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RE: Flash access: Unclear on the concept

From: Robert Neff <rneff@bbnow.net>
Date: Sat, 2 Dec 2000 08:37:43 -0600
To: "Kynn Bartlett" <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>, "Joe Clark" <joeclark@joeclark.org>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
i am confused.  seems the author is trying to cover too much and be all
things to all people.  however, i think there are several issues here that
should be broken apart.

1. Flash can be made accessible.  we did it at the United States Mint when I
was there.  Flash is not accessible by itself, however it is a great tool
and product that can be made accessible using a technique to provide ALT

2.  Universal access is a concept - a seed that is being planted. This will
take some time to fully implement.  I am very proud that i am on the leading
edge of a "revolution' to help make the web accessible to everyone.  Until
there is 'buy-in' from the companies to that make browsers to adhere to
standards as being developed by the W3C, then not all the functionality will
be there.

3.  I have seen significant progress made over the years form both the web
browser and page authoring side.  The biggest catalyst is the Federal
Government's decision to do something about this.  I am refereeing to the
requirements in Section 508.  Hence the State and Local government needs to
follow and put some requirements into the ADA.

4.  I do agree, while there are not many browsers that support the full
functionality, we do have Microsoft, Adobe, and Macromedia's attention.
However, after being on both the government and industry side, web
developers are caught in the middle as they 1) Do not have the page
authoring tools to apply all the requirements to accomplish this, 2)  Must
design for two main browsers and multiple operating systems, 3) Must become
educated on how to design web sites for multiple browsers and for universal
design, and 4) Fight for the funding, resources, training and support to do
so.  The funding and understanding is more apparent in the government than
it is in the commercial and retail world.  There is a huge cost to test your
development under multiple browsers and this can be a cost to purchase the
PCs and maintain the configuration, cost to train everyone on the multiple
browsers and purchase them, cost to train the web developers, business folks
and retrain new employees.  Therefore the tools must be provided to permit
rapid application development, rapid design and quality assurance.

5.  The PWD community must organize and show they exist and are an economic
force to be recognized.  This is still a fragmented audience and the
realization to mobilize is now with e-commerce and call centers.  Until the
PWD community stands up and shows they are a user and economic force to be
recognized, this will not impact any company's bottom line.

6.  Security and protection of data, for example, Secure Socket Layer or
SSL, will require all users to upgrade and this is where the browser
community or you will not be able to access their site.  Because more and
more sites are becoming dynamic,  database driven, and putting information
under forms via SSL, this is the number one reason why I think the argument
that the web designer must design for all browsers will not be valid down
the road.

7.  Here are my final comments, we are at the leading edge and WE all have
improved the world, but the PWD community must stand up and be recognized
because screen readers and many of the methods used do not show up on the
company log files as a hit or a significant presence.  Companies understand
economics and the bottom line and the ability to create new markets, so PWD
needs to organize. The W3C Web Accessibility Initiative, and some
Organizations and individuals who are in the trenches fighting cannot do it

DISCLAIMER: My comments are my personal opinions and in no way reflect the
views of previous and current employers.

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org]On
Behalf Of Kynn Bartlett
Sent: Friday, December 01, 2000 9:01 PM
To: Joe Clark; w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: Re: Flash access: Unclear on the concept

At 3:53 AM +0100 12/2/00, Joe Clark wrote:
>Readers may be interested in my new article over at A List Apart on
>the failures of Macromedia's plans for accessible Flash, namely
>"Flash access: Unclear on the concept."

It struck me as a bit unfair.

It seems to me that blasting companies -because- they've chosen to
make improvements doesn't really encourage them to make positive
steps forward.

Now, I'm not saying that incomplete efforts should be overlooked
in the name of good intentions (just ask the WCAG 1.0 document),
but I think that it's premature to run an attack piece against
Macromedia at this time.

The questions asked in part two are legit and should be asked, but
the assumption that Macromedia is going to screw it up seems pretty
unfounded at this time.  At the very least, let's see what kind of
product they ship after having time to digest these and other

Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>
Received on Saturday, 2 December 2000 09:37:31 UTC

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