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Re: Accessible road maps

From: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Date: Wed, 2 Jun 2004 23:53:08 +0100 (BST)
Message-Id: <200406022253.i52Mr8D00874@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
To: 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.

There are at least two reasons why it might not:

1) if the software worked on Apple ][ there would be no reason for
   people to spend money on the Mac.  That benefits only Apple, but
   is one of the primary reasons for the continual changes in Windows
   (I believe that Microsoft own significant numbers of Intel shares, 
   so they benefit from hardware upgrades as well as software upgrades).

2) occasionally, there might be some real value to the user that could
   not be provided within the constraints of the Apple ][, but note that
   we still use speech even though it is thousands of years since we
   invented writing; we still use reference books, even with animated
   online guides; for information communication, new presentation 
   techniques often don't make communication any more effective.  Windows
   will still allow you to read plain text documents, like this email.

**> 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.

Web pages are supposed to be documents, not programs.  Even for software 
development, many of the changes brought about by faster processors have
been in cosmetics, not in real capability.

Moreover, as I keep saying, one of the key design principles for HTML
was that it should work on anything.  This might not be in the formal
specification, but it was certainly in the original concept paper.
That paper, for example, says that there is no place for colour in HTML
- colour being a fairly standard feature of commercial document, and
presentation, authoring tools of that time.  HTML was well behind its time
in terms of gloss features, as a deliberate matter of policy.  Most people
these days don't realise what were its true defining characteristics.
Commercial users probably should not be using it, although academics and
governments have better matched requirements.
Received on Thursday, 3 June 2004 02:34:25 UTC

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