W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > October to December 2003

RE: User customization using a style sheet switcher and server side scripts.

From: P.H.Lauke <P.H.Lauke@salford.ac.uk>
Date: Thu, 6 Nov 2003 09:49:19 -0000
Message-ID: <3A1D23A330416E4FADC5B6C08CC252B9787711@misnts6.mis.salford.ac.uk>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Paul Davis [mailto:paul@ten-20.com]
> Sent: 05 November 2003 23:20

> generally you will not hear " I open my 
> browser" We all
> are aware of netscape, opera, linux and apple but over 95% of 
> Joe Public are
> not, or it is a lost science to them. This is not 
> condescending.... this is
> fact.

Playing devil's advocate: on the same token, when Joe P is told
"you can make your text display bigger/smaller" (via their
browser's text size menu) the usual reply is "how ?" (usually
while they're hunched over their desk with the nose almost touching
their screen). So, having a font size set to absolute values
would prevent them from resizing text in IE, but most of them are
not even aware that they could do that in the first place.

I don't think it's outlandish to expect that users with disabilities
that need specific adjustments to their browsing experience (larger font
sizes, certain colour combinations, etc) should also learn to use
their tools effectively, and also to be able to choose the right tool
for the right job. You can't use a screwdriver and then moan that it
makes a lousy hammer.

This takes me back, to some extent, to a discussion with a colleague
some time ago where she wanted to include a message on a site saying
something along the lines of "if you are blind/visually impaired, you
should be using a screenreader to access this site...screenreaders are
pieces of software that etc etc" which struck me as patronising and, most
of all, completely unnecessary. Is the onus on the developers to let
users with disabilities know what alternatives are out there, or (at least
partially) on the users themselves ?

Anyway, sorry to keep harking on about this point. I'll shut my face on
the issue now ;)

> To sum up may I point out NASA spent a $million to design a 
> ball point pen
> that would work upside down and in weightless conditions, on a space
> exchange one Russian expert was asked how they solved the problem, he
> shrugged, licked the end of his pencil and carried on doing 
> the crossword.

Off topic, but had to chip in on this one:

Patrick (is it Friday yet ?)
Patrick H. Lauke
Webmaster / University of Salford
Received on Thursday, 6 November 2003 04:50:33 UTC

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