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Re: alt text seen or not?

From: <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2000 16:31:46 -0600
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org, kathleen.anderson@po.state.ct.us
Message-ID: <85256869.007C458C.00@d54mta08.raleigh.ibm.com>

Kathleen wrote:
>... Granted, there are other browsers that people in this situation can
>however, as a state government, we are not in a position to make these
>browser choices or mandates for our constituents. We need to to
>accommodate their browser of choice, and their connection by necessity.

Why not?  Don't users and agencies that support users also have a role or
responsibility?  Why is it O.K. to mandate the web authors and browser
manufactures to follow guidelines, but not require users to upgrade?  No
government agency [as far as I know] is forcing anyone to use the Web to
access the services.  There is still some phone access and snail-mail hard
copy version of the service.  But the agency is saying or at least implying
that to use the Web services you need a browser and web connection.  Why
not specify a compliant spec for such "browsers of choice"?

Many on this list that know me know I'm playing a little devils advocate
here.  But I do believe that the notion of "requiring a certain browser"
could be re-stated in a more "accessible-friendly request" such as
"requiring a user agent that can handle the level 4.1 HTML spec".   No one
should be requiring a "certain browser", but shouldn't it be OK to say that
the "browser of choice" should support some level of HTML - such as HTML
4.1.  The problem is that there is not a single browser that supports the
needs of all users. Many have incorrectly used the short hand of "browser x
level y" to signify the level of HTML and all the "rendering" capabilities
needed by some majority of users.  It's that "short hand" that leaves out
what is or should really be stated.  So agencies, libraries facilities,
etc., and many times the constituents themselves need to be requested to
take part in the solution.

An example:
If one wants to utilize the closed captions on TV broadcasts, one has to
purchase the capable TV set.  Sure, all the manufacturers were mandated to
include the circuitry into the newer TV sets, but the user still had to buy
the newer set.

or in other words [replace "TV broadcasts" with "Web content" and replace
"TV sets" with "user agents" and you get] :

If one wants to utilize the accessible Web content, one has to purchase the
capable browser+assistive technology combination.  Sure, all the user agent
manufacturers are being requested to include the "software circuitry" into
the newer user agents, but the user still has to upgrade to the newer or
add an additional user agent.

Phill Jenkins
Received on Monday, 17 January 2000 17:37:38 UTC

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