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RE: Is there a case for News as accessible technology?

From: Al Gilman <Alfred.S.Gilman@IEEE.org>
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 14:56:10 -0400
Message-Id: <p06110408bd4bf631c5a2@[]>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

At 12:11 PM -0400 8/20/04, Michael R. Burks wrote:
>I am not sure the question is completely valid.
>If people with disabilities and others cannot use USENET then the
>penetration will be low.
>Make it accessible and the penetration will increase.
>If the news readers are not built to be  accessible, then people with
>certain disabilities or perhaps all disabilities will not be  able to
>participate in Usenet

OK, I didn't make the background for the question clear enough.

The 'news' and 'nntp' URI schemes appear to be on their way to die a 
natural death.

The world at large doesn't care enough to invest in their 
maintenance, it would seem.

My question is "should these technologies be sustained as an access 
and not left to the whims of the market?  Should they be accorded any 
sort of 'critical
technology' status and supported because they are important for a 
current PWD user base?
Or can they be left to die a natural death because the alternatives 
such as access through Web
gateways are as good or close to as good as the access through a Newsreader?

Braille is a critical technology even though it is of no use to the 
majority of blind people.

For the people who can use it, it performs head and shoulders above 
the alternatives.

Is native Newsreader access to newsgroups through links in web pages
like that? Or is it an expendable 'nice to have'?

The spin on the question is a function of the perceived lack of 
interest in the general
market.  If everyone were rushing to use it, why of course access to 
Newsreaders would
be a hot topic and I'd be asking Mike what ISOC was doing about it.

If the passing of this capability falls on the PWD and the TAB with 
an equal shrug of indifference
then I'm not going to bother him about that.


>Mike Burks
>-----Original Message-----
>From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org] On Behalf
>Of Al Gilman
>Sent: Friday, August 20, 2004 11:30 AM
>To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
>Subject: Is there a case for News as accessible technology?
>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=
>- We need to decide whether I should update the non-file: drafts to
>reflect current reality or simply to use the text from 1738.
>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
>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
>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?
Received on Friday, 20 August 2004 18:56:44 UTC

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