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Re: How to convince businesses to be accessible...

From: David Woolley <david.woolley@bts.co.uk>
Date: Sun, 15 Oct 2000 22:50:51 +0100 (BST)
Message-Id: <200010152150.WAA11978@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

ebyryan@msu.edu wrote:

> a ASP page to check the HTTP header to find the browser version and then
> apply a different XSL stylesheet depending on the browser. It was then sent

This will not work for many Lynx users, as they believe that they are
already discriminated against by sites that customise contents, and
therefore fake the User-Agent header to look like a big 2 GUI browser.
(Even IE's User-Agent claims that it is Netscape and corrects it in a
comment because it suffered discrimination in the early days!)

Some of this is misunderstanding of badly worded <noframes> content,
but I think there is a real problem as well.  What tends to happen is
that one gets:

- a response based on out of date browsercap information that underestimates
  Lynx's capabilities - Lynx can handle cookies, but many browsercap files
  say otherwise;

- deletion of problem features from the site, rather than real alternatives
  (Lynx users would rather have a table badly formatted than no table at
  all);

- outright refusal with please upgrade type messages;

- keyword stuffing pages for search engines!

> And the ASP code he wrote once and then copy and pasted it for the other
> pages changes the content variable to point to the proper file. It worked
> quite well as far as I could see (on lynx, NS, and IE). I'd give you the

I'm not clear what is being said here, but one needs to ensure that static
pages remain static.  In theory one could generate a Vary header for 
User-Agent, to tell caches that a page could be cached, but only served
to a particular user agent, but current caches don't handle Vary - my
guess is that only the non-commercial caches will implement it initially,
because the concept is probably too difficult for most commercial content
authors, and commercial caches only need to work with real life sites.

The most fundamental problem, though, is that one cannot convince
commercial sites to create sensible alt text, which requires even
less work.
Received on Monday, 16 October 2000 02:53:26 GMT

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