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Development WAI activities

From: jaap van lelieveld <Jaap.van.Lelieveld@inter.NL.net>
Date: Sun, 01 Mar 1998 14:08:35 +0100
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <T3V+08h/nfCB092yn@inter.nl.net>
During the last three months I've been doing two things:
1. I used the web and
2. I followed these mailing lists closely.

I serve the net for more then two years now and unfortunately I
must say: the longer I do it, the more difficult it becomes.
But although the discussions were interesting, they did not really
hit the real problems I had when using the web.

Just some examples:
1. More and more sites use JAVA, JAVA script and/or generated pages.
   With LYNX - or any other text-based or specific browser - no 
   scripting support at all is available.
   When using e.g. IE results are rather unpredictable and depend on 
   a lot of good luck and - as usual - the screen reader program used.
   In (nearly) all cases though I did not have the feeling that
   "I saw, what I'd got".
   Or to say it more clearly: I could not get through without
   sighted people's assistence.
   One additional remark must be that each screen reader had its
   own "good things".
   Major problem of course is I only visit such pages once !

2. For transactions of any importance SSL is required these days.
   This is quite useful, but do you know any text-based
   browser that supports SSL?

3. I tried the - most recent - demo of PW Webspeak. I do not know
   if this demo is a good version to try, but - to my disappointment - it
   did not even support FRAMEs. I did not dare to try SSL !

4. When I use IE - with a frame-based environment - the
   tab order and frame navigation interfeers strange.
   First of all I'm of course not informed about frame changes;
   The screen reader is simply not aware and IE seems not to be really
   aware either:
   - When I tab it just jumps from the last tab-pos of one frame
     to the first tab-pos of the next frame regardless of the
     current focus in this frame.
   - When I go to a new frame the focus of this frame is destroyed.
     It simply goes to the first tab-stop in the frame.
   - The same is true for swithcing frames. YOu can use Ctrl-Tab to
     jump from frame to frame, but ... the focus will be ... lost.
   - By the way ... when using IE: if you follow an internal link
     in a page the destination does not get focus either.

5. It is very useful to discuss ALT texts: how to add them and
   where to put them (and how to mentain them?).
   First you must ask though: How to present them to the user:
   Fullgrown ALT-text usage must become available through the
   browser; the browser must allow you to: identify an object,
   imform you there is an alternate text (of whatever type) and
   display this information properly:
   - LYNX: I do not even realize when ALT text is displayed;
     whether it concerns an active link (image with ALT text).
   - IE: shows it as a "tool tip" that is not picked up
     by my (?) screen reader.

I'd like to approach accessibility requirements from another viewpoint:
the ability to use the information and/or service on the web.
This has been mentioned in the lists and meetings several times too:
WAI should identify the problems first (didn't we discuss this in Nice) 
and then try to prioritize this list of problems.
This must of course been based on importance of the items and not
on possibilities to solve it.

Best regards,

Message from: Jaap van Lelieveld      The Netherlands
              Chairman of EBU commission on Technical Devices and Services
E-mail:       Jaap.van.Lelieveld@inter.nl.net

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Received on Sunday, 1 March 1998 09:34:24 UTC

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