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RE: text as images...

From: <gian@stanleymilford.com.au>
Date: Mon, 4 Feb 2002 11:19:14 +1100
Message-Id: <H00000e000375e03.1012781953.tux.sofcom.com.au@MHS>
TO: charles@w3.org, mcmay@bestkungfu.com
CC: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Hi,

I believe when we are talking about people with disabilities we really
need to consider lack of finances and resources as just as important as
lack of 'abilities'. A disability unfortunately comes bundled with
discrimination, and this isn't just a case of people staring in the
street, but also work discrimination, loan discrimination, rental
discrimination, etc etc. all that lead to financial discrimination.

One of my main clients is the Victorian Department of Human Services
Disability Services Division. When I recently upgraded their site to AAA
status (and I don't expect email responses telling me it's not
accessible because it hasn't been uploaded yet), one of the MAIN
requests was that the site was Netscape 2.0 compliant. No that is not a
typo. I am talking Netscape 2.0. I was still at Uni when Netscape 2.0
came out!

So why? Why does it matter that the site is compliant with Netscape 2.0?
Because people, especially people with disabilities who have
difficulties with things we take for granted, do not change things they
are comfortable with. If they know how to use a browser, they are not
going to upgrade. Especially if they are still on a 486 with Windows
3.11. 

I believe this is inherently an accessibility issue, because, like it or
not, the people that we aim to serve with the WCAG do not just have to
deal with their physical disability, but also the discrimination that
often comes hand in hand.

So, in essence, if I had to choose between Netscape and CSS (and I do on
a daily basis when recommending designs to clients) I will always choose
Netscape, because although IE may have attempted to take over the
market, they haven't completely, and until that day comes (let's hope
that the American justice system can at least waylay them) I believe
Netscape is of more importance to my audience than CSS for navigation
and layout.

Gian

-----Original Message-----
From: mcmay [mailto:mcmay@bestkungfu.com]
Sent: Saturday, 2 February 2002 6:14 AM
To: charles
Cc: w3c-wai-gl
Subject: Re: text as images...


> So here we have a dilemma. There is a loss of presentation quality if
text
> is rendered as images. There is a loss of presentation quality if
people
use
> Netscape, and the author "correctly" uses CSS to style the text.
>
> Do we have a mechanism for working out whether one of these is a
bigger
> problem in terms of accessibility?

At this point in time, I have to say I believe non-current Netscape
compatibility should no longer be a consideration.

First, this is primarily a problem with Netscape 3, since it doesn't
support
CSS at all. But version 3 has been obsolete for five years, and CSS
support
is adequate in most competitive browsers released since then. Version 4
has
its own idiosyncrasies, but sometimes it does what's necessary. Version
6 is
more than adequate (and by the time WCAG 2 is released, a version of
Netscape 6 based on Mozilla 1.0 should be available).

Previously, we've broached the subject of a user's responsibility to
keep up
to some extent with browser technology. I think this is an ideal example
of
where we say it is a user's responsibility to be on a browser that
supports
standards adequately. In the situation of Netscape, where better options
are
available for the user, I can't find an argument for including
non-recent
versions of it in a set of user agents for which developers should
explicitly increase access. Updates are free, readily available and
internationalized. Netscape's earlier support of standards was
unimpressive
at best. And, perhaps more importantly, where IE is embedded in other
applications/kiosks, etc., Netscape largely is not, which means there
are
few barriers that I can see to get off the platform where accessibility
for,
say, low-vision users, is a concern.

-
m

----- Original Message -----
From: "Charles McCathieNevile" <charles@w3.org>
To: <gian@stanleymilford.com.au>
Cc: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>; <wendy@w3.org>
Sent: Friday, February 01, 2002 10:16 AM
Subject: RE: text as images...


> So here we have a dilemma. There is a loss of presentation quality if
text
> is rendered as images. There is a loss of presentation quality if
people
use
> Netscape, and the author "correctly" uses CSS to style the text.
>
> Do we have a mechanism for working out whether one of these is a
bigger
> problem in terms of accessibility?
Received on Sunday, 3 February 2002 19:21:01 GMT

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