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Subject: Re: [docbook] http://docbook.sourceforge.net/ problem

David Tolpin <dvd@davidashen.net> writes:

> With accessibility for visually impaired, the situation is
> similar. One is to make the design so simple that the only side
> that benefits is authors of bad screen readers. Another one is
> to make screen readers understand JavaScript and provide
> alternative means for navigation.
> Current accessibility tools are bad, and it is possible to make
> than better. I believe that the way to accessibility for
> everyone is making tools better, not trimming down the design.

Definitely. In the cases where accessibility is limited by
deficiencies in the accessibility tools themselves, it is doing no
one a service to dumb down site design to workaround the
limitations in those tools. The pressure should be on the
designers of those tools to make them smarter.

> This is a separate issue. rico is a good tool by intent for cases when 
> one needs to use dynamic interfaces on a web page. It is not so good by 
> implementation because it fails to work consistently in different 
> browsers.

Is there not a documented standard for Javascript (or ECMAScript,
I guess)? Should browser developers not be expected to comply with
that standard? If a particular Javascript application complies
with the documented standard, I do not think that failure to work
as expected in a particular browser should 

> But using JavaScript-based dynamic interfaces with
> drag-n-drop/multiple windows/interactive features is only
> justified when a simple point-and-go/single view is single
> page/static text approach does not work.

I disagree with that completely. There are other features of web
pages that are not essential but that contribute to a better user
experience. Color for example.

And while I agree that a lot of dynamic interface stuff is not
essential, it serves a purpose. The same sort of purpose as, say,
interactive displays at museumse, where you can push buttons or
pull things to make stuff happen. The same sort of purpose as
pop-up books.

Stuff like that engages/involves the viewer with the content that
they are exploring/learning about -- to a much greater degree than
some static display/book/webpage does.

> Much in the same way as dynamic gifs and running status lines were 
> fashionable in mid-nineties, JavaScript and interface effects are 
> popular now just because it finally almost works and designers are 
> hungry to use all of it in every next page.

And who are those designers creating those kinds of pages for? Do
you really think they are just doing it because they want to play
around with the latest technology?

I would expect that in some cases at least, they are using that
stuff because they find that their users like it, and because
their users tell them they want more of it, not less.

> This fashion will hopefully pass soon, and most pages will
> return to simple and useful design;

Simple/useful design and attractive/interactive design are not
mutually exclusive.

> while AJAX will be used for pages which are not just pages but
> complex application with web browser interfaces.

I don't think interactive features need necessarily be restricted
to complex applications.


Michael(tm) Smith


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