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Re: Clocks

From: Phill Jenkins/Austin/IBM <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>
Date: Mon, 9 Oct 2000 18:07:39 -0400
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <OF439B1877.05570439-ON86256973.0076DEA9@raleigh.ibm.com>
Kynn and Marti,

>I never did check out the Olympics web site - did they use a 'real time'
>clock for events?

Yes, there is a "what time is it in Sydney", which I actually use so I know
what time it is there. Not just for the Olympics, but for conference calls
with real people there.

>Would that be a reasonable excuse to use one?

Seems more than reasonable to me - something actually useful.

>Clocks on web pages are just silly, period.  There are major usability
>problems with them in nearly any case; only in very rare circumstances
>(such as time-sensitive _interactions_) should anyone put a clock on
>the screen.

Well, in this case, I do want to know the real time in a certain place.
Having that available from the Web is very useful.  If the clock is on a
website as a gimmick to tell the visitor what the time is on the server
serving up the web page - then by itself it isn't useful, but in relation
to the content or "real place" of the site - then it is useful.

>(Examples of problems:  Whose time zone is the clock?  Do you need to
>know what time it is?  Etc.  Keep in mind that all major operating
>systems either have on-screen or on-demand clocks, and most people in
>the world have access to the time through a variety of devices apart
>from their computers, so there is absolutely no need for a real-time
>clock on a web page!)
>--Kynn, just say no to clocks on web pages

Clocks are useful when they ALSO tell you what timezone, or from what real
place is the clock running from.  Instead of using the telephone to call to
get the correct time, I refer to website that have time information.

>I am still wondering about which checkpoint covers this - and if something
>needs to be added.

>A good general principle is "always allow the user to control any
>time-dependent effects" which would include repeating messages such
>as this.  If someone _wants_ a real-time clock, then it should be
>available, but the user should be given the option to activate or
>de-activate the clock as desired, in an accessible and efficient
>This is the whole of guideline 7 in WCAG 1.0, of course.

How did we get from "clocks on web pages" to "time dependent effects" and
"repeating messages such as this"?  Did I miss the real beginning of this
thread under a different subject?   Or should I be talking about how to
make a talking real-time clock on the web until there are more talking user
agents that support real-time updates... such as clocks.

Phill Jenkins
IBM Accessibility Center
Received on Monday, 9 October 2000 18:07:43 UTC

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