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Re: [media] Making Sites Accessible Makes Sense For All Customers

From: Phill Jenkins <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>
Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2001 22:37:10 -0500
To: Kynn Bartlett <kynn@reef.com>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <OF63DCB307.9E489465-ON862569F3.001152FB@raleigh.ibm.com>
>If you want to argue that Javascript should be considered a required
>technology to supported, that's fine, I might even go there with you.

I'm not saying that JS has to be "supported", but that it can be accessible
by itself without having to provide a redundant alternative - known as
directly accessible.

> What should any good web user agent be assumed to support,
> or is that question even worth asking?

It is only worth asking to "prove" that something CAN BE accessible.  I do
NOT like the idea of a set of minimum assumptions.  That in my opinion is
dumbing down the web in the name of accessibility.  Either the technology,
in this case JavaScript, can be accessible or it can't.  If there are some
reference implementations (more than 1] to "prove" that it can, then by
definition it is accessible.  If it isn't usable with a certain browser,
then it isn't "supported".  Just because something isn't supported doesn't
make it in-accessible.  Another example: some Window GUI applications are
accessible, some are NOT, but the definition of accessible has nothing to
do with the fact that a DOS screen reader doesn't support reading them.
The definition has to do with CAN a Windows screen reader read it.  What
make this application readable and that one not?  Another example:  I have
a captioned media file.  But you can only see the captions if you are using
1st the required player and second the right version that will display the
captions.  The clip is accessible because it meets a criteria list that
ALLOWS it to be used or played in a manner usable by a person with a

> But when you say that Lynx doesn't matter because X percentage says
> Lynx is worthless, that kind of numbers game doesn't float my boat.

Lynx does matter.  I'm not saying lynx or any other browser is worth or
worthless.  But why does lynx's lack of JavaScript support make JavaScript
an accessibility problem? Someone's right to choose a browser does not
necessarily impose that choice as a definition for accessible.  Because
someone chooses to use lynx does not now require all websites to be
compatible with lynx.  Lynx doesn't support certain formats, including
JavaScript - but that doesn't make JavaScript in-accessible.  If someone
wants to support lynx or any other combination of browsers, so be it.  But
let's not confuse browser support with accessibility.

The numbers were used to illustrate the point that the larger amount of
work would be to have the developers fix all the sites that use JavaScript.
The number of developers needed to re-write lynx from the ground up for
JavaScript support would be small compared to the number of web developers
needed to fix all the JavaScript sites.

Received on Tuesday, 13 February 2001 22:37:13 UTC

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