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Re: Politics: Strict Guidelines Considered Harmful

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Sun, 17 Dec 2000 09:21:42 -0800
Message-Id: <a05010401b662a52daa2b@[]>
To: Davey Leslie <davey@inx-jp.org>, Marti <marti@agassa.com>, "Charles F. Munat" <chas@munat.com>, <jim@jimthatcher.com>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
At 11:32 PM +0900 12/17/00, Davey Leslie wrote:
>Thus spake Marti on 00.12.17 8:57 PM at marti@agassa.com:
>>  and it seems to me
>>  that some of this is like insisting all the stairs be removed when ramps are
>>  installed.  Sure, that would guarantee the same access for all, but it would
>  > punish those who walk by making them take a longer route.
>Hi Marti,
>I wonder if that's the correct analogy. It seems to me more like widening a
>doorway so that all may pass more easily. I don't believe that use of CSS
>makes anyone "take a longer route." Or does it?

For most browsers, no.  But for older browsers, such as Netscape 3
(primarily), it may indeed constitute 'a longer route'.

WAI guidelines need to be very careful to not say "ignore older
browsers used by graphically oriented users" while saying "pay
attention to older assistive technology and to lynx" because there
is a credibility issue there.

Various efforts by various well-meaning people have managed to
convince a number of web designers that backwards compatibility
is _important_.  And thus they will use "deprecated" tags such as
FONT, and thus they will not _rely_ on relatively "new" tech such
as CSS.

Note that this is very similar to what we ask of Javascript --
and the majority of web designers consider Javascript to be far
more "universal" than CSS (even with the browser differences
requiring work-around).  So the principle of supporting older
browsers seems to be very much a "WAI ideal."

That's why demanding the use of CSS and _disallowing_ the use of
FONT entirely is pretty much like mandating the use of Javascript
and not allowing for additional server-side functionality on, say,
form validation.

Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>
Received on Sunday, 17 December 2000 12:53:12 UTC

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