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[whatwg] Fallback styles for legacy user agents [was: Re: Deprecating <small> , <b> ?]

From: Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis <bhawkeslewis@googlemail.com>
Date: Sun, 30 Nov 2008 19:36:17 +0000
Message-ID: <4932EB31.3080103@googlemail.com>
timeless wrote:
> Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis <bhawkeslewis at googlemail.com> wrote:
>> Ultimately, a user agent or user can always reject
>> presentational fluff.
> 
> designing a user interface to enable users to tell their user agent to
> ignore such "content" ends up being more complicated and problematic
> than supporting the feature.

> for people w/ limited abilities, needing to spend any realestate or
> access option to disable a feature which will most often be abused and
> explain to users how and when and why to disable or enable it is
> expensive.

Are you essentially saying it requires (expensive) user effort to 
disable features that interfere with their consumption of content or 
their use of an application? This is true, but it's not a particularly 
persuasive argument given just how many features in the web stack can 
cause people problems.

Consider how frequently visual CSS is "abused", when the category of 
"abuse" includes accidentally making things harder to use for people 
with certain disabilities. I think you'll find such "abuse" is somewhere 
between commonplace and endemic, e.g. disabling of the focus ring for 
aesthetic reasons, hiding of focusable content, CSS image replacement 
hacks, tiny text, poor color contrast, unusual widget styling, "pure 
CSS" dropdown menus that only work with the mouse, use of styling as a 
substitute for media-independent markup, etc. (That's not an argument 
that such practices are okay; it's just to observe that they aren't 
generally taken as a knockdown argument against supporting visual CSS.)

And, as it happens, many popular user agents do, in fact, give people a 
reasonably simple UI for rejecting publisher styles (Opera and Firefox 
among them).

--
Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis
Received on Sunday, 30 November 2008 11:36:17 UTC

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