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Re: Technical Factors: Different Devices

From: Matt May <mcmay@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 3 Jun 2003 11:50:18 -0700
Cc: Chuck Letourneau <cpl@starlingweb.com>, w3c-wai-eo@w3.org
To: Alan Chuter <achuter@teleservicios.com>
Message-Id: <38DB275C-95F4-11D7-B0C4-000393B628BC@w3.org>

On Tuesday, June 3, 2003, at 01:00  AM, Alan Chuter wrote:
> I think that some sites will have to have multiple versions for 
> different device profiles, but what we should claim is that each of 
> these versions will be usable with all user agents and devices within 
> that profile.

It appears that this discussion brushes against the difference between 
"usable" and "capable of being used." While the former is subjective 
and squishy, the latter can be claimed by standards-conformant sites on 
all devices. The value of browsing a 2-megabyte file over a 9.6kbps 
connection through a four-line phone display notwithstanding.

If sites are designed in a uniform fashion, and in a 
transformation-capable language such as XHTML, the case could be made 
that adhering to a common style (e.g., valid code, sections marked up 
with <h*>, alt text) affords the author the ability to transform the 
existing files in place for use by mobile or smaller displays using 

I do tend to think most of the descriptions I've seen of this benefit 
are a bit overoptimistic or lacking in detail. You don't get this for 
free unless you plan for it. But relative to the jaw-dropping sums 
companies are happy to charge sites for screen-scraping services, it 
may sell some people, or at least get them thinking more about their 
designs. And that dovetails well with the Quality Assurance activity 
and their documents on designing for standards.

Received on Tuesday, 3 June 2003 14:50:34 UTC

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