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: Thu, 22 Jul 2004 00:44:32 -0500
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-Id: <20040722054438.20B01A0A16@frink.w3.org>

Robert Fentress says:
[quote]Frankly, I don't care if something meets a
standard.  I care if it is accessible to users with a
variety of needs.[/quote]

It seems odd to me that someone whose goals appear to be
to help develop standards for accessible web content and
design would state that they don't care about standards.
Please enlighten us all with why someone with views like
this would want to be participating in the WCAG working
group.

[quote]Please explain to me how you can create modular
learning content that tracks and responds to the user and
can be moved between learning management systems without
some sort of client-side scripting.[/quote]

Personally it would depend upon the elements I'm testing.
If I'm developing a system that is modular and can be
shared by different systems that then requires that I
develop a system using a database or XML.  Client-side
arguments are dead.  Client-side scripts help reduce
bandwidth and repetitive reloading of pages.  Client-side
scripts allow people to get immediate responses if the
form is filled out incorrectly.  Server-side codes have
been doing this for years.  Learn to use server-side codes
would be my advice.

[quote]If a standard makes it impossible to create
necessary content that meets the standard because of
capricious and inflexible rules, then that is a problem
with the standard, not the content.[/quote]

I'm afraid the problem here is the developer ... not the
standards.  The developer would be lazy and inflexable ...
chosing not to do things a better way.

[quote]Again, some functionality cannot be simulated with
text alternatives.  Therefore, this is not an adequate
solution.[/quote]

I won't argue with that statement.  However I will argue
that the designer doesn't know how to put abstract thought
to concrete form.  Why then is the developer with a job?

If the SCORM could meet WCAG2 as it is currently written
then why are we having this discussion?

Perhaps someone can tell me what has been done with the
following in my absence.

*	supported in multiple, independently-developed
implementations of the browsers, user agents, and
assistive technologies.
*	supported across multiple operating system
platforms (i.e., Microsoft, Macintosh, or Unix - not
Win98/2000/XP)

[quote]To rule out the use of Flash because it does not
provide cross-platform accessibility, means, in many
cases, making other sacrifices in terms of usability and
functionality.[/quote]

Flash does not make a web site usable.  In fact, it does
the exact opposite.  It also does not make a web site
accessible ... it does the exact opposite.  Or should we
say the developer fails to develop systems that make their
web sites and applications accessible.

I'm not against Flash when it is used for what it should
be used for.  It does not belong in making an entire web
site.  Assuming that it does because Macromedia says it
can be assumes incorrectly.

[quote]No, because in some instances, it provides the most
functionality and usability for the greatest number of
people.[/quote]

That is a farce.  Why even have WAI?  We were fine with
the greatest number of people prior to WAI.  Your argument
is a full of holes.

My words from a previous message:
[quote]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.[/quote]

Flash developers assume more than they know.  Put your
audio presentation in Flash and I can't hear it.  Put your
audio instructions in Flash and I can't hear it.  Oops,
did someone forget to tell Macromedia that Flash Player
doesn't print words it finds in a binary audio
presentation?  Another reason Flash is not accessible.

Assumptions have been made that the minority should not be
considered because they are not important enough to have
concerns about.  Here we have a college ignoring the rules
of Section 504, 508 and the Americans with Disabilities
Act.  They ignore the rules and laws simply because of
inexperience and refusal to comply with standards.

Lee Roberts
http://www.roserockdesign.com
http://www.applepiecart.com

PS:  We all forget sometimes and sometimes we just hit the
reply button by error.  No problems on the multiple
copies.  But I do suppose I need to return to the weekly
phone conversations.  Perhaps someone can forward me, off
list, the phone number and pass code.



-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org
[mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Fentress,
Robert
Sent: Wednesday, July 21, 2004 4:36 PM
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Subject: RE: Javascript alternatives not necessary?


Lee,

First of all, I want to thank you for taking the time to
engage in this dialogue with me.  I think this is an
important issue, and I hope that a clearer explication of
the issues involved will not be of benefit to me alone,
but may also help others on the list who have dealt with
this.

-----Original Message-----
From:	Lee Roberts [mailto:leeroberts@roserockdesign.com]

[quote]
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.
[/quote]

Frankly, I don't care if something meets a standard.  I
care if it is accessible to users with a variety of needs.
If a standard makes it impossible to create necessary
content that meets the standard because of capricious and
inflexible rules, then that is a problem with the
standard, not the content.  Please explain to me how you
can create modular learning content that tracks and
responds to the user and can be moved between learning
management systems without some sort of client-side
scripting.

[quote]
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.
[/quote]

Creating complex web applications is not the same as
creating web pages and, while it does not necessarily
require a person to use a particular AT, it does require
them to use something that will interpret the code
written.  Again, some functionality cannot be simulated
with text alternatives.  Therefore, this is not an
adequate solution.

[quote]
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.
[/quote]

It doesn't require any particular AT.  As I interpret the
standards, SCORM does not meet WCAG 1.0 (not even priority
1), but it does conform to Section 508 and could meet WCAG
2.0, as currently written.  It is impossible to create an
adequate text alternative for the javascript-based
functionality it provides.

[quote]
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.
[/quote]

Accessibility is not, to my mind, an either/or.  It exists
along a continuum. Some functionality cannot be achieved
by anything as well as with Flash.  To rule out the use of
Flash because it does not provide cross-platform
accessibility, means, in many cases, making other
sacrifices in terms of usability and functionality.

Do I think Flash should be accessible on all platforms?
Yes, of course.  Am I going to stop using it because it is
only accessible on a PC in IE?  No, because in some
instances, it provides the most functionality and
usability for the greatest number of people.

Dogmatic proscriptive assertions will do nothing to
encourage developers to create accessible content.
Recognizing the ambiguities and trade-offs inherent in any
kind of accessible design and having an open and frank
dialogue about the best way to create accessible content
will.

[quote]
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.
[/quote]

I'm sorry.  I don't follow what you are saying here.
Could you clarify what you mean?

Rob

P.S.  I'm sorry for sending multiple copies of messages to
you, Lee.  I am still getting used to the fact that
responses to messages on this list go to individuals and
not the list.
Received on Thursday, 22 July 2004 01:44:41 UTC

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