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Re: WAI Web site remarks and suggestions

From: Tom Croucher <tcroucher@netalleynetworks.com>
Date: Wed, 15 Oct 2003 02:07:22 +0100
To: Jonathan Chetwynd <j.chetwynd@btinternet.com>, Charles McCathieNevile <charles@sidar.org>
Cc: Jens Meiert <jens.meiert@erde3.com>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <oprw172kydu930jj@mail.icet.co.uk>

Jonathan,

I can assure you that some of your skeptisism is unfounded. I have never 
met TimBL in person but I do talk to him reasonably regularly online about 
the semantic web and some other issues. He does care however he does not 
belive he can address all issues, and such delgation is important.

Recently the techniques task force spent almost an hour of our relatively 
precious conference call time talking about the issue of 
internationalisation and how best we can represent our customers (People 
with Disabilities). There was discussion on what areas of the world we do 
properly represent, and which people in those areas need targeting and what 
our role should be. Wendy Chisholm is going to Japan soon to talk to have 
some meetings their and see what we can do to help make WCAG (and possibly 
other WAI initiatives) more appropriate to their culture and individuals 
(with disabilities). Recently myself and Wendy have been working towards an 
initiative to get more contribution from Africa. While I don't claim that 
the W3C with solve all these problems, I would say that Education and 
Outreach (EO) are working hard to make governments, companies and content 
providers around the world aware of the hard work going into all the WAI 
initiatives. The people within the working group are dedicated to providing 
the best possible support for all cultures, and economic backgrounds, but 
there is only so much within our remit.

Tom

On Tue, 14 Oct 2003 23:49:03 +0100, Jonathan Chetwynd 
<j.chetwynd@btinternet.com> wrote:

> 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 21:08:19 GMT

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