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Re: Personalised interfaces (was Re: appropriate hypertext)

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Wed, 19 Jul 2000 14:07:20 -0700
Message-Id: <a0432040db59bc7f23afe@[10.0.1.2]>
To: Brian Kelly <b.kelly@ukoln.ac.uk>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
At 6:28 PM +0100 7/19/00, Brian Kelly wrote:
>I was arguing against the notion of HTML as a basis for universal design
>and saying that be should be going for XML, and generating (possibility
>personalised) XHTML from this richer resource.
>Is this what you're involved in doing?

This is what we're doing, yes -- we use XSLT to generate our interfaces
from XML.

>Isn't there a contradiction between this view and the universal design
>argument which is perceived as using HTML as the basis?

Yes and no.  Universal design is a _technique_, not a principle;
it's not sacrosanct in all cases.  It's one of the quivers in our
arrows as responsible web designers, but it doesn't need to be the
only one we employ.

If I know -- reliably, and intelligently -- what my user's needs
are, there's no reason I -shouldn't- create a customized interface
for them.

If I don't have that capability -- if I'm not using Edapta's technology
:) -- then obviously I should deliver up a universal design.

The same principles of accessibility still apply -- we're concerned
with the content, not with strictly sticking to a single rendition
in HTML.

For example, in the real world, not all staircases are built so
that wheelchairs can just roll up them.  Sometimes you'll see
entrances to buildings where the entrance is a gentle slope -- so
that both wheelchair users -and- foot users can walk right in.
Other times you'll see a set of stairs, and another "interface"
in the form of a ramp, or maybe even a lift.

That analogy applies here -- sometimes you can make the "interface"
universal, sometimes you can get better results by intelligently
providing a number of options which better suit the user.  Each
method has its merits and neither one is meant to "replace" the
other.
-- 
--
Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>
http://www.kynn.com/
Received on Wednesday, 19 July 2000 17:22:31 GMT

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