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RE: Javascript alternatives not necessary?

From: Fentress, Robert <rfentres@vt.edu>
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 2004 23:06:56 -0400
Message-ID: <E7BD4EDD62660F44922C0B11258FBE8F40121D@fangorn.cc.vt.edu>
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

What would be the text alternative for SCORM javascript-based user tracking?  Or do we just say, arbitrarily, in my opinion, that SCORM is inaccessible, because the javascript-based functionality it provides cannot be replicated with a text alternative.  SCORM-compliant content could work in any browser that supports javascript and be accessible using only keyboard access, so why say it is inaccessible?  There is a reason that standard uses javascript as a requirement: because, combined with an API adapter, it allows for interoperability of educational content between learning management systems.

You cannot view an HTML page without an appropriate user agent of some sort, and yet we don't say web pages are inaccessible.  Similarly, you cannot access the interactivities of javascript without an appropriate user agent.  What does this have to do with accessibility?

Why should not the fallback position be that content must be accessible to users with disabilities when they use the prescribed user agent?  Replicating all content with text alternatives is unnecessary and practically limits you to straight HTML and server-side scripting.  Why spend all that time making an accessible javascript or Flash-based web application when you are going to have to replicate all of its functionality with text (which is not even possible, in many instances)? 

Rob

-----Original Message-----
From:	Lee Roberts [mailto:leeroberts@roserockdesign.com]
Sent:	Tue 7/20/2004 5:36 PM
To:	'Loretta Guarino Reid'
Cc:	w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Subject:	RE: Javascript alternatives not necessary?

Loretta points out that our guidelines should stand the
test of time.

OK.

While we focus upon things like JavaScript, SVG and Flash,
who says that some smart person won't come up with a new
technology?  Each time we have a new technology come up we
are in the same position ... it won't work on all
platforms and in all assistive technology. Therefore, we
must have a fallback position.

That fallback position must be an equivalent text
alternative.

Lee Roberts
http://www.roserockdesign.com
http://www.applepiecart.com
Received on Tuesday, 20 July 2004 23:06:57 UTC

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