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Re: Fwd: NetMechanic Results on www.hwg.org

From: Leonard R. Kasday <kasday@acm.org>
Date: Fri, 03 Sep 1999 10:48:58 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>, Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Good idea Al, to use this as an opportunity to ask them to join us.

I'll write a note after mellowing out a bit this weekend.


At 08:29 AM 9/3/99 -0400, Al Gilman wrote:
>The note should come from Len, and it should be an invitation to join in
>the ER IG where knotty issues such as what to do in a checker with
>un-implemented markup are being thrashed out as we speak.
>At 09:03 PM 9/2/99 -0700, Kynn Bartlett wrote:
>>I ran a test on http://www.hwg.org/ at http://www.netmechanic.com/
>>They told me that I'd "misspelled" a lot of words, like XML and
>>XHTML, plus they kindly informed me that <!DOCTYPE> is not a valid
>>HTML tag.
>>The thing that scares the heck out of the accessibility instructor
>>within me is rating of our "browser compatability".  The things it
>>identifies as "incompatible" all fall into one of the two 
>>(a) Style sheet support, such as SPAN elements or CLASS/ID
>>     attributes, which specifically degrade gracefully when CSS
>>     is not present, and
>>(b) Attributes/elements added for accessibility's sake, such
>>Now, I don't mind being identified as "incompatible" with old
>>versions of browsers, but the PROBLEM here is their "advice" to
>>web designers:
>>"Try to avoid using a tag or attribute if it is incompatible with
>>more than 10% of your audience."
>>Here's what they say for LONGDESC:
>>Tag:                IMG
>>Attribute:          LONGDESC
>>Lines:              78
>>Visitors Affected:  99.00%
>>   3:                N
>>   4:                N
>>   5:                N
>>   2:                N
>>   3:                N
>>   4:                N
>>In other words, since 99% of browsers out there don't use the
>>information, you shouldn't include LONGDESC.
>>In short:
>>      Their advice is actively ANTI-ACCESSIBLE.
>>Would someone care to join me in writing to these people about the
>>inherent problems in advising against the use of proper HTML code
>>as they are doing here?  It might mean more if we all got together.
>>This could also be an issue for the evaluation/repairs tools to
>>look at, but I don't know what exactly you'd want to do.
>>PS:  The url below expires in 2 days.
>>>Date: Thu, 2 Sep 1999 22:59:18 -0400
>>>To: kynn@kynn.com
>>>Subject: NetMechanic Results
>>>From: webmaster@netmechanic.com
>>>[ad snipped]
>>>NetMechanic has completed the tests you requested for:
>>>Job Configuration: One Page, Local Links, Remote Links, Images, HTML
>Standard: HTML Version 4.0 Standard
>>>You can find your results at:
>>>Reports will be stored at this URL for the next 2 days.
>>Kynn Bartlett  <kynn@idyllmtn.com>                   http://www.kynn.com/
>>Chief Technologist, Idyll Mountain Internet      http://www.idyllmtn.com/
>>Catch the Web Accessibility Meme!                   http://aware.hwg.org/
Leonard R. Kasday, Ph.D.
Universal Design Engineer, Institute on Disabilities/UAP, and
Adjunct Professor, Electrical Engineering
Temple University

Ritter Hall Annex, Room 423, Philadelphia, PA 19122
(215) 204-2247 (voice)
(800) 750-7428 (TTY)
Received on Friday, 3 September 1999 10:46:07 UTC

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