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RE: Are Accessibility Standards Impeding Progress on the Web?

From: Robert Neff <robert.neff@uaccessit.com>
Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2002 10:12:45 -0500
To: "'RUST Randal'" <RRust@COVANSYS.com>, "'WAI \(E-mail\)'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000b01c24ab7$89c67330$6500000a@computername>

One note here, the cookie issue is not so much a 508 issue as it is a
privacy issue.  There was a big uproar several years back over privacy
and cookies and the government went (in my humble opinion) too far to
disallow them.  They are allowed for certain circumstances for example,
order from online catalog.

However the issue is how it work around cookies and that can be done by
session management

Server side is definitely the way to go as it also decrease your file
size and download time on the client side - THIS EQUATES TO BETTER
CUSTOMER SERVICE which is what you want.

Robert Neff
robert.neff@uaccessit.com
214.213.1979


-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of RUST Randal
Sent: Friday, August 23, 2002 7:17 AM
To: WAI (E-mail)
Subject: Are Accessibility Standards Impeding Progress on the Web?


Personally, I don't think so.  But I was involved in an interesting
discussion yesterday with another developer who feels that government
enforcement of Web accessibility is impeding progress.  

His feeling is that the inability to use Javascript to generate data on
the
client side puts too much pressure on the server side of things.  For
example, not being able to use cookies forces the developer to track
everything through the server.  What we were discussing are not really
sites
that exist for the purpose of content, or e-commerce, but rather web
applications.  Our web applications are really Web versions of our
client-server apps.  

My experience has been that the client-server applications were poorly
developed with little thought going into the usability of the user
interface
or the logical structuring of information.  As a result, a lot of this
thinking has carried over to the Web application.  I think this is a lot
of
the problem, because client-server people tend to think that you can do
everything on the Web the same as you can do it on the desktop.  While
this
is partially true, it's not always the best method.

The other developer's opinion is that small companies cannot afford to
produce accessible applications.  This is because he thinks that they
should
be able to use client-side scripting to do much of the work of the
application - simply because it's faster and easier to develop.  He
thinks
that because of accessibility guidelines, these small companies are now
forced to spend more time and money developing and hosting web
applications
that are larger and more intensive than they need to be.  And that this
is
something that these companies cannot afford to do.

My opinion is that 508 and WCAG compliance is not that difficult to
achieve,
but you need to approach things as though everything needs to be done
server-side, and then you can implement Javascript methods, rather than
the
other way around.  In fact, I think this makes much more sense, because
your
server-side methods are going to be a lot more reliable than Javascript
anyway (if, for example, JS is turned off, or the version you've used in
not
supported).

I also feel that government guidelines and W3C guidelines are no big
deal.
Every other industry has government sanctions and industry-wide
standards,
so why shouldn't the Web?

Randal Rust
Covansys, Inc.
Columbus, OH
Received on Friday, 23 August 2002 11:13:17 GMT

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