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More scripting thoughts Pt. 2 (was RE: Accessible road maps)

From: John Foliot - WATS.ca <foliot@wats.ca>
Date: Wed, 2 Jun 2004 16:56:06 -0400
To: "Access Systems" <accessys@smart.net>, <Kurt_Mattes@bankone.com>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

> Where is the guideline that requires supporting ALL possible
> configurations.  Do you also make the argument that all new MAC
> software must work on an Apple II?  And let's not limit this to
> the MAC platform.  Perhaps all new PC software should be required
> to work on a Commadore 64 or PC running an 8086 chip as well as
> it does on a PC using a P4 chip or the manufacturer should be
> hauled into court.  Wonder if this would have any impact on
> software development.

Let's not get silly here.  Since well on the beginning of commercial web
development, the concept of graceful degradation has been a pivotal
development guideline.  One of the best arguments for using CSS is that by
stripping display from content even older browsers like NN2 can access the
content.  This was never scoffed at or dismissed, but rather accepted as an
additional benefit for developers to make the move from <font> to CSS. Why
not think of this when talking about client side scripting?  What happens if
scripting is not there or supported?  Where (or what) is the graceful
degradation?  Can the same functionality be delivered via a server side
script?  If so, how?

While it has taken some time to get commercial web developers to abandon
crud like <font> in favor of CSS, the reality is it is happening.  So why
not use the same line of thought and attack for client side scripting?  The
arguments against 100% reliance of client side scripting for Mission
Critical functionality are well documented in numerous places.  However
continued education is required to bring the thousands (millions?) of web
developers out there to understand, accept, and find alternative solutions.
We, the active members of this list, need to lead the way.

John Foliot  foliot@wats.ca
Web Accessibility Specialist / Co-founder of WATS.ca
Web Accessibility Testing and Services
http://www.wats.ca   1.866.932.4878 (North America)
Received on Wednesday, 2 June 2004 16:56:10 UTC

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