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RE: Commands and Accessibility

From: Ryan Jean <ryanj@disnetwork.org>
Date: Wed, 20 Aug 2008 08:34:50 -0400
To: "'David Woolley'" <forums@david-woolley.me.uk>, "'wai-ig list'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <E1KVmvq-0000hR-FA@bart.w3.org>

I agree with you here. It's all about the money to companies, when it should
be about making sure everyone has access to the same information.

Ryan Jean
Assistant IT Specialist
The Disability Network
Flint, MI

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org] On Behalf
Of David Woolley
Sent: Tuesday, August 19, 2008 5:15 PM
To: 'wai-ig list'
Subject: Re: Commands and Accessibility

Ryan Jean wrote:
> Is it just me or does it seem like DOS was a lot more accessible to users
> than Windows? Is it a fair statement to say command-line operating systems
> (DOS, Unix, and Apple) are more accessible than their graphic user
> counterparts (Windows, Linux, and Macintosh)?

Except where the disability is in an inability to use written languages, 
that sort of interface is much more easy to make accessible for written 
documents and simple forms.

Graphical ones are better for non-verbal users, and where one wants to 
provide a lot of command options for infrequent users.  However, when 
presented with a graphical medium, designers tend to take out their 
artistic licence, with the result that graphical interfaces are often 
only really usable by someone with vast experience of deciphering user 
interface metaphors.

That also makes it difficult for a machine to understand the page and 
provide alternative forms.  Standards like ARIA try to get round this, 
but I can't imagine it will be much used in the cases that really need it.

Frequent users are most productive with command line, or character cell 
interfaces.  I don't know if it still happens, but the travel agents 
used to do all their Sabre bookings on such an interface, even though 
they might have run it in a Window.

GUIs are easy to sell to senior management, who are not heavy users of 
the software, and to the general public, who don't know better.  There 
may, however, be a morale raising effect in thinking you are using the 
latest technology, and, in fact, a lot of GUI software over the last 
decade has probably been sold solely on that basis.

David Woolley
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RFC1855 says there should be an address here, but, in a world of spam,
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Received on Wednesday, 20 August 2008 12:37:07 UTC

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