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Why use a text-based browser?

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 26 Dec 2001 07:17:54 -0500 (EST)
To: WAI IG <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0112260708200.5266-100000@tux.w3.org>
For many people a browser that renders graphics is very important. But for
some, a browser that renders only text is more useful.

This might be ebcause graphics can provide unwelcome distraction - there are
some disabilities that affects people's ability to concentrate enough to read
text if there is too much graphical material, movement, or colour with it.

There are some people who do not see the graphics anyway - many people who
are using speech output systems, and most people using braille display, are
doing it because they are blind, so the graphics is no use to them anyway..
If a text-based browser is otherwise more useful (faster, better interface,
etc)  then it makes sense to use one. In fact for certain features the
text-based browsers provide better access to the information that is encoded
in the page than the combination of a graphical browser and speech
technology. But this changes all the time - there are new browsers available
most weeks.

For some people it is also a restriction of their device, or effectively
required for speed. When I am not able to connect with a line faster than
9600 baud I tend not to be interested in downloading graphics content. I use
lynx or links, both of which give a much better presentation for my needs
than a graphics browser that has the graphics turned off. (And I attach all
kinds of media players to them so I can choose which images to download
easily, or which audio to listen to.)

just my 2c worth

Charles McCN

Vadim Plessky asked, at

BTW: what are advantages if using text-based browser? I really do not
understand that. Graphics environment has so many advantage over text so I am
quite confused to hear this.

Charles McCathieNevile    http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  phone: +61 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative     http://www.w3.org/WAI    fax: +1 617 258 5999
Location: 21 Mitchell street FOOTSCRAY Vic 3011, Australia
(or W3C INRIA, Route des Lucioles, BP 93, 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France)
Received on Wednesday, 26 December 2001 07:17:54 UTC

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