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Re: Head in the sand, driving a car

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@sidar.org>
Date: Wed, 4 Jun 2003 03:22:58 +0200
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
To: Jonathan Chetwynd <j.chetwynd@btinternet.com>
Message-Id: <132F4445-962B-11D7-AF87-000A958826AA@sidar.org>

I agree with John - it isn't the manufacturer's responsibility to make 
instructor's cars.

I actually think it would be valuable to have a discussion in the WCAG 
techniques about ways to work around things the technology does badly. 
That should include workarounds even if they are only useful in some 
cases (like Flash being able to work on one platform with a couple of 
screen readers, but not necessarily being accessible in general).

That information should also include, as a matter of course, discussion 
of the relevant architectural principles for the web. If there is a 
workaround that lets some people move forward now, but will hold back 
the development of the web as a whole (text alternatives as a single 
attribute, or default text in form fields, for example) in the future, 
then that should be noted and people should be warned about the fact 
that at some point they should expect to remove a work-around because 
the manufacturers have tuned their software better...

(Although this takes a lot of time. Most common browsers handle XML 
pretty nicely and have done for a couple of versions at least. But 
people still rely on them rendering badly-written HTML, which means the 
manufacturers keep putting effort into workarounds for it instead of 
into actually improving the browsers' ability to handle useful things 
like maths, or better integrate graphics and multimedia in pages).


On Monday, Jun 2, 2003, at 15:05 Europe/Zurich, Jonathan Chetwynd wrote:

> 	If browsers were made so that one could not do the things that are 
> supposedly best left to say the OS, then our users and their helpers 
> would be very seriously disadvantaged, as I would not be able to 
> 'help' them. The guidelines need to include examples of why, and for 
> what reason, they can be broken, and show how to do this as accessibly 
> as possible. One could compare this with a driving instructor's car, 
> different needs will require duplication of discrete parts.
Received on Tuesday, 3 June 2003 21:25:22 UTC

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