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Re: WAI Web site remarks and suggestions

From: Jonathan Chetwynd <j.chetwynd@btinternet.com>
Date: Tue, 14 Oct 2003 23:49:03 +0100
Cc: tcroucher@netalleynetworks.com, Jens Meiert <jens.meiert@erde3.com>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
To: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@sidar.org>
Message-Id: <9BD9632C-FE98-11D7-99B0-0003939B5AD0@btinternet.com>

Chaals,

Please read with a plum in the mouth, and with the good wishes intended 
by me.
as you ask, or perhaps insist...

I considered accosting Tim BL at his RS talk, however as this was the 
first opportunity I'd had to hear him speak, and I was less than elated 
by his apparent dismissal of the disabled community, I felt this wasn't 
appropriate, a chap in a wheelchair convinced me.
the semantic web is important, but the failure of the web or W3 to 
significantly penetrate 4/5ths of the world: South America, Africa, 
Asia, the poor in the rest of the world, including the illiterate is 
something a well (g)rounded person might have mentioned.*

The fact is that this isn't merely an issue of website re-design, and 
in many ways that would probably be inappropriate.
It is a problem of function. W3 arose out of Research, Government, 
Industry and Commerce.

Not one of these is specifically attached to the needs of the common 
man.
In fact W3/WAI would seem to be somewhat responsible to its funders, 
and they to it.

In order for a more egalitarian bureaucracy to arise and service their 
needs, it'll need more than a website redesign.
which would of course be an automatic outcome.

We may hope that various other bodies, possibly European will develop 
resources that are more appropriate in the very near future, and we 
shall have the option to use them. WAI will either choose to follow, 
service a shrinking market, or rapidly develop to meet the needs of 
what is self evidently a far larger market.

My concern is that the corporate W3 conviction of their innate 
superiority, aka known as top down development is preventing users from 
informing development. for example amaya is great as a 'research' 
concept, but has significant usability issues. Feature creep is not 
however peculiar to W3....
Developing resources with, by and for mere mortals would imho be a 
significant development.

Jonathan Chetwynd
http://www.peepo.co.uk
"A web by people with learning difficulties"

*How to win friends and influence people part II, but please not a 
personal attack, merely an indicator, petticoat showing a little :-)
Received on Tuesday, 14 October 2003 18:44:50 GMT

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