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Fw: Checkpoint 3.3

From: Robert Neff <robneff@home.com>
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 00:01:09 -0700
Message-ID: <000d01bece8f$d15f9520$64520518@alex1.va.home.com>
To: "wai-gl" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>, <w3c-wai-eo@w3.org>
Anne,  please butt in <smile>

my issues are simple.  CSS is great but the web browser world wants to be
special, do their own thing and cause us web developers a headache, actually
migraines.  Used to be you designed for two browsers in HTML and the worst
thing is a site did not render well.  Now with CSS we need to worry if it
works on a every version or degrades gracefully.

So what happens, WAI recommends a spec that states,  3.3 Use CSS.  Hmmm, I
have run into so many people that want the world to use CSS and demand a
World CSS Day when everyone will convert to it.  Well, that is one opinion I
do not share.  I am web developer and being associated with the government,
I see a large diverse community with no support.  We are not a web house
with super techies. We are people that have learned this, have no support
and are struggling.  Most of the web page is HTML 3.2 and some HTML 4 or
transitional HTML 4.  How many government sites do you know that you know
use CSS?  How long did it take the W3C to develop their CSS and how many
techies did it take?

To make every sight in the government Double A, every web site will need to
convert to CSS.  We are debating two different points, mine is
implementation and practicality and the other point is semantics.  That is,
the belief that CSS will be an immediate cure all.  I can deliver an HTML
site that is Triple AAA without CSS  (If it wasn't for Checkpoint 3), so why
do I all of a sudden need CSS?  If I use HTML properly and follow
guidelines, then I will be OK.  Does anyone own stock in CSS <smile>?  By
the way I am using CSS to build our intranet, I figured it out in a day and
am still learning the finer points and the design issues.

Another point, "Deprecated in HTML 4"?  Most people outside this group or
who have run Bobby, do not know what "Deprecated" is.  Who are we trying to

When the Federal Government recommends the Web Content Accessibility
Guidelines, the WAI will have been a part of a major milestone.  What we do
in the United States will impact everyone that does business with the
government.  Then State and Local governments and corporations will follow.
This will be a great wake-up call!

 We also have an opportunity to develop and nurture managers, policy folks,
and web developers and expose them to CSS so they can ramp up.  Give the
Education and Outreach Group and the government time to implement an
education effort.  My fear is this law will not receive a fair shot if we
this upon web developer.  They will be caught between a rock and a hard
place and the losers will be universal accessibility and us.

I believe requiring CSS in the Guidelines under Priority 2 is wrong and an
injustice.  I recommend CSS be Priority 3 so we can obtain Double A and then
later consider revising the standard.

Has anyone surveyed the usage of CSS in government and corporate offices?
This would be an interesting project. Then resurvey a year from now.

best regards, rob

 -----Original Message-----
From: Anne Pemberton [mailto:apembert@crosslink.net]

At 08:27 PM 7/14/1999 +0100, Alan J. Flavell wrote:
Where it _does_ risk causing harm is in browsers like MSIE3, where the
CSS is misinterpreted and can cause serious damage.  Whether this is
an issue that ought to be allowed to hamper the issue of web
accessibility is something that could be argued over a beer, but in
any formal negotiation I'd say the accessibility has to win.  We
should not pander to those who choose to operate broken software
(CSS support can and should be turned off by the user in MSIE3).

If I may butt into this discussion, it seems to me that if something
"causes harm", causes the browser to lock up, or worse, the computer to
lock up, it shouldn't be used. Especially if you are talking about that
percentage of users who use MSIE (any version). For myself, any time I hit
a site that locks up my browser and/or system, the site is not revised. No
 matter what I was looking for there, it is sure to be elsewhere on the web.

 If style sheets are not properly supported in the major browsers, why are
they considered so important? Sounds like they are accessible with some
browsers, but not with all thereby rendering the pages with style sheets
inaccessible to the users of those browsers. How does that promote

If, as you say, web designers aren't going in the direction of style
sheets, but in the direction of other means of designing a page, perhaps it
would be better to follow the web designers and develop the means to make
pages accessible using WYSIWYG or whatever preferred software the web
authors are cozying up to. It would be better to aid the web designers by
encouraging the WYSIWYG products include accessibility features with
built-in prompts and automation. In my experience: The job goes smoother
when the workman selects his own tools.

 My two cents worth ....

Received on Thursday, 15 July 1999 00:06:29 UTC

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