R: interesting data point on preferred computers/browser types

Eric Bohlman ebohlman at netcom.com
Fri Jan 21 23:45:48 GMT 2000

On Fri, 21 Jan 2000, Lee Anne Phillips wrote:

> Although I'm an advocate for accessibility in ADA terms, since the language 
> of "must" is the only one some people understand and common decency is 
> sometimes easier to grasp than failure of understanding, accessibility 
> means much more than that, as Ann correctly points out. It is, in fact, the 
> key to new services for everyone as well as full coverage of existing 

Yes.  When you make overly specific assumptions about user agents and
specific renderings, you inhibit potential novel uses of your content (or
even well-established uses; it doesn't exactly help for your site to come
up at the top of an AltaVista search if the description shown is "This
site uses advanced features which are not supported by your browser,
Scooter.  Please download Netscape Navigator 4.7 or Microsoft Internet
Explorer 5.1 to experience this site properly").  In particular, the
fast-growing fields of content syndication and aggregation *demand* a
separation between content and specific rendering details.

> users, many of whom are exactly the power users with influence and money 
> that vendors desire to reach and who prefer Unix in almost any flavor to 
> Windows (as any sensible person would), or don't want to use a mouse (as 
> anyone with concern for body mechanics would be), or any of a myriad of 
> very good reasons not to use the "standard" MSIE on Intel flavor of the month.

An example we always used on comp.infosystems.www.authoring.html was the
corporate executive who needs to access a site from his laptop in a hotel

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