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Is there a case for News as accessible technology?

From: Al Gilman <Alfred.S.Gilman@IEEE.org>
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 11:30:22 -0400
Message-Id: <p06110404bd4bc5e2731c@[10.0.1.2]>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org


One of the open questions on the Web at the moment is how much effort
should be put into updating URI schemes including the news: scheme
that relate to protocols other than HTTP.

<quote cite=
"http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/uri/2004Aug/0057.html">
- We need to decide whether I should update the non-file: drafts to
reflect current reality or simply to use the text from 1738.
</quote>

At least one blind friend responded to a query about accessible
groupware that "if they would just implement a News server everything
would be fine." That's one user with one installed base of skills and
tools.

However, there is the chance that there is a current body of usage
that we should be surfacing in this discussion that I don't know
about.

What do people know about the current level of use of [Usenet] News by

- people with disabilities
- people with narrowband connections
- people in the third world

??

One of the most-requested features of the web interface to the W3C
email list archives is "wouldn't you just mail me a copy of this
post, please?" Similarly, there could be a usability advantage to
dealing with discussions that arise in News through a Newsreader
interface and not a screen-reader-layered-over-web transcription of
the News interface.

The distinction here is that one could send people to a news article
through DejaNews or via a news: URL that sends an NNTP request
and processes the reply in a Newsreader rather than an HTML player.

Does the difference merit investment in the maintenance of the news:
URI specification (and its near twin nntp:)?  Or is this an historic
artifact not needed today?

Al
Received on Friday, 20 August 2004 15:30:56 UTC

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