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Vanquishing the "Digital Divide"

From: Walter Ian Kaye <walter@natural-innovations.com>
Date: Tue, 16 Mar 1999 16:27:57 -0800
Message-Id: <v0313031eb314a0ec8cf6@[134.79.129.61]>
To: www-html@w3.org
From: Braden N. McDaniel
Date: Tue, 16 Mar 1999 17:32 -0500
Subject: Re: XHTML
>If you don't see the value of a version of HTML expressed in XML rather than
>SGML, then simply *don't use it*. I don't see the rationale beind all this
>harping against the notion of the very existence of such a thing. If it's
>*really* the bad idea some of you think it is, it will fail on its own.

There is also the matter of whether XHTML will be accessible by every
platform which can currently access HTML. The *last* thing we should
ever do is widen what Jesse Jackson called the "digital divide". The
NUMBER ONE priority should be extending access to third-world countries,
ghetto neighborhoods, the homeless, the infirmed, and everyone else on
the planet. The World-Wide Web is supposed to bring us together; it must
NEVER do the opposite. If XML is to be the new language, then developers
MUST write XML browsers to run on EVERY platform which currently has an
HTML browser (and they'll run in a smaller footprint, right?). This
means DOS 3.3, Win3.1, MacOS 6.0, AmigaOS, PalmOS, NewtonOS, NextStep,
etc. If it can dial into the 'Net, it will need an XML browser.

If you have a high-paying job, you can afford to buy a new machine.
If you're unemployed, homeless, or live in some poor remote village,
you can't -- you have to make do with old hand-me-downs, which might
be an old PC-XT. These people need FULL access to information, and
we MUST help them become and stay connected to EVERYTHING that we
can access. To do any less is unconscionable.


-Walter
 a member of the human race, who knows what it's like to be homeless
Received on Tuesday, 16 March 1999 19:27:41 GMT

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