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Re: Accessibility and Older Browsers

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Sun, 17 Dec 2000 17:55:18 -0500 (EST)
To: Graham Oliver <graham_oliver@yahoo.com>
cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0012171750440.12362-100000@tux.w3.org>

This expresses one of the key issues. In fact, there are a number of users
with disabilities who are using various types of "mainstream" browsers too.
One of the important questions is "what browsers do people need to use?" and
of course, "why?". For example some upgrades change a browser completely or
in a way that has a negative impact on accesssibility.

Equally, in an institutional setting (including any large company) there may
be policy constraints preventing upgrades.

There is an ongoing discussion of this topic in the Guidelines group, but for
now I the approach is to document, along with rquirements and techniques,
what technologies are needed for a particular technique to be of value.



On Sun, 17 Dec 2000, Graham Oliver wrote:


  Some of the recent posting have detailed the
  'conflict' between supporting older mainstream
  browsers (versions 3 and earlier of Navigator and
  Explorer) and implementing the WAI guidelines.

  For me, there has been one key concept that has been
  missing in this debate and that is 'choice'.

  For a non-disabled person to upgrade from a version 3
  browser to a more current version is a matter of
  choice, being disabled is not.

  What this means to me, is that it makes more sense to
  focus on the development and testing of web sites that
  work well for the non-disabled in versions 4 and
  upwards of the mainstream browsers.

  This gives the following 2 key benefits:-

  1. It allows closer adherence to the WAI guidelines.
  2. It frees up more resources to focus on development
  and testing, using user-agents for the disabled.

  It is arguably more important to support older
  versions of disabled user-agents, given the
  substantial cost of upgrading some of these products.

  I would just like to add how much I value reading the
  postings to this list.

  Graham Oliver

  Do You Yahoo!?
  Yahoo! Shopping - Thousands of Stores. Millions of Products.

Charles McCathieNevile    mailto:charles@w3.org    phone: +61 (0) 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative                      http://www.w3.org/WAI
Location: I-cubed, 110 Victoria Street, Carlton VIC 3053, Australia
September - November 2000:
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Received on Sunday, 17 December 2000 17:57:49 UTC

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