Re: Introducing NetscapeML
Scott E. Preece writes:
| Could you try to distill her experience into some requirements for
| browser features? It's not clear from your limitied description what a
| browser could reasonably do to help.
My perception is that her main problem is to do with the amount of time
it takes her to scan a Web page looking for the content. Her field of
vision is limited, so she can't just take in the whole page in one go.
Plus... she finds it uncomfortable reading pages rendered with small to
medium sized fonts. To give you an idea of what is OK, she reads her
email in an 80x25 Linux console on a 17" monitor.
What can (GUI) Web browsers do to help ? Well, again this is my
perception (but I'll ask her when she gets home from the night shift
:-) ... I think the answer is essentially that all of the features
which make it hard to find the content on a Web page, assuming there is
any content(!), need to be capable of being disabled by the user.
i.e. coloured backgrounds, coloured text, font size changes, in-lined
images and imagemaps, server push animations, applets and plugins of
whatever flavours the browser supports, animation tags a la MARQUEE,
and so on.
It would probably also be useful to have some control over the visual
style used to highlight new and visited links, and to be able to change
the font sizes in not only the main document rendering windows - but
also have these changes reflected in the menu bar and any dialog boxes
which might appear. Better yet if some magnification capability were
built in above and beyond the ability to select a large font, because
system fonts aren't necessarily big enough.
How am I doing ? :-)
PS I realise the obvious response to these comments is "use Lynx, or
W3, or ..." - but this isn't the point. Mainstream browsers like (say)
Netscape should support accessibility. Style sheets will presumably be
a big help, once widely deployed, but in the meantime there's a lot
that browser developers can do simply by providing a few "off" buttons
in their preferences.