -
of course it was, it's not a recommendation of WCAG, that page authors
provide a magnification tool, that's the job of User Agents, and many
User Agents do a good job of this.   Equally your table page obviously
wasn't authored to appropriate standards, if it was using non-tabular
data in a tabular form, the page could've been authored in a way such
that the script enhancement wasn't necessary.  So the author was at

 This is my very point that script only makes pages that have been
deliberately made inaccessible by their authoring accessible, or they're
really in the scope of the User Agent.

> I don't see client-side scripting disappearing. Matter of fact, with
> SVG, etc I only see its use increasing. I do not think it is useful to
> debate how to make it go away or how to completely avoid it - as I
> interpreted some of your message, Jim.  Please correct me if I have
> misunderstood.

I'm very surprised that you have the impression that I believe script can
be made, or would be desirable to have it go away, I am a javascripter by
profession, I author the comp.lang.javascript FAQ, I do a lot to promote
javascript use, and to push the boundaries of what can be done, and this
is one reason why I believe I can comment on this. I've given examples of
accessible scripting
http://jibbering.com/accessibility/menu.html I just have not been
convinced by any arguments that say javascript could or should be
necessary for accessibility of HTML pages (SVG, SMIL perhaps, there the
more interactive nature could make a difference.)

> Instead, let's try to answer the questions and debate the
> scenarios that Gregg posed in his original e-mail:
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-gl/2001JulSep/1048.html

That's only an issue in relation to script, if you say it's a valid way
to give accessibility, I don't see any evidence that it is.

> It's similar to saying, "use style sheets for HTML, but make sure the
> is readable without them."

Absolutely! That is not what the minutes at
say though.

On a more constructive note,  Later today/tomorrow I'll  likely posting
an early Alpha release of an automatic script tester, which provides some
suggestions based on the script that is used on the page.

Received on Tuesday, 25 September 2001 12:27:47 UTC

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