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Re: WaSP review of (Windows) MSIE 5.5

From: B.K. DeLong <bkdelong@pobox.com>
Date: Sun, 16 Apr 2000 14:15:35 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
At 06:57 AM 4/12/2000 , Thomas Dowling wrote:
 >Can anyone figure out what WaSP hopes to accomplish with these public

At 10:04 AM 04/16/2000 -0700, Kynn Bartlett wrote:
>Media attention for the WSP and its core members.

Unfortunately this is the same type of reaction we get from Microsoft. The 
reason why we put out a press release being as critical about Microsoft as 
it was. We had already congratulated them on a wonderful job with MacIE5.0 
and continue to do so with articles about their doctype switching feature 

However MS has chosen to spend more time on their PR spin and has publicly 
stated that they'd rather preserve backwards compatibility of the features 
that exist in WinIE5.5 due to integration between their OS and the browser, 
rather than break several of these features merely to support standards.

When we put out the release, we did so because we felt we were running 
around praising the browser companies way too much. We wanted to remind 
them that full implementation and support for core standards were still our 

Even though I have since left my various WAI committee appointments, I have 
been using my position on the WaSP steering committee to continue my 
crusade for full implementations of the built-in Web accessibility features 
of W3C recommendations. I have developed several pages for testing these 
implementations, which only a few have been made public 
(http://www.zotgroup.com/development/test-suites/html401/winie55/).  The 
reason being that I created quick tests about a year ago for my own 
personal uses as well as for referencing bug reports.

  I want to make sure they are 100% clear and make sure they reference all 
the appropriate sections of W3C documentation before I make them available 
to the ever-scrutinizing browser companies. However with what I put up so 
far, I got a great personal note from an IE product manager saying how 
appreciative he was that I was taking the time to find all the current 
unimplemented HTML elements and attributes and was glad I brought it to 
their attention. He also said he was adding the incorrect implementation of 
the Q element and the lack of support for the ACRONYM element to their bug 
list. Whether they actually fix it or not is another issue, the fact that 
it illicited a personal note that contained a technical discussion is 

I'm not as on top of CSS features as I am with HTML 4.01, but I welcome all 
comments and suggestions for creating more tests of various built-in 
accessibility features. Currently in the works are tests of the "tabindex" 
and "accesskey" attribute as well as a look at the OBJECT element.

The WaSP is out for much more than publicity. I hope people realize that.
B.K. DeLong
Research Lead
ZOT Group

Received on Sunday, 16 April 2000 14:18:50 UTC

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