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RE: Javascript alternatives not necessary?

From: Fentress, Robert <rfentres@vt.edu>
Date: Thu, 22 Jul 2004 07:55:04 -0400
Message-ID: <E7BD4EDD62660F44922C0B11258FBE8F401221@fangorn.cc.vt.edu>
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

Look, I've tried to be patient, reasonable, and polite, but, quite frankly, I'm tired of your insulting attitude.  I am not a moron.  I can do server-side scripting.  It is not appropriate to certain tasks.  If you cannot see this, then I can only assume you have little experience in developing a broad range of content.  If you would not be so complacent and smug and actually read the specification for SCORM and take a moment to consider the issues involved in developing reusable learning content, instead of assuming everyone who disagrees with you is a lazy, bad developer, you might actually learn something.

I joined this list, among other reasons, so I could contribute to the discussion of issues relating to accessibility and to try to make sure those writing the standards were aware of the issues that a real, live, developer in an academic environment faces.  Our university is making a good faith effort to do better at creating accessible learning content, which is more than can be said for the vast majority of universities in the US.  I am a leader in this regard here (small pond, I know), and have been tilting at windmills to get other folks in the university community to make accessible content.  I would like to help ensure the standards are actually addressing accessibility needs and not just making life harder for developers, because if they make life needlessly hard, developers will just write off accessibility altogether.

So far, all I've gotten from you is dogmatic and pissy assertions, not reasoned arguments.  Is this is the level of debate I can expect on this list--insults and arguments from authority?  If so, I fear for users who have different needs, because they will not be served well by any standards developed here.

Rob


-----Original Message-----
From:	Lee Roberts [mailto:leeroberts@roserockdesign.com]
Sent:	Thu 7/22/2004 1:44 AM
To:	w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Cc:	
Subject:	RE: Javascript alternatives not necessary?

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.
Received on Thursday, 22 July 2004 07:55:40 UTC

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