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[Fwd: RE: Accessible telephone directory]

From: David Poehlman <poehlman@clark.net>
Date: Sat, 22 Jul 2000 08:26:34 -0400
Message-ID: <397992FA.E4ABFF62@clark.net>
To: User Agent Working group list <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>
this may be of intrest.

-------- Original Message --------
 Subject: RE: Accessible telephone directory
    Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2000 15:47:24 -0700
    From: "Charles Oppermann" <chuckop@coppersoftware.com>
Reply-To: basr-l@trace.wisc.edu
      To: <basr-l@trace.wisc.edu>, "Henter Joyce Tech Support" <Jaws@Hj.com>
      CC: "GUISPEAK List" <guispeak@LISTSERV.NAS.NET>

One thing that would greatly improve the accessibility of this application
would be the use of accepted, standardized protocols to perform it's

The internet has a standard for directories, it's known as LDAP (Lightweight
Directory Access Protocol).  Microsoft Windows and most e-mail and
collaboration applications, such as Outlook, Outlook Express, Lotus Notes,
Novell GroupWise, among others, supports this protocol.

By implementing the telephone directory as a LDAP server, various clients
can then use the information provided.  In fact, there are a number of
LDAP-based solutions that already perform this function - why bother to
write a proprietary one?

Even if the backend is an Access or SQL (recommended) database, a VB based
front-end client can still be written that uses LDAP.  That way, users have
a choice of clients and don't have to load Yet Another Program to do a
common task.  Why leave Outlook to launch a separate application when
Outlook has a number of features designed to work with directories -
telephone and e-mail?

Another advantage of this approach is interoperability with Active
Directory.  With Active Directory, a separate database is not necessary -
all network users, and company contacts and customers can be placed in one
highly robust, replicated and standard directory that is available on a wide
scale.  Compaq Corporation demonstrated over 100 million objects in Active
Directory on one server - they used electronic phone books from all 50
United States with California and New York loaded twice to accomplish this.

The bottom line is that beyond issues of keyboard access and using the right
colors - accessibility is also enhanced by not re-inventing the wheel and
developing redundant solutions.

FYI - I'm working on a book for Microsoft Press on Active Directory and my
first sample application is a telephone number look up tool.  There is a
command line version - great for accessibility - that is implemented in a
short script and a graphical version in Visual Basic.  You can read more
about it and Active Directory at

Charles Oppermann
Copper Software

-----Original Message-----
From: Rohit Trivedi [mailto:arushi@vsnl.com]
Sent: Friday, July 21, 2000 9:29 AM
To: Henter Joyce Tech Support
Subject: Accessible telephone directory

An agency is developing a multimedia telephone directory using visual basic
with Access database in the background. we want to see to it that the
directory is accessible to the users of screen readers. This telephone
directory will have 1200000 records.     We have already contacted the
company and they are very open to any suggestions. They need our help.
We need some tips and material which could be passed on to them.
Our problem is that we also do not know what makes the software accessible.
If you suggest some guidelines it will be a great help.
Rohit Trivedi,
96-9 A Saket Nagar,
Bhopal-462024 (M.P.)
Received on Saturday, 22 July 2000 08:25:25 UTC

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