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RE: DC2002 and Accessibility Metadata

From: John Foliot - bytown internet <foliot@bytowninternet.com>
Date: Sat, 14 Sep 2002 15:29:48 -0400
To: "jonathan chetwynd" <j.chetwynd@btinternet.com>
Cc: "W3c-Wai-Ig" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <GKEFJJEKDDIMBHJOGLENCEIECLAA.foliot@bytowninternet.com>


> what arguments are there against this type?

* W3C Priority 1, 6.3: "Ensure that pages are usable when scripts, applets,
or other programmatic objects are turned off or not supported. If this is
not possible, provide equivalent information on an alternative accessible

* W3C Priority 2, 10.1: "Until user agents allow users to turn off spawned
windows, do not cause pop-ups or other windows to appear and do not change
the current window without informing the user." (Now it can be argued that
users *can* turn off pop-up windows [using applications like "pop-up-cop",
etc.], but then the content is not accessible...)

* W3C Priority 2, 3.4: "Use relative rather than absolute units in markup
language attribute values and style sheet property values."

Client-side scripted pop-up windows may be partly or totally inaccessible to
some users. Some users of screen-readers may be unaware that new windows
have appeared, or may be confused by their sudden appearance.  The
"confusion" factor may also come into play for persons with cognitive
disabilities, or simply new users (how many times have you heard about the
frustration encountered when the "Back" button doesn't work?).  Also, people
who have disabled script support or whose browsers do not support scripting
(11% according to some stats:
http://www.thecounter.com/stats/2002/August/javas.php) will not "get the

Based on all of the above, why even hold out hope that using pop-ups may be
accessible?  It isn't, they aren't, and probably never will be in terms of
Universal Accessibility (PDAs, Cell Phones, "web enabled dashboards"
probably never will support Client Side Scripting - never mind just blind
people) and so developers should actively seek out other means of achieving
what they require. (it *can* be done without "pop-ups" almost every time.)

> (Our users with severe learning difficulties, would never find these
> pages if they had to navigate through their homepages, so we link
> directly to them, assuming ie6 with plugins. in the future it might be
> possible to include some sort of -browser-sniffing- however this content
> negotiation is tricky. )

Using JavaScript one can sort of sniff for user agents now (and plugins for
that matter), however knowing for certain that what the browsers "says" it
is and what it *really* is is 2 different things altogether.  Opera for one
does a wonderful job of pretending to be something else; further it even
gives you a choice in choosing how it presents itself.  And again, what if
JS is disabled or otherwise not present?  Too bad, so sad, go away?
Assuming all users have IE 6 with plugins is akin to assuming all blondes
are dumb!

Received on Saturday, 14 September 2002 15:29:51 UTC

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