W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-gl@w3.org > July to September 2004

RE: Javascript alternatives not necessary?

From: Lee Roberts <leeroberts@roserockdesign.com>
Date: Wed, 21 Jul 2004 11:34:26 -0500
To: "'Fentress, Robert'" <rfentres@vt.edu>, <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-Id: <20040721163441.39D49A1490@frink.w3.org>

As much as I hate to post without giving references,
please refer to the dialogue in the attached message.

For a web page or web application to be accessible it must
meet all basic requirements.  If it can't meet those
requirements then there is no way it will be accessible.

Requiring a person to use your chosen set of AT tells me
the person has no idea what accessible is.  That's as
1990s as telling me I have use IE because the designer
junked up their page with a bunch of Microsoft codes.  I
didn't do business with those organizations and I won't do
business with them now.

Whether SCORM claims they developed their standards to be
WCAG compliant or not is not the issue.  It isn't WCAG
compliant if it requires that I use one specific AT.  The
other standards support that argument.

Flash fails compliance testing because it requires the
user to be on Microsoft platforms.  So, until Macromedia,
whom has full control of how their plugin operates, makes
the plug-in compliant it won't meet the basic requirements
of accessibility.

So, no organization has the right to require specific AT
to use their web site or web applications.  That's what
the WCAG standards are all about.  Developers don't have
choice, the user has choice.  Developer's rights end where
the user's rights begin.  My rights as a user out-weigh
the rights of the developer.

Gregg's point about the new Mac OS including their own
voice browser is a good point.  EMACSpeak is still used on
Linux and Mac at this point.  To push those users aside is

As for Flash being accessible to all users, I will
challenge that with one simple statement.  I can't hear
your application talking and there is no way I can read
words not in print.

Lee Roberts

-----Original Message-----
From: Fentress, Robert [mailto:rfentres@vt.edu] 
Sent: Wednesday, July 21, 2004 7:06 AM
To: Lee Roberts; w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Subject: RE: Javascript alternatives not necessary?

-----Original Message-----
From:	Lee Roberts [mailto:leeroberts@roserockdesign.com]
Sent:	Wed 7/21/2004 12:55 AM
To:	w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Subject:	RE: Javascript alternatives not necessary?

Robert says {quote]You cannot view an HTML page without an
appropriate user agent of some sort, and yet we don't say
web pages are inaccessible.[/quote]

First, web pages can be viewed using any thing as base as
Lynx to as robust as Firefox.  They can be presented by
Braille displays and screen readers.  If they are
developed correctly!  So, your argumnet about web pages is
full of holes.

Different web browsers support different features and
implement common features differently.  Thus, any web
resource is unlikely to be functional in all user agents.
So, in a sense, every developer designs for particluar
user agents, based on their prevalence in the market--even
developers senstive to concerns about accessibility.  This
is not to say that developing for one browser on one
platform is ideal.  It isn't, but that isn't exactly what
we are talking about in terms of Flash.  Flash works on
all browsers and all major platforms (Windows, Mac,
PocketPC, and Linux).  Since it is based on a plug-in
controlled by a company, rather than by a standards body,
it can be counted upon to behave consistently across those
plaforms, which is more than can be said for many other

While disabled users are limted to using IE on a PC, this
program is essentially built into the OS.  I would be
curious as to what percent of the disabled population uses
anything other than a PC to access web content.  What are
the screen readers for Mac OS X and Linux and what is
their market penetration?  If it is vanishingly small, is
it reasonable to assume that companies will develop
plug-in technologies that are accessible for each of their
proprietary accessibility APIs?  At a certain point, I
think, the responsibility is encumbent on the Operating
System manufacturer to adopt what may be a de facto
standard, ie. MSAA.

User tracking?  Does that provide me, the user, any
information?  No!  It provides you, the site owner,
information.  So, why should I care about your stats?  It
doesn't help me as a blind user.

User tracking in SCORM is a fundamental aspect of the
learning experience.  User's performance data are used to
deliver customized content in order to meet learning
objectives.  Thus, user tracking is of concern to all
users, in this instance.  If you would like to learn more
about SCORM, the standards are available at

Just because you're a Flash junkie doesn't mean that Flash
is accessible.  Just because other propogandaist step up
to the plate and say it is doesn't mean that it is.  It
simply isn't.  Anything that requires me to use Windows
and IE isn't accessible and never will be.

Your assumption that 90% of the world are on Windows and
that all disabled persons use Windows is short-sighted.
Linux has accessibility features.  Mac has accessibility
features.  So, until you and Macromedia start gaining
support from better systems don't assume Flash is

Please, do not make assumptions about me.  Unless I have
met you in a past life, you don't even know me. ;-)  I am
not a Flash junkie.  I do use Flash when the occasion
warrants and no other more widely-supported
standards-compliant solution is up to the task.  And there
are instances where this is the case.

Users with all disabilities can access Flash content.
Thus, it is accessible.  It may not run on all platforms
for all users with disabilities.  You can say it is not a
cross-platform application, but this seems to me a
seperate, though related, issue from whether it is
accessibile to users with disabilities.

[quote]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.[/quote]

Another situation full of holes.  You again assume you
have the right to tell me I have to use your chosen set of
tools.  You have no such rights.  That's what accessbility
is all about ... providing choice.  If you provide no
choice you are inaccessible.  Don't assume your rights as
a site owner over bear my rights as a student or
subscriber to your services.

Again, please do not assume what I am assuming.  There is
really no need to be so combative.  Can't we all just get
along. ;-)

The whole point of SCORM is that of providing choice.
Content developed in proprietary learning management
systems is not usable in other learning management
systems.  SCORM was develpoped as a standard to address
this problem.  Since no assumptions can be made about what
technology is running on the server, the standard defines
a javascript-based API that can be used as a way of
communicating with proprietary learning management
systems.  The learning management system is responsible
for providing an API adapter, usually in the form of a
Java applet, that receieves the javascript API calls and
translates them into that learning management system's
proprietary format.

This necessarily requires prescribing that user's access
the content with a javascript-enabled browser.  Just as
HTML pages require a browser of some sort to access them
as they were intended, web-based applications may require
require certain language interpreters are available.  That
is just the nature of the thing.  You can't access a TV
show with a toaster.  Interactivity is not text and often
cannot be represented as such.

Received on Wednesday, 21 July 2004 12:34:41 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 16 January 2018 15:33:50 UTC