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Re: Inclusion or accessibility

From: Jim Ley <wmtalk@e-media.co.uk>
Date: Sun, 21 Oct 2001 10:12:57 +0200
Message-Id: <200110210812.f9L8Cv620216@zidane.inria.fr>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

> On Thu, 18 Oct 2001 20:48:18 -0400, you wrote:
>
> >I think you're contributions along with jonethon and anne's would be
> >most welcome.
>
> Thanks.
>
> One of the sites I've hurriedly developed with a concentration on
> inclusion is my school's homepage. Much of the content is proprietary
> and under Win/IE at least there are a number of accessibility issues
> resulting from the use of MSAgent/VBScript, frames and browser
> controls.

All of these (well apart from frames, and there's no justification that I
can see for there use on the page anyway) can be used such that they
degrade nicely, you don't need separate pages, if you concentrated on
using those sensibly, (so I don't get VBScript errors or javascript
errors, or big blank holes in the page).

> disabling right-click,
> full-screen browser and auto-forwarding and being good examples of
> taboos which simplify and facilitate in the case of our users.

How do they do this?  you use a very poor javascript for blocking right
click, rather than just the sensible oncontextmenu suggestion (and you
don't provide a reason for wanting to disable it, why does it facilitate -
permanent Peedy? well I think Peedy would be better in a new window - even
hidden which you can do in IE, which is only where Peedy is supported
anyway.)  What does auto-forwarding achieve, how does that solve any
problems?

> Definitely not an example of accessibility in the current sense, but
> equally its the only site I know of which all my pupils can access via
> a standard browser and access hardware (touchscreen, key sending
> switches and various pointing devices).

Why? what's particular about this site, the AGENTS? well they can be
authored such that they degrade appropriately, and if agents are so key to
their browser use, why not build them a browser that includes an agent?
(if this would be useful - get in touch - I can assist)

> I know why the main site is fundamentally inaccessible and don't
> expect high marks for the code quality (no lectures required <G>).

Code quality, especially in client-side scripting is key, if this errors,
you can strand your user, this helps no-one, when if you'd just coded
defensively that wouldn't be problem.  I feel very strongly that you
should
not use scripting unless you know at the very least how to prevent errors
from disturbing the user, and certainly including "cargo-cult" scripts in
the pages as you've done is never sensible. (In  what situations does your
no-right-click script fail?  If you can't answer that you shouldn't IMO
have included it.)

> I've checked the site on Opera/NS+6/IE and Lynx but little else as
> yet...if there's any constructive advice I'd welcome it, but really
> I'd like to see degradable alternatives to the proprietary content,
> which are realistically achievable by average developers...in
> particular cross platform agent interfaces and free TTS solutions.

This is just not going to happen, Agents and controllable TTS's are not
going to be available on any timeframe that I can see, but why should they
be, your content "a school", is not related to TTS, it's a bonus, it
increases the usability to some, all you have to do is ensure it doesn't
error etc. and that the content is accessible without it.

Specific suggestions..

Remove cargo-cult right click disabler, use just oncontextmenu  - if you
can provide a convincing reason to have it at all. (why not block it in
those UA's you control if it's useful to your users to not have it?)

on the pupil index page, flash achieves nothing there, it could be done in
HTML (and css or script) which degrades nicely, and doesn't need a
separate "text links page".

Why no fallback content if OBJECT isn't supported on all the flash?

Why is the topnav empty if javascript is not supported - silly cargo-cult
source protection?

Have Peedy easily killable, (from the source) he appears to read the
page's contents, what happens if the user is already using IE5.5 and Jaws?

Again, can you explain to me what the javascript function nbGroup does?
and in what circumstances it can do unpredictable things? - It's
overcomplicated and unnecessary for the purposes you're using it for.

Sorry to be critical, but there's nothing there that I see should prevent
the pages still being accessible, and the techniques really aren't that
complicated.

Jim.
Received on Sunday, 21 October 2001 04:13:46 GMT

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