W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-amaya@w3.org > April to June 2000

Re: your bloatware

From: J. S. Brady <jamesbrady@home.com>
Date: Mon, 3 Apr 2000 09:32:14 -0700 (PDT)
cc: www-amaya@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.10.10004030857230.8337-100000@c151506-a.salem1.or.home.com>
[Note: this is not meant to be a flame or an advocacy message.  It is,
however, intended to address various points and opinions that have
come-up in this particular discussion thread.]

On Mon, 3 Apr 2000, P. T. Rourke wrote:

> If you'd rather have your web pages look like they were printed out on a
> teletype out of some misbegotten nostalgia, by all means, don't use CSS or
> HTML 4.  Get out your Rainbow and hack a CP/M port of Lynx together, there
> should still be some 300 Baud modems out there at yard sales.*

Okay, now we've countered extremity with extremity.  Let's try for a
little perspective, shall we?

While I don't encounter much of a problem with HTML4, I don't use CSS
much currently, because of the problems I've encountered with
cross-platform compatibility and accessibility concerns.  Until differing
browsers handle CSS similarly, I tend to avoid it.  If you don't, good on
you.  My coding needs and user base may be very different from yours.

As to Lynx and 300 bps modems:  While 300bps is overkill (underkill?),
it's easy to forget that Lynx is still widely used (I use it frequently on
my Linux box, when I want quick information and don't care about
graphics), and given the increase in 'web-enabled' cellphones, PDAs, &c.,
non-graphical compatibility (including 'graceful degridation')is an issue
that should be taken more seriously by web developers.

I work frequently with users who are blind and visually impaired.  Many,
many pages that they run into either crash or confuse their text-to-speech
programs / dynamic braille displays so badly that they're unreadable.
OTOH, Lynx-compatible pages are generally far less of a problem for them.

(Yes, O'Rourke, I know you didn't mean to slam Lynx.)

This issue is increasingly important as more and more blind and visually
impaired users are discovering the internet (especially the WWW and 
e-commerce) as ways to increase their independence.  The W3C has released
accessibility recommendations which address both 'web-enabled'
non-graphical compatibility and accessibility for the blind / visually
impaired, but I don't see their recommendations being adopted much.

Oh, and there'd still be a WWW if everyone were still running on Apple
II's and Rainbows.  It simply wouldn't be graphical.  While it might not
be as popular, it certainly would still exist.  It was a good method for
presenting information even before the "Here's a photo of me so you can
see what I look like in RL" craze that lead to the graphical explosion
Mosaic ushered in.

> NOBODY in their right mind uses CSS or CVS or automake? How 20th century.

Er...  Last I looked, even in the IT industry slamming products and / or
attitudes because they were just over three months old was a bit

> Rather, NOBODY in their right mind as their first response to encountering a
> problem with a program launches a tirade at the developers; those in their
> right mind describe the problem to the developers and hope they (collective;
> referent: user and developers) can together isolate it and fix it.

Now _that_ is a sentiment I can (mostly) agree with.  While I understand
why compiling the source rather than the binaries would be preferrable,
and can certainly sympathize with the frustration involved in a downloaded
source that simply will *not* compile when one had expected it'd be an
easy job, posting tirades like the message starting this thread is not
only unadvisable and incindiary, but foolish as well.

Of course, it could've been a troll.... <g.>

> P. T. Rourke
> NOT affiliated with Amaya, W3C, or any of its members or affiliated entities

J. S. Brady
Not affiliated with any of the above either.

> *The point being that if everyone had stuck with Rainbows and Apple IIs
> there would be no web.  Nothing against Lynx, a very handy program; and you
> certainly couldn't get Mosaic to work on a Rainbow.

(See above.)

[Original tirade snipped. Bandwidth may no longer be at a premium, but
once was more than enough.]

"A common mistake that people made when trying to design something
completely foolproof was to underestimate the ingenuity of complete
                - Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Received on Monday, 3 April 2000 12:36:34 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Wednesday, 7 January 2015 14:53:21 UTC