E-mail List Archives

Re: stimulating some conversation

for

From: John Foliot
Date: Oct 19, 2017 1:40PM


Hi David,

> Shouldn’t this group be getting together to ensure that all browsers
adhere to common standards THE SAME WAY, so that there isn’t as much need
to code for browser-specific problems?

Uhm... that is exactly why all of those vendors are working collectively at
the W3C (ref: HTML 5), and one of the reasons why the W3C is involved in
this outreach activity as well. I'll note as well that in our
"accessibility" space, it isn't so much that there are differences in
browsers (although there are), but more importantly gaps between different
AT tools (looking at you JAWs).

> why don’t we band together and tell the tool makers (browsers AND
assistive tech) that we want them to adhere to the standards; no work
arounds.

This seems to presume that those conversations aren't already happening,
which would be incorrect.

However, all of the browser vendors (and AT companies too) are private
companies, and they have no legal obligation to do what you want of them,
and so adoption and implementation of various aspects of the different W3C
specifications is (and always will be) voluntary.

This is why (for example) every major browser and screen reader besides
Safari and VoiceOver support the @longdesc attribute. Apple got their noses
in a snit over that however, and over the fact that at the W3C it took the
Director (TimBL) to finally declare @longdesc as part of HTML5 after a long
and protracted 'debate' over whether to include that attribute in HTML5 at
all (some readers will know how active I was in that whole mess). In
response, Apple simply chooses to not support that decision, and there is
nothing more anyone can say or do.


@Lucy:
This seems to be a revival of the previous Web Platform cooperative effort (
https://webplatform.github.io/) that ran from 2012 through 2015, before
being shuttered due to duplication of content at the time, as well as a
lack of human resources to flesh out that site/content. Given that Mozilla
already funds and maintains the MDN domain and content, it makes perfect
sense to drive this kind of activity towards a stable home, which Mozilla
is offering to provide. I for one think this is a useful step forward.

JF

On Thu, Oct 19, 2017 at 2:18 PM, David Wisniewski < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
wrote:

> I understand your point, Lucy, and I’ll get to the accessibility bit in a
> minute, but first I wanted to say - isn’t this effort missing a larger,
> far more important point? The article explains that ‘build(ing) for the
> cross-browser web is too fragmented (and difficult)’. Shouldn’t this group
> be getting together to ensure that all browsers adhere to common standards
> THE SAME WAY, so that there isn’t as much need to code for browser-specific
> problems? Why do we accept that so much customization is required for a
> specific browser? I was around in the ‘this page best viewed in Netscape
> 3’ days, and I thought we left those behind. Isn’t that where we are
> supposed to be in 2017?
>
> Similarly, I’ve been thinking this over for a while in terms of the
> accessibility movement itself, wanting to write to this group and say ‘why
> don’t we band together and tell the tool makers (browsers AND assistive
> tech) that we want them to adhere to the standards; no work arounds. For
> example: ‘your tools should all function the same way when they encounter
> the ARIA tags', etc., etc. It doesn’t seem like an unreasonable goal.
>
> Am I missing something here? Would love to hear thoughts on this.
>
> Regards,
> David Wisniewski
>
>
> > On Oct 19, 2017, at 2:50 PM, Lucy Greco < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:
> >
> > I saw an interesting blog post this morning and wanted to know how many
> > accessibility people would be working in this group.
> > https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2017/10/18/mozilla-brings-
> microsoft-google-w3c-samsung-together-create-cross-browser-
> documentation-mdn/ <https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2017/10/18/mozilla-
> brings-microsoft-google-w3c-samsung-together-create-cross-
> browser-documentation-mdn/> […]
> > > > >



--
John Foliot
Principal Accessibility Strategist
Deque Systems Inc.
<EMAIL REMOVED>

Advancing the mission of digital accessibility and inclusion