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Re: Single Browser Intranets (was: Web Accessibility Myths)

From: Scott Luebking <phoenixl@netcom.com>
Date: Sun, 24 Oct 1999 17:47:45 -0700 (PDT)
Message-Id: <199910250047.RAA03175@netcom19.netcom.com>
To: charles@w3.org, phoenixl@netcom.com
Cc: ann@webgeek.com, kynn-hwg@idyllmtn.com, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Hi, Charles

I believe that in a way you have gotten to the crux of the issue.
However, it is not so much solving the problem as much as it is
defining what the problem is.

Awhile back, I brought up the issue of accessibility being influenced
by context/environment/audience.  I think that universities might be
dealing with multiple audiences with different needs.  One audience
is the general public accessing university web pages.  Web pages
whose audience is public should probably support multiple browsers.

Web pages on project intranets or specific classes might not need to
support multiple browsers.  One reason is that they may not have the
trained staff which have enough time to support multiple browsers.
The project lead or the professor has decided that FrontPage should
be used to develop web pages so that staff do not need to learn HTML,
etc.  The project lead or professor has decided that IE5 will be the
browser for the project or class.

Professors often try experiments when teaching in order to improve.
A professor may believe that his students will learn better
because of being able to take advantage of Javascript on web pages.
Is it ethical for him not to use Javascript to teach when
he believes the interactivity helps people learn better?

The issue of lynx is/will be challenging.  It might be argued that
IE5 is accessible because blind people use IE5 with JAWS.  As I
mentioned before, what about blind people who refuse to learn IE5 and JAWS
and will only use lynx.

What techniques have you found helpful for naive web page developers
to support multiple browsers using an authoring tool like FrontPage?


> Part of the problem is people who are not interested in solving the problems.
> As Webmaster at RMIT (The largest university in Australia, with about 40 000
> students, and suspected to be the largets website in Australia at the time) I
> had a fairly simple approach. Content needs to be provided in a form that the
> students can use. For us this meant that lynx had to be supported, among
> other browsers.
> Systems support was provided for some software used by some departments, and
> not at all for other vital software.
> So when I had to teach administrative officers from the HR department (total
> computing background: Brief introduction to word-processing) or graphic
> design students or anyone else about web publishing the message was
> simple. There are plenty of things you can do that work across
> browsers. Before you move beyond them, figure out why and ask how it is
> done. It turned out that the things that were wanted were nearly always
> extremely simple to do accessibly, and it was worth providing answers for the
> problems. Itis not perfect, but it solved a lot of problems.
> (Policy is not actually a big interest of mine)
> Cheers
> Charles
Received on Sunday, 24 October 1999 20:47:53 UTC

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