Webmastering the Worldcon, Part 5

Chaz Boston Baden, smofsweb@bostonbaden.com
Rev. 06-Apr-1997

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Content is King

"One comment about being kind to low-end users -- keep in mind that for everyone, not just low-end users, the content is the main reason for accessing the Web page, not for people to be impressed with how many little pieces of art you can find to cram on the page, or what cool background art you can find. It's possible to have a nice, clean-looking, well organized Web page without a lot of art.

"This is especially crucial for pages like those for a Worldcon or popular regional, where people are probably going to access the pages several times before the convention. You don't want to frustrate them each time by having the pages take forever to load, or by having lots of icons whose meaning they have to decipher every time." (Janice Gelb)

Text Browsers and Accessibility

"There is one category of net.fogey which should not be ignored: the diehard Lynx fan. The key advantage that comes with the little bit of extra work needed to make your page look OK in text-based Lynx is that it automagically is more handicap accessible (for text-to-audio interfaces, etc. No one who uses one of these interfaces wants to hear IMAGE every time you do fancy formatting with a transparent pixel shim.) That's why I wholeheartedly endorse the use of Lynx-View at http://www.miranova.com/~steve/Lynx-View.html and the efforts of the CPB/WGBH National Center for Accessible Media at http://www.boston.com/wgbh/ncam/." (Earl Cooley III)

"I think it is VERY important to have a Lynx version of a page.... the two library systems I know that have Internet access available to the 'off the street crowd' (Minneapolis and Milwaukee) both only have Lynx available." (Joyce Scrivner)

"Another argument for Lynx awareness is on the ISP I use, the Columbus Freenet. It, and other freenets, provide (very low cost to free) connections to the internet for home PCs but only support Lynx for WWW use. And the $25.00 a year I pay for this is a lot better than the $19.00 and up a month most commercial ISPs charge." (Mark Evans)

Frames and JavaScript

"I could not agree more about assuring a Lynx version of a page, especialy inclusion of alt tags for all graphics and alternate navigation for image maps. However, I would take this a slight step farther and do on several of my sites. Using JavaScript and/or <NOFRAMES></NOFRAMES> I redirect viewers of my page to pages appropriate for their browser. Using this method, I am able to give a page tailored for Lynx or one for those with frames or, more recently, ones with ActiveX Controls, VBScript and viewable only from Internet Explorer 3.0. This entails a little more work in that several versions of the same page are necessary, but I've found it interesting and doable. It also means that 89a gif animations which are somewhat annoying in Netscape 2.0 as they reload and reload and reload and a joy in Netscape 3.0 ;-) can be differentially viewed or not viewed depending on the browser." (Jack Beslanwitch)

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