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Re: Problems with OTACS-2

From: Jim Ley <jim@jibbering.com>
Date: Sun, 28 Oct 2001 01:36:47 +0100
Message-ID: <00c501c15f4a$95a93ec0$aa3c70c2@7020CT>
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
"Kynn Bartlett":
> >         The other side of the coin is that in the case of Dyslexia,
> >it is presumed that the user should have a speech reader which is
> >NOT free, and not provided by good site authors who generally tend
> >to put a link to download the plug-in when their pages need it.
>
> What?  Those users should just use Macintosh which has the built in
> ability to read text out loud.
>
> Now, see, I'm not REALLY arguing that, I'm just pointing out that such
> arguments are very easy to make but very problematic in practice.

All of the major O/S's do have free text to speech engines though AIUI,
mac as you say, windows certainly does (well shipped with win98+ IIRC a
<4mb (depending on language <2mb for US English.) download otherwise) and
it's my understanding there are free *nix ones, but I have no experience.

What responsibilities does the user have, can they expect full acess with
whatever technology they choose to use? of course not, the user has to use
what's appropriate to them, but how much accomodation is reasonable, the
WCAG 1.0 was if they could do it, it's not priority 1, this is something I
agree with, _but_ certainly would feel in a regulation framework that it
should leave some onus on the content provider to ensure that this not
only could it be done, but that it there were tools to do it.

> >>       eg. PDFs can be rendered "accessible" (according to Adobe).
> >>       However the W3C does not approve of PDFs as the only means of
> >>       content transmission because it relies on a plugin. Under
OTACS-2,
> >>       it appears PDFs would be accessible. Under WCAG 1.0 they are
not.
> >
> >The Adobe plug-in, unlike a Speech Reader, is free and easily
> >downloaded and installed.

It also has a history of security flaws such that security concious
companies do not have it installed (in Windows Acrobat 4's plug-in was
incorrectly marked safe for scripting and provided access to  a users
printer, Adobe never fixed this despite being aware of it, I've not looked
to see if the security hole is still there in Adobe 5.0, I won't let it on
my machine.)  Is this a reasonable view, or should such user concerns not
be relevant, after all the content is accessible.

Why is downloadable ok, when pay for is not? - downloads cost money, is
there some amount that sets the limit - or is this some unmetered
connection bias in the suggestions?  (IIRC I'm paying in excess of 1UKP/mb
to read/send this email.)

My conclusion is, plug-ins whether free or not can never be required for
all groups, _but_ users with more specific needs should make best effort
to use appropriate UA's and these include plug-ins.  So for example if in
3.4, the site author provides images in SVG because they can generate that
from their content, then it's not unreasonable to expect the user to
provide the means to view it.  Cost shouldn't come into it, reasonableness
should (of which cost is part of.)

Jim.
Received on Saturday, 27 October 2001 20:49:55 GMT

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