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Fw: Web site accessibility

From: David Poehlman <poehlman1@comcast.net>
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2003 10:00:37 -0500
To: wai-ig list <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-id: <000f01c2f3a8$76b19500$6501a8c0@handsontech>


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Martin McCormick" <martin@DC.CIS.OKSTATE.EDU>
To: <EASI@MAELSTROM.STJOHNS.EDU>
Sent: Wednesday, March 26, 2003 9:44 AM
Subject: Re: Web site accessibility


        Here is an example that demonstrates why javascript is
basically bad technology as far as accessibility is concerned.

        Our department has a web site that displays important
working information regarding our group.  One of the things
displayed is a schedule of who is on call at a given time.  A
person who created the site saw what he thought was a cool little
clock artifact that followed the mouse over the screen and
graphically showed who is on call.

        I needed to find out that information to update an
automated script I have which rotates the contact information in
an automated paging sequence which had gotten out of sync with
our actual list.

        Had this been written in standard html or had it used a
server-side xml engine that evaluated the client, I would have
received the information textually.

        Instead, I got the standard javascript wimp-out in which
you see the link you need, select it and the screen just stays
the same.

        I have seen a few test web pages in which xml server-side
mechanisms deliver javascript to those who can use it and html to
those who either turn off scripting or run something like lynx
which doesn't understand javascript and they work very well with
lynx.

        I think this type of web server is apt to be more of an
example of what just might fix a lot of seemingly intractable
problems.

        Right now, UNIX users who happen to be blind do not have
any scripting browser that can work satisfactorily for them.

        One real problem with javascript or ECMAscript is that
lots of it is actually customized for either Netscape or Internet
Explorer.

        As long as people have to do extra work for
accessibility, it "ain't gonna' happen."  It will only happen
when servers automatically tailor their output to the client
rather than spewing javascript at everything that uses port 80.

Martin McCormick WB5AGZ  Stillwater, OK
OSU Center for Computing and Information Services Network Operations Group
Received on Wednesday, 26 March 2003 10:02:19 GMT

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