W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > July to September 2002

Re: compatibility

From: Jim Ley <jim@jibbering.com>
Date: Wed, 17 Jul 2002 00:46:35 +0100
Message-ID: <004501c22d23$70d1d420$bb3c70c2@7020CT>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

John Foliot:
> If a user chooses to employ a browser which either does not support
> standards, or if they choose not to use the additional advantages that
> standards (such as CSS) delivers, that is their privilege and right; my
> adding a small note at the bottom of the page suggesting that they may
> due for an up-grade will probably be ignored as quickly and as surely as
> copyright notice.

So let's look at who will actually get to see your message:
(I'm assume it's display:none'd via an @import'd stylesheet so it is
visible in NN4)

Netscape 4 is the only mass market desktop browser of the last 5 years
that will show it.  So in the mass-market normal configuration world
you're picking up a few NN4 users.  Okay maybe these should be encouraged

<script type="application/x-javascript" src="warning.js"></script>
where warning.js contains code similar to
if (document.layers && typeof Layer!='undefined') {
 x=new Layer()
 x.document.write('Get a new browser, ya muppet')
 // etc.

would be much more successful at that (it uses Netscape 4's proprietary
Layer methods to generate the message, the only browsers that support it
are Netscape 4 or (old?) Omniweb to my information - we don't go annoying
anyone other than Netscape 4 people (who let's be honest are your target)
(some people may want a <noscript> in there of course - I don't, in fact I
never use noscript...)

Going back to your method, who else sees it:

Users of PDA's using the up to date software they can get... (well many
could probably upgrade to a different OS which can run Konq/Opera but
upgrading OS is a little bit of effort...)

Users of embedded browsers such as TV or Kiosk devices, upgrading is often
difficult especially as the units UI is also using the browser - to a UK
digital tv viewer which is more important the ability to watch the TV or
the few pages they view on the net now and then?

Users of Access Technology that is based on older browsers, or on a
simplistic DOM tree that doesn't take account of the CSS style, upgrading
here is likely to be expensive.

Users with access needs that make author stylesheets useless (ie the user
stylesheet needed to ensure the content is accessible impacts so many
elements that it's easier just to kill CSS entirely)

Advanced users fully utilising the strengths W3's technologies give us in
choosing how we want to view the content - These people may be using the
most standards compliant browser available, they may have tweaked it
considerably to do exactly what they want - and you're telling them to get
a better browser 'cos the W3 says so, to these people you probably just
look a fool.

> OK, I am all of that and more.  But I see no further need to continue
> thread - as I have said earlier, everyone is entitled to their opinion.
> despite asking 3 times now, nobody has given me a concrete reason why
> might be considered inaccessible.

That's because it's not accessible, just like

<p>You're an ugly stupid Muppet</p>

isn't inaccessible, it's just rude.  I also think it's bad enough that it
does accessibility and usability a disservice - you u link the quality of
a browser to its implementation of one property of a CSS recommendation -
you don't care if it meets all the needs of a user, if it doesn't
implement your pet property of an optional recommendation it "needs

Received on Tuesday, 16 July 2002 19:47:46 UTC

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