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RE: Politics: Strict Guidelines Considered Harmful - some stats

From: Jamie Mackay <Jamie.Mackay@cultureandheritage.govt.nz>
Date: Tue, 19 Dec 2000 09:54:47 +1300
Message-ID: <21E9A6F96222D311882700508B2C47EE298D93@MCA-NT1>
To: "'Charles McCathieNevile'" <charles@w3.org>, Marti <marti@agassa.com>
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Here are some stats for December from a New Zealand history site I manage :

IE - 69.47%
NN - 14.64

Out of the NN users:
83.57% use vers 4x
7.76% use vers 3x

To put this in perspective, out of the 7,603 total visitor sessions for
December, 90 were by people using NN3x browsers.

Out of the IE users:
83.57% use 5x
15.72% use 4x
0.54% use 3x (43 visitor sessions)
0.14% use 2x (28 visitor sessions)

Not sure that this tells people anything other than the numbers still using
vers 3x browsers are very small, I would have thought it was extremely
unlikely that any organisation would still be insisting its employees use
NN3x as an internet browser (perhaps for intranet though).

Personally I always design pages so that the content is obtainable without
style sheets, not by defining fonts but simply letting the user's default
font do the work - it might not look quite as pretty but it is all there.
(If they want pretty they are going to be limited in their options with NN3

Jamie Mackay

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Charles McCathieNevile [SMTP:charles@w3.org]
> Sent:	Tuesday, 19 December 2000 00:02
> To:	Marti
> Cc:	Charles F. Munat; 'Anne Pemberton'; 'Kynn Bartlett';
> w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> Subject:	Re: Politics:  Strict Guidelines Considered Harmful
> This seems like a more considered and easier to digest message on the
> topic.
> The discussion as I understand it is about a couple of different things.
> There is a technical issue - what is the place of the font element? As I
> see
> it, the use of the font element to enhance backwards compatibility does
> not
> conflict with the use of CSS. The use of font to alone, to provide
> formatting
> effects, is like the use of a style attribute containing CSS, or style
> sheets
> that rely on id attributes to assign styles - it makes it very difficult
> for
> the reader to provide therir own styles in a meaningful manner. If it is
> done
> instead of identifying the semantics available in HTML, this is a double
> loss.
> Should we be supporting netscape 3? Intersting question, and one that was
> raised by Graham Oliver. If a few people have some log data we could find
> out
> whether it is really used much. If we can also find out whether that is
> because people cannot upgrade for some reason, then we will be approaching
> an
> answer. The further question is whether that is related to accessibility,
> or
> is because their systems administratoror purchasing officer prohibits it
> (in
> the latter case, I hope they realise that Netscape 3 was not a free
> product,
> and paid for it...).
> Glossing over the fact that there arre a couple of other very small
> browsers that work the same, let us imagine these scenarios:
> Nobody uses it ever.
>   (I know this is not true - a friend of mine does, but not from any
> requirement since he has a numberof other browsers he also uses from time
> to
> time - much as I use Lynx). In this case, we could just ignore it. And the
> font element too.
> There are people with reading disabilities, who, because of their
> disability are unable to upgrade, and for whom it is effectively
> impossible
> to read unformatted text.
>   Then we need to keep supporting it, and providing presentation by the
> use
> of font elements in conjunction with CSS is still necessary
> There are people with disabilities who cannot upgrade and find it
> difficult
> to understand default-formatted content
>   Same goes, but at P2 instead of P1 level (this is an abstract discussion
> -
> particular checkpoints of WCAG aside for the moment)
> There are people without disabilities, who use it and don't want to
> upgrade
>   There is no accessibility requirement to use or not use font. There
> still
> is a requirement to use a technology that allows for meaningful control of
> presentation (CSS element/semantic class based styling, for example). It
> is
> up to designers whether they want to provide the same experience for this
> population or not.
> Which brings me back to another part of the argument. Should designers
> expect total control over the presentation of their page? My 2 bits worth
> says "No, that is simply not possible, like expecting someone to make a
> night
> last for 48 hours. It is reasonable for a designer, within the constraints
> of
> the medium, to provide a presentation that enhances the comprehension and
> clarity of their content." (I think that people were vehemently arguing
> this
> point against each other, but from the same side in fact).
> my 2 cents on teh topic that this has become...
> Charles McCN
> On Mon, 18 Dec 2000, Marti wrote:
>   First, Thanks to Charles for clarifying my comments on graphics, and my
>   apologies for a poorly chosen example that would in anyway imply I was
> in
>   favor of text-only sites.
>   I think there are actually three sides to this argument.  IMHO, both the
>   primary sides have a number of good valid points.
>   Example:
>   1. <font>, and its like, if allowed are likely to be misused.
> (decreasing
>   accessibility)
>   2. If disallowed, <font>, and its like, will be used anyway as that
> level of
>   the guidelines will be ignored. (decreasing accessibility)
>   Under the occasionally hot rhetoric some good points have been made on
> both
>   sides and it is my hope that some common ground can be found that will
> help
>   us move to a web where <font>, and its like, are curiosities of the
> past.
>   Marti
> -- 
> 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 Monday, 18 December 2000 15:56:41 UTC

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