W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > October to December 2001

Re: Minimal Browser Capabilities

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Wed, 26 Dec 2001 14:59:13 -0800
Message-Id: <a05101001b85006bc3d71@[]>
To: Tina Marie Holmboe <tina@elfi.elfi.org>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
At 11:55 PM +0100 12/26/01, Tina Marie Holmboe wrote:
>   I see. Using that as a baseline, neither Lynx, MS IE, Opera, Mozilla,
>   Netscape or any other browser can be considered a 'full web browser';
>   since none of them support 'everything'.

Right!  That's correct!  Very good!

It's not THAT hard to figure out that Lynx doesn't MAGICALLY become
a good browser just because other browsers also suck!

>   However, this little debate sprang from your comarison between Lynx
>   and Netscape 2, and I believe it is quite clear that Lynx is more
>   capable than said version of Netscape.

Only barely.  Netscape 2 was an HTML viewer.  Lynx is an HTML viewer.
Lynx has 5 more years of development than Netscape 2, but it's not
5 years more advanced, in my opinion.

>  > Are you saying it _does_ do CSS, DOM, JavaScript, and the other
>  > things I listed?  Nothing on the pages cited indicates that.
>   Nor does anything in my reply. What my reply does say is that Lynx
>   have quite good support for a high number of those standards that
>   by concensus has been established for use on the WWW.

What does "by concensus" mean in this case?  Are you saying, "W3C
recommendations" or are you not saying "W3C recommendations"?

Near as I can tell, the standards Lynx supports -- for content --
consists of HTML 3.2 and maybe HTML 4.01, although I'm not sure that
claim is particularly proven.  There's supposed support for XHTML,
but handling a <br/> correctly isn't really the same as XHTML

>I might
>   note that Javascript is not a technology that Lynx support, nor is
>   it a standard. By your token I could claim that since Microsoft's
>   IE 6 doesn't support either ECMAscript, DOM 2, or transparent PNGs
>   it too is on the same level as Netscape 2.0

No, because those aren't things Netscape 2.0 did.

>   I don't find that comparison to be a particular fruitful one.

I'm sorry if you don't.  In the future I will be sure to clear all
comparisons with you, so that you don't possibly take offense at
something as harmless as this.

>   I do, however, believe quite firmly that Lynx is a better baseline to
>   use towards accessibility than Netscape 2.0, especially since it is
>   by far the best browser at linearizing content something which makes
>   information quite abit more accessible.

How does "linearizing content" make it more accessible, and to
whom?  Please support your statements; I don't think you know what
you're talking about here.

>   One of the 'Old Rules' of testing for accessibility is to check
>   whether the *information* contained in/on a page can be extracted
>   or assimiliated with alternative technologies for browsing - such
>   as braille or voice browsers.

The old rules are limited, however, and are based on an understanding
of the web when the web was 5 years younger.  Lynx is a terrible
guide, for example, for telling you if someone with a cognitive
disability related to reading comprehension can use your page.

>   By using Lynx, a page author can get a very good idea of how the
>   end result will appear - even without investing in a Braille reader
>   and learning to read it.

Actually, that's not true at all.  The way a Braille terminal renders
a page may be completely different from the way Lynx renders it, especially
if that Braille terminal is hooked up to software which fuzzles with the
DOM or sniffs HTML attributes unrevealed by Lynx or whatnot.

Once again -- why am I continually having to disclaim my statements?
-- Lynx isn't a bad application for what it does, and I like it and use
it regularly, but it's at best a limited HTML viewer.  Why are so many
people afraid of facing the limitations of this particular sacred


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 18:12:01 UTC

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