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Re: Minimal Browser Capabilities

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Wed, 26 Dec 2001 14:35:57 -0800
Message-Id: <a05101000b84fff61844a@[]>
To: Joe Clark <joeclark@joeclark.org>, WAI-IG <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
At 5:25 PM -0500 12/26/01, Joe Clark wrote:
>>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.

So it's decent at being an HTML-only browser -- for something put together
by unpaid people.  Which isn't really high praise even from Lynx's
supposed defenders -- although once again I'm not _attacking_ Lynx,
so let's not all rush to die on our swords.

I'm simply saying what Lynx does and doesn't do.  Lynx doesn't have
good support for HTML 4.01 standards -- it does okay with HTML 3.2.
Lynx doesn't do anything particularly good with XML, with CSS, with
JavaScript, with DOM, with much else.

Am I bashing on your favorite web access app?  No, I don't think so,
especially as I use Lynx quite a great deal myself.  I'm just saying
it's far from a good example of what a web browser, text-only or
otherwise, should be in 2001.

>>Lynx furthermore does not support UAAG.
>Oh, please. What does?

It gets pretty tiresome to hear, whenever you criticize someone's
favorite browser -- be that Netscape, Lynx, IE, Opera, whatever -- the
reply of "oh, NOTHING supports that, so who cares?" whenever you point
out a lack of decent support.

Not supporting UAAG means that, like other browsers out there, Lynx
is limited when it comes to delivering full accessibility (or
something close to it, as defined by UAAG).  Just because you can
say "well, it's better than <x> or <y>!" that doesn't suddenly make
Lynx great software.

None of my comments were of the sort "yes, but it's not as good as
IE or Netscape!" and it's getting pretty lame to see the knee-jerk
reactions from people who simply can't stand to see ANY criticism
leveled at their favorite browser, who assume that by saying "well,
well, um...THIS sucks too! *pointing*", they can somehow avenge the
insult against Lynx.

Sure, IE sucks.  Sure, Opera is not all it could be.  Sure, Netscape
4 is crap and Netscape 6 is a work in progress.  That doesn't mean
we can't talk about the shortcomings of Lynx, and the shortcomings
include:  "It can't do anything except simple HTML."

I feel that's not enough for a browser.  Feel free to disagree with
that point.


Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>                 http://kynn.com
Chief Technologist, Idyll Mountain            http://idyllmtn.com
Web Accessibility Expert-for-hire          http://kynn.com/resume
January Web Accessibility eCourse           http://kynn.com/+d201
Received on Wednesday, 26 December 2001 17:50:08 UTC

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