W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > April to June 2004

Re: Screen readers - usage stats?

From: Steven Dale <sdale@stevendale.com>
Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2004 16:39:36 -0400 (EDT)
Message-ID: <2881.>
To: <lists@zstudio.co.uk>
Cc: <sdale@stevendale.com>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

Ian Anderson said:
>> I think debating, which screen reader to support or which browser is
> best
>> or even how to write one page which is presentable in all browsers,
> is an
>> argument that does not serve a constructive direction.  I believe we
> need
>> to work more on separating content and presentation in the area of
>> accessibility and embrace the CSS and XSL technologies.  For what
> happens
>> when the next device comes to market?  Simple a new CSS stylesheet
> for
>> that device.
> I get the feeling you are not a web designer with a lot of experience of
> how things were in the mid 90's.

No, I am sorry I havent had the pleasure designing websites in the mid
90s, I was too busy working on the wireless network software and standards
for 2.5g and 3g networks that are being used present day.  If you are
attempting to put me in the class of hackers who have no clue about good
coding practices, you are sadly mistaken.

> What you are suggesting is a move
> towards balkanised sites, code forking and multiple site versions for
> specific use cases, the way it was in 1998.

Where exactly did I say that?  I did however say something to the effect
of different rendering of sites for specific use cases.

> This is not what WCAG was
> about, and it is entirely contrary to the last five years development in
> web design, as we have slowly, torturously moved the entire
> industry towards accepting and using web standards.

Web standards??  Standards???  or Guidelines???  Standards are enforcable
and the W3C is not able to enforce their work which makes them guidelines.
However, I digress. Please keep your above statement in mind when reading
the rest of this reply.

> Why? So we can build one page.
> One page. That's the goal, the only solution to avoid disappearing up
> your own arse in a morass of browser hacks and conflicting rendering. I
> didn't live through all that with web design only to start the whole
> thing again with web accessibility.

I believe the CSS WG, the XML WG, the Device Independent WG, the WS WG all
might be interested in hearing that they are bucking the trend of a single
site for every use case.  I guess in the interest of WAI, we should
declare these WGs as something of the mid 90s and put them to pasture.  Oh
wait, what is this WG I see here in WAI?  Could it be PFWG?  Hmmm who are

> And anyway, I know CSS very well, and it does not even begin to
> address the issues I am dealing with. Some bespoke publishing system
> using XML, XSLT and this mod_accessibility thing could, but this is not
> widely applicable and is not appropriate to the IT and business
> constraints of the project.

Why not? Did you research this out or just give it a "techie" label and
dismiss it?
> I work in the real world with existing sites and real constraints. Web
> accessibilty is capable of handling this without all these techie
> gimmicks,

Ummm, the web was a techie gimmick in 1990.  Anyone remember Gopher?

> and in the real world I think technical solutions can only be
> a small part of any approach to these dilemmas.

Now you finally said something I can agree with.

Received on Friday, 16 April 2004 16:51:43 UTC

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