W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > January 2001

RE: WWW: Interoperability Crisis?

From: Wilbur Streett <WStreett@mail.Monmouth.com>
Date: Mon, 22 Jan 2001 14:12:44 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: "Charles F. Munat" <chas@munat.com>, "'Wilbur Streett'" <WStreett@mail.Monmouth.com>, "'Brian Milloy'" <bmilloy@interlog.com>, "'Aaron Swartz'" <aswartz@swartzfam.com>
Cc: "'Sean B. Palmer'" <sean@mysterylights.com>, <www-talk@w3.org>, <www-html@w3.org>
At 10:15 PM 1/21/01 -0800, you wrote:
>Wilbur Streett wrote:
>I'm working on doing that right now.  I'm not going to engage in XML or the
>latest nonsense to do it.  I'll translate HTML on the fly into scripts for
>the technology that I've created.  I'll offer translation services into
>better implementations for those sites that people want to see that I think
>are worth it, and (gasp), I'll even charge for it on occasion.
>I wish you luck. Judging from the number of I's in the above comment, this
>seems to be more about you than about actually helping anyone else. Perhaps
>your real anger is because by the time you've perfected your technology, it
>may no longer be of any use?

Oh, the ego attack.  Ego stands for "I go".  But everyone says that
thinking for yourself is a bad thing, because it's not about them.  ROTFLMAO.

Perhaps if you checked out the technology that I'm working on, it'll be
very clear to you that there is no way that it could ever come to a point
of not being any use, for the simple reason that it's a move to the more
intrinsic nature of humanity than the written word is.

>Your post was truly interesting. The two parts I found most interesting were

<oh, but you used "I" in your response>

>"If you want to help the blind do it yourself, don't force the burden onto
>An interesting choice of words: burden. From something you said in an
>earlier post I gather that you've carried that "burden" yourself for much of
>your life. 

The burden of having other people think that they know what is best for me
when they dont' know who I am?  Yes, I've suffered that ridiculas burden
most of my life.  When I was in forth grade I was rated at a college level,
but they decided that putting me into college wasn't a good thing, because
it wasn't the convention of the time.  So I got to sit in classes and
listen to teachers pretend to being doing things for my own benefit while I
wondered why the world was screwed up.

>Perhaps that, too, helps to explain your anger. But what
>surprises me is that you evidently believe that the burden of making a web
>site accessible is greater than the burden of being blind and unable to get
>access to the information others get with ease.

Information about visual images isn't relevant to the blind.  But you keep
pretending that you know better what the blind want, and what I should do
in defining my web site, than either the blind or me.  But you ignore the
larger issue of literacy all the while.

I guess you've never heard of individual rights either?

>It is true that literacy is a greater ill, but literacy is curable.

We're at less than 5%, and you want to claim that it's curable?  3,500
years of the cult of the scribes, and you want to claim that it's curable?
12+ years of basic education and the US Government will only accept
material written for a 10 year old at a 4th grade literacy level and you
want to claim that it's curable?  

But then I've been told that the technology that I'm creating has a killer
application, that of teaching reading.

>Blindness is not. Luckily, it is not an either/or proposition. We can help
>both the blind and the illiterate by properly coding our sites. 

Only in the way defined by you.  How about making a browser capable of
descerning the page and converting into something that can be comprehended
by someone that is blind, without requiring extra burden on the author of
the web page.  If the image isn't clear enough, and someone that is
actually blind wants to know what it is, then they can ASK someone to spend
the time to define what the image is.  On the other hand, demanding that
everyone burden themselves to your idea of reality, means that everyone
wastes time.

>images and other non-textual elements available to a screen reader is just
>as useful for an illiterate user (assuming he or she is not deaf, too) as
>for a blind user.

So care to explain Dali's work with a screen reader?

A screen reader doesn't expand the communication channel.  Writing a page
for less than 1 out of 1,000 readers isn't good business.  Wake up already.
 If someone says something actually worth translating into a format for the
blind, then the groups of people that are interested in transgressing the
media boundaries inherent in being blind will make it happen.  But to claim
that everyone has to design their page to your whim, and add burden to the
task of expression, is a farce.

>The second comment I found of interest was this:
>"I'll offer translation services into better implementations for those
>sites... that *I* think are worth it." [emphasis mine]
>So you are to set yourself up as arbiter of what is good and what is not?

So who else is supposed to decide for me what I find of value?

Who made you King?  We got rid of him a long time ago.

>The future of the web is one of cooperation, but that is not really your
>thing, is it, Mr. Streett? 

Gee, you couldn't even be bothered to read what I wrote, and only
selectively take what I wrote and attack me on it.  That doesn't strike me
as cooperation.  

I notice that you didn't bother to follow my .sig and find out what sort of
technology I'm working on.  I only notice that you selectively take what I
write and attempt to twist it to your own limited agenda.

>You insist on walking your own path, doing only
>the things that you want to do and only the way you want to do them. Fine.

So why are you attacking me on it?

>Build your own Internet, and you can have it any way you want to. 

You have no idea what I have created, and what I am doing, but try to claim
that you know better how to aid others.  Pretty ironic.

BTW, Wilbur was the name of the HTML 3.2 specification.  But it doesn't
just come from Wilbur the Pig in Charolette's Web, or Wilbur the man that
invented the airplane, it's also Willi Boore, the first walled in city.
The creation of the bourg, the royalty.

>But unless
>you are willing to do that, I don't think you are in any position to tell
>the rest of us - the rightful owners of the Internet  

Oh, I see, so you admit that you are the King.

>- what we can do with

I tell you that if you want to do something then go ahead and do it.  But
don't pretend that you know better than I do what I should do.

>And if we as a group decide that web sites shall be accessible, then
>they shall be. 

So you speak for "we" with your own voice?  How is it that web site's
aren't accessable now?  The internet provides accessability to the blind
without your claims to the contrary that it doesn't.  There may be an image
on a page that doesn't explain itself in the text on the page, but the
reality is that there is more than enough material for any blind person to
spend a lifetime engaged.  Check out Project Gutenberg for an example.

>Just as we have the right to demand that every other public
>conveyance - from buses to television - be made accessible as well.

Sorry, blind people are already on the internet.  Just because a bus might
have a wheel chair lift doesn't mean that it's accessable.  Just because
you think that a blind person can do a job doesn't mean that he can.  Just
because you want to claim that access for the blind shoudl be a burden for
all of the page designers on the internet doesn't mean that it ever will or
ever should be.

>So as I said, good luck to you. I am always happy to see a man who suffers
>from blindness raise himself up and succeed, especially so when his
>blindness is a blindness of the heart - so much more debilitating than
>blindness of sight. I hope that in your efforts to help others - if it is
>indeed other whom you hope to help - that you may overcome your disability
>and regain the true "face of humanity" you seem to have lost.

There are none so blind as those who can not see.  

I pointed out that my own grandmother was blind.  You know nothing about
me, but claim to see enough to know who I am and what I'm doing, even
though you haven't bothered to access the web site which explains what I'm
doing.  How telling.

But then the face of humanity resides on every human, not just the one that
you see in your mirror.  Too bad I know that and you don't.

The reality is that individual effort is what brings about change.  Not
group norms, not group edicts, but individual efforts.  Please define a
technology that was created by a group?


        Putting A Human Face On Technology ;-)
        Literally!  http://www.TheFaceOf.com
Received on Monday, 22 January 2001 02:11:37 UTC

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