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Re: Can AJAX find harmony on agency Web sites?

From: Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com>
Date: Mon, 17 Jul 2006 17:11:53 +0200
To: david.clark@umb.edu, "Bailey, Bruce" <Bruce.Bailey@ed.gov>
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <op.tct9t3gxwxe0ny@62-151-100-1.jazzfree.ya.com>

On Mon, 17 Jul 2006 15:35:55 +0200, David Clark <david.clark@umb.edu>  
wrote:

> I love this line from the developer docs:
> "The Bindows framework now includes support for accessibility (US
> Government Section-508 requirements) in Internet Explorer for visually
> impaired users."
>
> If the statement requires those  two provisos, is it really a solution?

The question is actually interesting even if you are not, as I am, working  
for a different browser company...

In the narrow confines of US law, I suspect that it could be "enough". To  
meet the legal requirement, if not to make the Web really a lot more  
accessible.

Coding for a given browser/screen reader/etc is a pretty narrow approach,  
in principle, to making the Web better. It is true that each browser  
introduces new technology, and others follow (from tabs and mouse gestures  
to accesskey and AJAX accessibility), typically through standardisation of  
some sort. (In this context W3C is important, but so are organisations  
like WHAT-WG).

Standards are not a good place to be doing the innovation (although  
standards organisations often have the right people to do innovation as  
well). And coding to a standard is the goal that makes for an open  
marketplace responsive to customers, rather than a vendor lock-in that  
creates artificial monopolies.

That said, I am intrigued by why they chose to work with IE. Various  
people, including Opera, are working through WAI to develop accessibility  
standards for AJAX, primarily led by UBAccess on their own behalf and IBM  
who are paying to make Firefox more accessible. I wonder whether they took  
this into account, or are just creating yet another version of the  
accessible wheel.

In the accessibility market in particular this is important. Being  
relatively small, a lack of standardisation has long enforced a very  
distorted marketplace for the whole web.

Still, we'll see what happens. Life on the bleeding edge is always a bit  
messy - the question is about how, and how well, we transfer this to the  
"trailing edge" - what North Americans might call the "moms and pops".  
(Neither of those is a word that figures in my brand of english, but I  
recognise them ;)

cheers

Chaals

> On 7/17/06, Bailey, Bruce <Bruce.Bailey@ed.gov> wrote:
>>
>> I think the article contains some unsupported inflammatory assertions,  
>> not the least of which is byline!  I am hoping the author might get a  
>> note about how WCAG 1.0 and especially the draft 2.0 provide for  
>> changes in dynamic content.
>>
>> Can AJAX find harmony on agency Web sites?
>> Hot coding technique unable to hit fed Web pages because of  
>> accessibility questions.
>> http://www.fcw.com/article95257-07-17-06-Print&printLayout
>> Wade-Hahn Chan, Federal Computer Week, 17 July 2006.




-- 
   Charles McCathieNevile, Opera Software: Standards Group
   hablo español  -  je parle français  -  jeg lærer norsk
chaals@opera.com          Try Opera 9 now! http://opera.com
Received on Monday, 17 July 2006 15:12:14 GMT

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