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Re: Single Browser Intranets (was: Web Accessibility Myths)

From: <kirston@uswest.net>
Date: Tue, 02 Nov 1999 19:15:12 -0500
Message-ID: <381F7E8F.D1FB9E67@pop.ptld.uswest.net>
To: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
CC: Ann Navarro <ann@webgeek.com>, Kynn Bartlett <kynn-hwg@idyllmtn.com>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

Charles McCathieNevile wrote:

> Although I agree that W3C is not a typical organisation in general, I think
> we make a good model for the question, and even more so for an educational
> than a traditionally corporate setting. We represent a diverse group of
> people who have a large amount of common purpose (like people studying a
> particular course, or developing software) but also a variety of individual
> requiremetns that aren't shared (some people work on graphics, some on
> transport protocols, some on marketing, just as students study a range of
> courses, and corporations expect engineers to work on engineering,
> administrative staff to keep the organisation running smoothly, marketing
> staff to promote the product to the world). In addition, we model the
> corporate situation where there is a single language throughout the
> corporation (in W3C's case US ENglish is the official language) but many of
> our employees speak other languges (for example many of the team in Japan
> speak Japanese, and there are a number of french speakers, german speakers,
> etc).
> W3C is not typical, but partly only becuase we are small.
> Universities, COlleges and Coroporations have some important things in common
> with us:
> 1. Although we are working broadly on the same thing, we have different
> needs. Some of us work on graphics, some on transport protocols, some on
> marketing.
> 2. We are distributed worldwide. We have one official language (US
> English) but employees often use another language in their everyday life and
> work.
> 3. We have a range of different backgrounds, and are used to different
> tools (and computers and operating systems). Some staff take up new software
> daily, others are reluctant to change from the tool they used three years
> ago.
> 4. Our systems team does not support all the software people use, but people
> are prepared to read the manual to be able to use a piece of software they
> like if it is unsupported.
> (The level of support I have seen at colleges does not justify relying on
> their supported software, but that is probably just bad personal experience.)
> We have some important differences
> 1. We are vendor-neutral. Although we develop our own browser and our own
> authoring tool (Amaya is both) we do not force people to use them as part of
> a corporate culture-buidling exercise.
> That is a legitimate reason for having a single-browser intranet at Lotus, or
> at Opera, or at Citec (who make Doczilla), or at Netscape. It does not apply
> to educational institutions.
> 2. Interoperability is a stated goal. That is true of some businesses, and
> not of others.
> In summary, I am not saying that it is always a bad idea to have
> single-browser intranets, just that there are very strong reasons not to in
> most cases. I think education institutions are one of the cases where it is
> extremely unwise except in certain very narrowly defined circumstances.
> Just my 2 bits worth
> Charles McCN
> On Sun, 24 Oct 1999, Ann Navarro wrote:
>   At 12:38 PM 10/24/99 -0700, Kynn Bartlett wrote:
>   >With all respect intended towards Charles, the W3C is _not_ a
>   >typical organization at all and therefore makes a terrible model
>   >to say "look, we have 50 people with 8 different browsers."
>   Kynn has a good point, and one we have to remind other web developers of
>   sometimes: we (and by that I mean web enthusiasts, developers, and other
>   computer geeks) aren't a very good reference pool, since by definition
>   we're aware of the latest and greatest trends, and tend to have powerful
>   computers and up-to-the-minute copies of software.
>   Ann
>   --
>   Ann Navarro
>   Author: Effective Web Design: Master the Essentials,
>   Due 10/99 - Mastering XML,12/99 HTML By Example, 2nd Ed.
>   Founder, WebGeek Communications http://www.webgeek.com/
>   Director, Online Education-HTML Writers Guild, http://www.hwg.org/
> --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 Tuesday, 2 November 1999 22:15:21 UTC

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