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RE: How to Complain to a Webmaster

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2001 10:29:48 -0800
Message-Id: <>
To: "Ben Canning" <bencan@microsoft.com>
Cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
At 10:14 AM 10/31/2001 , Ben Canning wrote:
>Don't you think you're jumping the gun a bit on the 'public humiliation'

Maybe.  Which is better to err on the side of, civility or 
hostility?  My goal is to make allies, not enemies.

>I agree we don't need public
>humiliation of individuals, but we certainly need public discussions
>about the accessibility failures of high profile sites like this one to
>raise awareness within the industry that this is a problem that needs to
>be addressed.

Maybe so.  Is it fair game to ask you why Microsoft's sites, such as
MSNBC and others, aren't valid yet, Ben?  Certainly they're at least
as high profile. [*]

If our conclusion is merely "wow, there are inaccessible high profile
sites" then, wow, what a worthwhile conversation.  It's one that
doesn't even require more than one person to have!  And we could
have had it years ago (and we did, of course).

If we're looking for something more, such as "wow, web developers
need education", again I ask you what new conclusions you're reaching

If the intent is to improve those sites, well, it's possible that
this sort of terrorism may actually work in some cases.  "Fix your
site or I expose you to the WAI list!" could be a credible threat,
but in all honesty, I think it would just make me laugh at the WAI
site and their work.

>You can be sure that I hate it when BugNet 'outs' some bug in one of our
>products, but you can also be sure that I try very hard to avoid showing
>up on BugNet. Why not the same for accessibility problems? Going public
>doesn't have to mean attacking people and calling them names, it can be
>about alerting the public to problems and raising awareness.

Well, you could always set up a web site for 'outing' inaccessible
sites.  I don't think I've stated any objections to this happening
elsewhere as much as I've opposed the W3C's mailing lists being
used for such purpose, as it weakens the ability of the WAI to serve
as an information resource.

Maybe an "attack dog" is needed, roving bands of web vigilantes who
go around finding broken web sites and alerting people to the
problems.  If you think that's necessary, by all means build such
a site -- perhaps even Microsoft could host such a site as part of
their corporate commitment to web accessibility.

I personally think it's not useful.  I think it's counterproductive.
It's not the approach I choose to take.  But I'm not Jesus, and I'm
not your leader, so you're free to disregard my methods and use
your own.


[*] Validator on MSNBC:
     Bobby on MSNBC:
     Why aren't these fixed?

Kynn Bartlett <kynn@reef.com>
Technical Developer Liaison
Reef North America
Accessibility - W3C - Integrator Network
Received on Wednesday, 31 October 2001 13:31:46 UTC

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