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RE: compatibility

From: Nissen, Dan E <Dan.Nissen@UNISYS.com>
Date: Mon, 15 Jul 2002 12:42:10 -0500
Message-ID: <236F133B43F4D211A4B00090273C79DC0C5EC122@us-rv-exch-2.rsvl.unisys.com>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

I would support a note on the page that says that the site is attempting to
conform to the guidelines. Instead of an "irresponsibility" statement, I
would add a suggestion to it, that people contact the browser people to see
if they can tell them what standards the browsers support.  As for rating
browsers, my experience building programs that generate HTML, JavaScript,
client-side Java applets, ActiveX controls, etc. is that the browsers may
think they are compliant but the number of bugs is so large that any complex
use of presentation is likely to break the browser, even if it conforms to
the browser's stated specs.  Thus, whenever Microsoft issues a new version
of IE, we have to test and change our code to generate the correct
workarounds for the bugs, even though we are well within the valid HTML and
we worked well on the last level.  With the Netscape browsers before
Mozilla, we had to test, fix some things and change our documentation to say
what was not going to work on Netscape 4.xx, because we couldn't find a path
to get that feature to work.  This idea that "If you conform to standards,
then the user of a compliant browser will work" is an abstract concept,
having little relationship to the reality I see.  And, the clients I work
with don't really care much about standards, but are trying to get their
customers to use the Web to save costs and provide better service.  Some of
them are very concerned about accessibility (like the Texas Commission for
the Blind) and some don't know it is an issue.  

I expect putting a note on the site about conforming to specs would probably
have its biggest impact on the Webmaster in getting people to ask you what
that means, and in getting comments where someone thinks you don't actually
conform.  Many of those will turn out to be browser bugs, in my opinion.
Your mileage may vary.

Dan Nissen 
Database Environmental and Optimization Software
Unisys Central Development Laboratory 
Roseville, MN USAmerica 
Net2 524-5131  +1(651)635-5131 
Fax +1(651)635-5544 

-----Original Message-----
From: RUST Randal [mailto:RRust@COVANSYS.com]
Sent: Monday, July 15, 2002 11:30 AM
To: 'GV@TRACE.WISC.EDU'; RUST Randal; 'Robert Neff'; w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: RE: compatibility

>But it can also give accessibility a bad name.

True.  This is just another reason for the UA Guidelines to rate the
browsers, and say which ones are more compliant than others.  That way you
could say that your pages are designed for browsers that have a standards
rating of 10 (or something like that).

Received on Monday, 15 July 2002 13:42:19 UTC

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