W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-au@w3.org > October to December 1999

is lack of skill or sophistication now considered a disability?

From: Gregory J. Rosmaita <unagi69@concentric.net>
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 1999 20:52:22 -0500
Message-Id: <4.1.19991129200934.00b0aba0@pop3.concentric.net>
To: Authoring Tools Guidelines List <w3c-wai-au@w3.org>
aloha, y'all!

not to drop a wet blanket on things, but we are the Web ACCESSIBILITY
initiative, are we not?

why then, are we addressing so specifically the quote expected skill level
unquote or the quote relative sophistication unquote of the user of an
authoring tool?

we need to concentrate on the tasks at hand -- namely working on the Techniques
document, updating conformance reviews, correcting actual errors (editorial and
factual), verifying techniques, performing new evaluations, etc.

with all due respect to the members and to the W3C process, simply pointing the
anonymous reviewers to the forums -- such as: specific minutes from specific
meetings, the changes and issues pages, the mailing list archive, etc. -- in
which their concerns have been addressed ALREADY (and, in most cases, ad
nauseam) should suffice...

from the synopses that have been made available to the WG, i fail to find any
new or substantive issues that were raised during member review -- only
evidence of careless reading, of panic caused by hearsay, and the return of the
quote let's give the developers a break unquote red herring in the form of the
quote first do no harm unquote proposal...

the ATAG address what comprises BASE functionality for a specific class of
tools and applications, and that -- and that alone -- should remain the WG's
focus (as it has been, at least according to our charter, since the WG's
inception)...  if developers have given interoperability and the proper
programming procedures and guidelines that provide the basis of accessibility
short shrift, then they have no one to blame but themselves, their lack of
quality control, and their own short-sightedness, not to mention an
overwhelmingly visual bias -- after all, if you can point and click at it, why
does the program need to retain focus?  if you can drag and drop it, and you
have to hold down a key while you do it, well, then that's a keyboard
accessible program, right?

and if we have to make sure that every single icon used in a program is quote
meaningful unquote, and that every checkpoint is addressed from every possible
user's perspective, then ATAG will never move beyond its current status, and
that is, i believe, a consummation devoutly to be wished -- but never to be
expressed -- in some circles...

let's get off the treadmill and back onto the track,
ABSURDITY, n.  A statement or belief manifestly inconsistent with 
one's own opinion.       -- Ambrose Bierce, _The Devils' Dictionary_
Gregory J. Rosmaita      <unagi69@concentric.net>
Camera Obscura           <http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/index.html>
VICUG NYC                <http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/vicug/>
Read 'Em & Speak         <http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/books/>
Received on Monday, 29 November 1999 20:45:26 UTC

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