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RE: Scripting (was RE: Accessible road maps)

From: Patrick Lauke <P.H.Lauke@salford.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 2 Jun 2004 14:37:52 +0100
Message-ID: <3A1D23A330416E4FADC5B6C08CC252B9FD6A04@misnts16.mis.salford.ac.uk>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

> All of the content represented by this code is available via several
> other means - by phone, in print[including brail and multiple 
> languages], or in person.  No one NEEDS to get this information via
> the Internet.

Well, even in the cases where this is true - and there are many "online only"
companies and services out there, that just don't have any equivalent
(call centres, etc) alternatives - it all depends on whether the alternative
is not unduly/unnecessarily more complex/time consuming for the individuals
who are effectively shut out of the website. 
By the same rationale, we could also say "why do we need to make our physical
company buildings (e.g. bankcs) accessible? They don't have to come and see
us in person, they can call us on the phone..."

> Browsers that do not support client-side scripts need
> to be enhanced.

"Can't they build wheelchairs that are capable of climbing stairs?"

> yet when it comes to disabiling scripts, seems they have no problem!
> So which is it - can we count on users to understand how to use the
> tools they have or not?

In most cases, the limitations are set by the technology itself, or by
the system administrators/IT department. Often nothing to do with the
end user.

> The first
> battles, getting management to accept the idea, are difficult.

If the "moral/ethical" type argument is not enough, legislation, and
the spectre of law suits, should hopefully take care of that.

> But
> even more difficult is attempting to understand vague and ambigous
> guidelines.

Yes, the guidelines can be vague and obscure, and sometimes contradictory.
That's why simple rote mastery of the secret code of the Wuh-Kag is not
enough (and why automatic checkers are, in my book, pretty useless). Developers
need to get a proper understanding of the issues, and know when certain
guidelines can be bent and/or consciously broken *for good reasons*.

> Where is 
> the pressure to
> have the user agents change?

http://www.w3.org/TR/UAAG10/ and things are slowly getting better
(again, no small part of this is legislation...e.g. no company would
want to forego governmental contracts because their products don't
at least comply to basic accessibility standards)

> Why do I see comments about the need to accomidate users of 
> ALL browsers and AT
> applications when this clealy states "...until most user 
> agents...".  Lynx seems 
> to be one of the more popular browsers sited when something 
> like scripting is 
> raised.  Is it not the responsibility of the Lynx developers 
> to make changes?

The onus is obviously spread across various stakeholders here.
Content developers, UA/AT devlopers and even end users.
However, getting back on topic, on don't seem to recall any
guideline stating "until all user agents support scripting,
make sure you offer no-script and/or server-side alternatives"...

Patrick H. Lauke
Webmaster / University of Salford
Received on Wednesday, 2 June 2004 09:38:22 UTC

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