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RE: Screen reader support for browsers

From: Lee Roberts <leeroberts@roserockdesign.com>
Date: Fri, 19 Apr 2002 11:48:44 -0500
To: "WCAG List" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <NFBBJHFEOLAGEICMIMBPGEGHCEAA.leeroberts@roserockdesign.com>
John, I'm going to back you on this one - not that it will be unusual.

Any developer that programs a web site to work with IE does not realize that
it is an error in judgement.  IE6 is the worst browser MS has ever created.
Not only does it not follow the CSS standards, MS is writing their own book

In case we haven't noticed AOL, with it's 24 million subscribers, will be
using Mozilla as its engine in the next release.  Netscape 6x will be
improving.  Opera has a better support engine, but it does lack one quality
that I recently found - it takes up too much window space with its control
buttons in the purchased version and way too much with its advertising in
the free version.

So, anyone that wants to justify why these user agent companies want to
continue to support bad browsers needs to evaluate the true worth of the bad
browsers.  I'm sure there are a lot of MS fans out there that think IE is a
really great browser and has the market controlled.  MS will quickly lose
its share as AOL switches over to Mozilla.  (Not that I like AOL either).

The issue of concern should be to get with the User Agent work group and
have them write better standards for the user agents.  If the user agent
does not provide adequate access because it supports IE then there will
always be a problem.  Smart designers don't program for IE, especially when
it comes to using CSS like we are telling everyone they should do.

Perhaps we need to reconsider the position John was making here.  He simply
stated a fact that these user agent companies are supporting a
technologically challenged browser that does not work.  If they continue to
do this we will all have problems.  If a person develops a web site it
should be accessible across all browsers not just IE.  Do we want to
continue to give MS control over what we see on the Internet?  I should hope


-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org]On
Behalf Of Thanasis Kinias
Sent: Friday, April 19, 2002 11:22 AM
To: Jim Thatcher
Cc: john_slatin; 'Charles McCathieNevile'; 'jonathan chetwynd';
Subject: Re: Screen reader support for browsers

scripsit Jim Thatcher:

> I would be interested in understanding how you believe your web access
> be changed if your screen reader supported a different browser, say Opera.
> assume you would want the same handling of the page that JFW now provides
> under IE through parsing the HTML. So what is going to be different?

Perhaps one is using older hardware which lacks the `horsepower' to run
a modern MSIE (which needs a _lot_ of resources), but could easily run
Opera with good performance.  Perhaps one likes the idea of Opera's
tabbed interface, which allows having several pages open with only one
window, the user being able to switch between them with CTRL-TAB without
having to wade through other Windows applications' windows in an
ALT-TAB.  This is a real boon when one has a slow network and pages take
many minutes to load.  Perhaps one likes the ability to manage privacy
concerns more closely than MSIE allows, or wants the ability to control
popup windows, etc.  Or perhaps one is Norwegian, and wants to support
local small business.  There are a multitude of reasons one might want
to use a browser other than MSIE.

Browsing the Web using even the best aural interface is not an exercise
for the impatient.  Anything that can be done to make that task easier
is going to be very welcome indeed.  On the other hand, throwing up
further limitations -- like only being able to use one browser, when
sighted users have so many to choose from -- is doing visualy impaired
users a great disservice.

Thanasis Kinias
Web Developer, Information Technology
Graduate Student, Department of History
Arizona State University
Tempe, Arizona, U.S.A.

Ash nazg durbatulūk, ash nazg gimbatul,
Ash nazg thrakatulūk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul
Received on Friday, 19 April 2002 12:46:49 UTC

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