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lynx-dev Client Side Javascript (was: Server-Side JavaScript for UNIX Ly

From: David Woolley
Subject: lynx-dev Client Side Javascript (was: Server-Side JavaScript for UNIX Lynx?)
Date: Sun, 9 Jul 2000 10:51:19 +0100 (BST)

> But can't any of this DOM be "faked", or rather generated on the fly, 
> while the text is being parsed?

You can implement parts of the DOM.  mapping Lynx's implied DOM onto
the Netsacape one involves a lot of code.

> At least in my case, it seems to be more the "submit button then goes to
> a link" kind of JavaScript uses that I run into. 

You could recognize particular idioms, but remember, most of these  submit
buttons don't just do the link but do other things (there may be some
people so carried away with Javascript that they purely simulate HTML, but
most of them do it to achieve simulataneous graphical effects.  You may
well get away with ignoring most of the side effects, but I think you would
be on to a losing battle.  People who write such pages write them for big
2, or even big 1, GUI browsers and only for those.

I suspect that other technologies are going to make such pages even more
inaccessible in the near future.  I mentioned SVG before, and, although
some of the questions on the list recently have been about things that
intrinsically need something like it, one Australian popular technology
journalist asking recently asked for a status report and said that the
talk of a year ago was that it would be "the future of the web".

Given that we work largely work in a market economy, I think people's
choices are:

- vote with you feet - boycott the site and tell them that you have boycotted
  it - unfortunately Lynx users probably have no force in the market (many
  companies aim to please 80% of the market, on the basis that supporting 
  the remaining 20% is much more costly;

- demonstrate to the web page authors that investment in accessibility will
  pay off better than competing ways of investing (I doubt that this will 
  work except for those who have a monopoly of an existnig niche of
  the market);

- convince governments that there is a public policy issue that requires 
  regulation that is effectively enforced (noting that people can always go
  off shore);

- create a fashion in the mass market for good design (this may happen in
  the long term, as fashions tend to go in cycles);

- create a new technology fashion that, as a side effect, forces good 
  accessibility (I doubt this can be done);

- create tools which are not conventional web browsers, but rather optimised
  for reverse engineering commercial quality pages to the extent necessary to
  navigate them (this is probably going to require some skill in the user, and
  will be faced with a moving target) - note that many commercial web content
  providers consider the ease of reverse engineering of HTML a serious 
  disadvantage - a recent SVG question was on technical means to enforce

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