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RE: Why I don't attend the weekly teleconference (Was: Input on the agenda)

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Wed, 24 Jun 2009 01:10:53 +0000 (UTC)
To: John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu>
Cc: 'Shelley Powers' <shelley.just@gmail.com>, public-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.62.0906240106260.16244@hixie.dreamhostps.com>
On Tue, 23 Jun 2009, John Foliot wrote:
> Ian Hickson wrote:
> > 
> > (The browser vendors are the ultimate gatekeepers, of course, in that 
> > they get to decide what actually gets implemented. It's our role as 
> > editors to make sure we do what they want, otherwise our documents are 
> > nothing but rather dry science fiction.)
> Actually Ian, the end users are the ultimate gatekeepers, because if the 
> browser, no matter how 'superior' it might be technically, does not 
> support the end users, then they will not use it.

Yeah, to some extent that is true. However, I think that is reflected in 
what the browser vendors implement, since they are motivated to make sure 
they don't ignore their users (since, as you say, they would then lose 
market share).

> Perhaps we should help guide the browsers toward what the end users 
> require, instead of passively sitting back and taking whatever they 
> choose to deliver?

As far as I can tell, that describes what happens pretty well.

> To that end, I and the other 'engineers' (per James; I prefer empath vs. 
> scientist myself: same discussion, different perspective), we seek to 
> speak for those end users who fill the edge cases that the HCI process, 
> by its very nature often excludes (can you say 80/20 rule?)  For us, 
> close enough is never good enough, and we do not and cannot accept that 
> perspective - for our constituents *are* the 20% (and actually, 
> according to _data_, just to introduce a third thread in a very busy 
> day) closer to 25%:
> In 2004 a study commissioned by Microsoft showed that among adult 
> computer users in the United States:
>     * 1 in 4 has a vision difficulty
>     * 1 in 4 has a dexterity difficulty
>     * 1 in 5 has a hearing difficulty
> The Microsoft Survey also found that 16% of users have a cognitive 
> difficulty or impairment, and few (3%) have a speech difficulty or 
> impairment.

This is exactly the people I want to help. However, we have to *actually 
help them*, not just provide solutions that theoretically might help them 
but in practice do not (such as longdesc, summary, etc).

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Wednesday, 24 June 2009 01:11:30 UTC

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