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

Re: Minimal Browser Capabilities

From: Tina Marie Holmboe <tina@elfi.elfi.org>
Date: Thu, 27 Dec 2001 00:57:10 +0100
Message-ID: <20011227005710.E6999@elfi.elfi.org>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
On Wed, Dec 26, 2001 at 02:59:13PM -0800, Kynn Bartlett 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!

  I assume this must be a cultural thing, but I am still sorry that you
  feel the need to be condescending.

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

  Nor is it hard to figure out that Lynx does not magically become a
  poor browser just because you say so. As has been pointed out quite
  clearly, Lynx have far better capabilities than you claim, and anything
  outside that is a matter of taste.

> 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.

  You are entitled to your opinion, of course, but Lynx can quite easily
  be proven to be more advanced. I am sure you can conceive of a few
  tests that will prove Lynx to be a better - in your words - "HTML

> >  > 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"?

  I suggest http://www.m-w.com/:

Main Entry: conĚsenĚsus <http://www.m-w.com/images/audio.gif>
Pronunciation: k&n-'sen(t)-s&s
Function: noun
Usage: often attributive
Etymology: Latin, from consentire
Date: 1858
1 a : general agreement : UNANIMITY <the consensus of their opinion, based on reports... from the border -- John Hersey> b : the judgment arrived at by most of those concerned 

  "By concensus" in this case should be taken to mean "By general agreement
   by the most of those concerned", ie. those people and organizations that
   together define standards for the WWW - such as Microsoft, Netscape, etc.

  The W3C.

> 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

  I suggest you try using the LINK element in various browsers including
  Lynx. This was introduced in HTML 2.0, and as far as I know only Lynx
  has so far gotten it right.

> claim is particularly proven.  There's supposed support for XHTML,
> but handling a <br/> correctly isn't really the same as XHTML
> support.

  Of course not - but the fact remains that Lynx handles <br/> correctly,
  something Netscape 4 - to keep comparing - does not. You might want to
  claim that this does not make Lynx more advanced in it's interpretation
  of markup languages than Netscape 4, but you would be wrong.

> 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.

  Yet again - I fail to understand why you insist on this agressive
  approach to what was a simple correction of fact.

> 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.

  There is a point to this insult ?

> >   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.

  The 'old rules' are quite good - and limited only by a lack of
  understanding by the amount of people who jumped on the WWW bandwagon
  in the last 3-4 years.

  Testing a product - and a webpage is a product - is a lengthy process
  that consist of several steps. Using Lynx for linearizing is one
  good such.

> >   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.

  Am I to understand that you claim, above, that a Braille terminal will
  present information - by its very nature textual - in a non-linear form
  to users ?

  It would be quite interesting to see the level of understanding a test
  subject gets from having various elements such as pop-up windows and
  menus brailled inbetween, on top of, or mixed in with the other
  information on a page.

> 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
> cow?

  You've not considered that you might be wrong; and that the fear is
  squarely in your camp ?

 - Tina Holmboe
Received on Wednesday, 26 December 2001 18:57:11 UTC

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