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Re: Web designer tells peers to damn accessibility/useability

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 27 Jan 1999 23:07:42 -0500 (EST)
To: "B.K. DeLong" <bkdelong@naw.org>
cc: "'wai list'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.04.9901272220310.26659-100000@tux.w3.org>
Read the Story. Personally, I loved it. Lemme explain.

Most of the stuff I produce is extremely dull. I don't use stylesheets in
my own work because I don't care what it looks like. I don't use TABLE
formatting and Font tagging and stuff (much) because I don't care what it
looks like and that is like using a bottle opener as a monkey wrench - it
works, a bit, but it is a silly thing to do unless it is really important.

Innovation is a fantastic thing. Without it there would be no screen
readers, no speech input systems, and no web to use them on.

What I got out of Lance's article was the suggestion that in our own space
we should play. Innovate. Try things out. That was explicit. What seemed
implicit was that the purpose of a working website is to transmit
information, and that it is important that all users can get that
information. Seems to sum up a lot of what WAI is trying to achieve. After
all, unless people play with accessible Java, SMIL, CSS, labelling bureaus
for undescribed images, rating schemes for accessibility, and the myriad
other things that may help to make the web a better place, they will not

What I did not get out of the article was the suggestion that
accessibility is not important. If that is the real message, which I
missed, then I am foolish and Lance is a complete goose.


PS I read the article with Lynx. I guess by the time Lynx gets a
Javascript interpreter people will be writing more stable scripts, having
played with stuff that doesn't really work for long enough to get the real
thing right. I hope so - I am very fond of Lynx, but I am going to need to
be able to interpret more varieties of active content at some stage. Maybe
I'll need to learn a bit more programming and wor out how to add a Java
interpreter as well. Now that I have figured out how to get Lynx to
display images when I really need it to.

On Tue, 26 Jan 1999, B.K. DeLong wrote:

  Interesting article by Boston Web designer Lance Arthur. He mentions we are
  part of a vocal monority- let's get vocal:
  By Lance Arthur
  B.K. DeLong                  360 Huntington Ave.
  Director                         Suite 140CSC-305
  New England Chapter     Boston, MA 02115
  World Organization        (617) 247-3753
  of Webmasters

--Charles McCathieNevile -  mailto:charles@w3.org
phone: * +1 (617) 258 0992 *  http://purl.oclc.org/net/charles
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative -  http://www.w3.org/WAI
545 Technology sq., Cambridge MA, USA
Received on Wednesday, 27 January 1999 23:07:48 UTC

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