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Re: Minimal Browser Capabilities

From: David Poehlman <poehlman1@home.com>
Date: Wed, 26 Dec 2001 17:46:10 -0500
Message-ID: <005301c18e5f$1df64280$c2f20141@mtgmry1.md.home.com>
To: "WAI-IG" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, "Joe Clark" <joeclark@joeclark.org>
I almost missed this comment.  Lynx is not a target of uaag.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Joe Clark" <joeclark@joeclark.org>
To: "WAI-IG" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Sent: Wednesday, December 26, 2001 5:25 PM
Subject: Re: Minimal Browser Capabilities

>>unfortunately or fortunately, there are many reasons why lynx is 
>>pivotal and we are lucky if it is the one chosen as minimal.
>No, we're not lucky, because it doesn't provide minimal web 
>functionality nor adherence to the standards,

I've used Lynx for up to ten hours a day for more than five years. I 
can assure you that (a) Lynx's "Web functionality," whatever that is, 
is high and (b) it supports HTML and XHTML *very* thoroughly for a 
program cobbled together by volunteers. No JavaScript or CSS, but 
those remain optional, yea even unto the WCAG.

I can think of a list of attributes Lynx does not support (accesskey 
and tabindex among them, plus generalized title), but that list is 
similar in length and character to the lists one could put together 
about IE and a few other browsers. Lynx's support of character sets 
was better than anything on the market until Windows IE 6 came along 
and is nothing short of astounding for a terminal-access program.

It is quite a bother to wade through frame-based sites in Lynx, but 
it is possible (actually, for simple frame sites, where, e.g., the 
top frame is simply an ad, it's not hard at all), and display of true 
data tables remains a mess long after it should have been fixed, but 
Lynx, quite simply, is no slouch.

>  and it can give entirely the wrong idea about what "web 
>accessibility" means. For example, an over-emphasis on Lynx has 
>contributed to the notion that web accessibility is about removing 
>graphics, either from the source or from the display, and has led to 
>people thinking of accessibility as meaning "only blind users."

A largely fair analysis. Nonetheless, to simulate serial access for a 
user who cannot see graphics, Lynx is not a bad deal.

>Lynx furthermore does not support UAAG.

Oh, please. What does?

   Joe Clark | joeclark@joeclark.org | <http://joeclark.org/access/>
   Accessibility articles, resources, and critiques
Received on Wednesday, 26 December 2001 17:45:45 UTC

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