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Re: Alternate text channel vs. single one with universal design [subject renamed]

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 5 Apr 1999 14:48:35 -0400 (EDT)
To: Robert Neff <rneff@moon.jic.com>
cc: telecom-l@trace.wisc.edu, Jamal Mazrui <empower@smart.net>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.10.9904051428460.26497-100000@tux.w3.org>
The idea is that if you follow the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines,
your content will be accessible (to the specifed degree) on all
"conformant" platforms (all those that inmplement the relevant
sepcification). Clearly, a browser without a visual interface
cannot render video (to take Jamal's example). So the Guidelines require
that you do a couple of things, including provide an alternate, basic HTML
version (effectively this means strcutred text and links. A good way to do
this is use the OBJECT element to include a SMIL presentation, or to
include an HTML version, or to link to one for old browsers which can't
cope with OBJECT. This approach covers all the browsers there are which
implement HTML according to the specification, and all those which
implement earlier (3.2, and I assume 2.0 and 1.0 although I haven't
checked) specifications, as well as most of those that implement something
which is similar to the specifications.

In practice, specifying a list of supported products would go against the
principle that WAI is vendor-neutral, as well as the idea that
accessibility is about everybody having the ability to use the web, rather
than limiting access to a certain set of product types.

Just my personal 2 cents worth.

cheers

Charles McCN

On Sun, 4 Apr 1999, Robert Neff wrote:

  I am still waiting for the day when one page can be read by all.  as a
  designer , manager, generally concerned about access, and trying to create
  accessible sites, i am waiting for standards.  The content guidelines will
  be a start, but i want to see a test configuration that details the minimum
  browsers that the W3C supports.  We need to give the design community
  metrics they can afford to implement.  When i say metrics, i mean one
  graphical browser, one text, ont screen reader.  we need to get designers
  and their managers buy-in and to tell them that there are over fifty
  browsers that the community can use and need to test is ludicrous.
  
  should we consider applying the same standards to browsers in the web
  content guidelines as we do to requirements, for example:  Lynx, pwWebSpeak,
  Netscape 4.5, IE 4.2, Opera, webtv, JFW would be a Priotity one and double
  A.   Categories for browsers would be Graphical, Text, Voice, Screen
  Reader - any other categories.
  
  There has to be a phyiscal test standard.  We have started this with the Web
  Content Guidelines, lets add a minimum browser test!  Could the Web
  Characterization committe provide input as to the most popular browsers and
  update the list on a quarterly basis?
  
  
  
  /rob
  

--Charles McCathieNevile            mailto:charles@w3.org
phone: +1 617 258 0992   http://www.w3.org/People/Charles
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative    http://www.w3.org/WAI
MIT/LCS  -  545 Technology sq., Cambridge MA, 02139,  USA
Received on Monday, 5 April 1999 14:48:48 GMT

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