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Re: A question of interpretation

From: Lois Wakeman <lois@lois.co.uk>
Date: Tue, 9 Sep 2003 10:02:50 +0100
Message-ID: <002701c376b1$258dba00$9601030a@bowser.hhb.com>
To: "WAI list" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

Tina,

Perhaps I am being naive, but I think a little common sense is called for
here.

Since the web is, in name and general intention, worldwide, then any attempt
to compartmentalise it along geographical (or indeed any other) lines seems
completely counter-productive and wrong-headed.

Even if it were true that Sweden has special, privileged, technology
characteristics *and* we assume that only Swedes will ever use a Swedish web
site, what about expatriates who may live in parts of the world where they
need to use Lynx and a tin can on a string to get access to the WWW?

Then, if we do fly in the face of reason and decide to have country-specific
guidelines, how do we specify access requirements for different countries
with commonly spoken languages? English, Spanish, French and Portuguese come
immediately to mind: how do guidelines for sites written in those languages
and perhaps of interest to all speakers* take account of the likely
differences in AT between, say, New York and rural parts of India where
English may be spoken or at least of interest to surfers, or Paris and
Algeria (French),  Barcelona and Peru (Spanish) etc.?

* It is, IMO, a red herring to say that "Oh well, we're only talking about
government sites for which this won't be true". Anything adopted in the
public sector will almost inevitably spill over into commercial sites quite
soon, as we have seen already to some degree.

And since the drive is towards standards, to go in the opposite direction
seems so stupid as not to need any comments from anyone who has ever been
involved with serious web development.

Time to hop off the soap box and get some work done....

Lois Wakeman

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http://lois.co.uk
http://siteusability.com
http://communicationarts.co.uk
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Received on Tuesday, 9 September 2003 05:03:44 GMT

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