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Re: Some questions from CHI-WEB people

From: Scott Luebking <phoenixl@sonic.net>
Date: Mon, 24 Dec 2001 12:00:02 -0800
Message-Id: <200112242000.fBOK02pU022306@newbolt.sonic.net>
To: lucy-ples@mtu-net.ru, phoenixl@sonic.net, poehlman1@home.com, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Hi,

There are different ways to view complaints.  As soons as one group, be
it disabled people or web site developers, says its complaints are more
important than another group's complaints, communication and creative
problem solving starts being negatively impacted.

I tend to want to take a bigger picture approach and try to put
everone's complaints into the "hopper" and then see what solutions can
come up that are beneficial to multiple parties.  Sometimes there can be
resistance because often each group believes they are always the ones
who are being asked to give up something.

How much work is needed to learn what degrading gracefully means, to
develop tests of web pages to check for degrading gracefully, to
implement the tests and then fix the problems?  This would seem to
require a lot of extra effort.

The mutiple version strategy probably requires less effort.  In the very
basic two version approach, one version can have a very fancy layout
using tables, etc, while the other "universal" version has the same
information in a very linear approach which only uses tables for data.
There can be significant increase in efficiency since people don't need
to learn CSS and figure out how to make it work on a variety of
browsers.  There is much less need to figure out how a page will degrade
gracefully since the universal version doesn't use table to create a
fancy layout.  While some people may view fancy layouts, etc, as
being an additional layer, many people who request web pages see
the fancy layouts, etc, as being very core to the web site
and accessibility is the additional layer.

I would be very careful about saying "many things are hard".  A similar
view could be said by non-disabled people about disability issues.
I think a more useful way to look at it is to ask how can people work
together to help the various hard aspects of various people's lives.

Scott

> I hear a lot of complaining here.  I hear the same complaints that I
> hear when we discuss usability and the web.  Take the case of tables
> versus css.  which will degrade more gracefully in older browsers?  The
> biggest hurdles to accessibility from a mechanical stand point have been
> the point and click tools that have been sold for huge amounts of money
> so that sites can go up that only look good but do not validate, are not
> uniform in their structure and are generally a mess to maintain.  There
> is no argument that I know of against the use of multiple versions of a
> page when a fallback is required but the starting point should be the
> accessible/usable site.  If fancy stuff goes ontop of that in another
> channel, fine.  If special delivery mechanisms are employed aimed at
> special targets, fine.  What we seem to be discussing here though is
> much more than accessibility so it's too bad that it is hard.  many
> things are hard.
Received on Monday, 24 December 2001 15:00:18 GMT

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