[uf-discuss] Re: Putting microformats on the BBC iPlayer

Alasdair King alasdairking at gmail.com
Fri Mar 7 14:48:52 PST 2008

> Toby A Inkster wrote:
>  An example of the inaccessible datetime pattern can now be seen in the
>  Microsoft WebSlice whitepaper[1]. The further it spreads, the harder it
>  will be to fix.
>  ____
>  1. http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/Release/ProjectReleases.aspx?
>  ProjectName=ie8whitepapers&ReleaseId=567

The further it spreads, the more likely Freedom Scientific are to add
support for it. Then it isn't inaccessible.

Inaccessible has three meanings: you just can't make it accessible
(e.g. an image without an alt tag), you could make it accessible
because it's machine-readable but it isn't right now (e.g. the
datetime pattern), and it's theoretically-accessible but most/many
people with a disability find it too hard to use (e.g. the iPlayer
online Flash content).

The first is absolutely bad. The second is bad if you have no chance
of vendors adding support for it, but I'd argue that it may be better
than not progressing a technology that has potential benefits for
assistive technology users. The third is bad but stops being
"accessibility" and starts being "usability" and more a matter for
individual developers and situations.

Of course, the devil is in telling your "inaccessible and always will
be" from "inaccessible until it's supported"! But if we have Microsoft
- and the BBC? - using a particular microformat...

Best wishes,
Alasdair King

Alasdair King

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