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Re: "untill user agents" retired?

From: David Poehlman <david.poehlman@handsontechnologeyes.com>
Date: Tue, 31 Jan 2006 19:17:29 -0500
Message-Id: <712FBC09-65C3-4AE9-81EB-F5C84732B8FA@handsontechnologeyes.com>
Cc: wai-ig list <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
To: "Patrick H. Lauke" <redux@splintered.co.uk>

perhaps we need to revisit the ua standards they are actually  
guidelines.  I know there are new and wild technologies coming and I  
don't know what impact they are going to have, but we are loosing  
valuable ground on *accessibility* if we do not leave a door open for  
users to access content and ui functions
Jonnie Apple Seed
With his:
Hands-On Technolog(eye)s

On Jan 31, 2006, at 6:12 PM, Patrick H. Lauke wrote:

Emmanuelle Gutiérrez y Restrepo wrote:

> What target? Are we thinking in "all" or only in some users?

In a utopian world, of course we're thinking of "all". But  
realistically it can't be "all", if the user agents don't follow the  
basic W3C standards, have major flaws and bugs, or simply require non- 
standard hacks to work. As an example: I'd love to say that my sites  
all work in Mosaic, for instance...but the fact that Mosaic doesn't  
understand HTTP 1.1, and therefore can't access any sites which are  
virtually hosted (multiple domain names under the same physical IP  
address) would, under the "all" moniker, make them inaccessible under  
that reasoning (leaving aside even more serious shortcomings of  
Mosaic here for a second).

 > Are we talking about "universal design" (Design for all) or are we  
talking about marketing?

I'm not sure where you got the marketing angle from here. And again:  
design for all is a wonderful concept, but without a baseline,  
without a level playing field, it's utopian. I could sit down and  
write my own browser which only implements 10% of HTML 4.01 ... and  
if your site doesn't work with it, you've failed the universal design  

> What happen with the people that can't buy a new computer,
 > that can't update their user agent?

Where do you draw the line? And we're not talking about any issues  
that affect users which have last year's PC/OS/browser, either...even  
at the time of writing, the "until user agents" clauses were -  
correct me if I'm wrong - edge cases. So, 6 years down the line, are  
these edge cases still a consideration?

And, if as David suggests even brand new devices have problems,  
where's the pressure on the device manufacturers to follow standards?

> I understand that we need a limit, maybe. But we need a inclusive  
> limit.

How's this as an inclusive limit: user agents that adhere to the W3C  

Patrick H. Lauke
re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
[latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]
www.splintered.co.uk | www.photographia.co.uk
Web Standards Project (WaSP) Accessibility Task Force
Received on Wednesday, 1 February 2006 00:17:44 UTC

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