Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(April 1998)

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Subject: Re: HTML-enabled mailing lists
From: Michelle Dick <artemis @ rahul . net>
Date: Wed, 08 Apr 98 13:39:43 -0700
To: list-managers <list-managers @ greatcircle . com>
In-reply-to: <352A946F . CBC1102A @ postmodern . com>

Michael wrote:
> Michelle Dick wrote:
> > I also don't allow HTML messages on my list.  And to expand on the
> > undreadable issue, I have had blind list subscribers write to me to
> > thank me for the fact that my mailing list and web site are simple
> > plain text based.
> > 
> > Keeping lists accessable to blind readers is yet another reason for
> > not complicating simple text discussion with overhead for uneeded
> > color and fonts.  Color and fonts do not improve discussion.
> This seems to me to be a case of the tail wagging the dog; perhaps 
> appropriate for a list designed specially for blind readers, but otherwise I
> would stick to the axiom, "optimize for the general case". 

Since I don't see any value to color or fonts on my list, I see it as
unneccessary impendiments.  Like taking out a pre-existing ramp that
fits with the natural design and putting in stairs because 51% of the
people like the way the square shape looks.  I see no reason to lock
out blind users using propietary software that works for them, poor
users who can't afford the newest whiz-bang stuff, and others who
haven't upgraded yet, when there is no increase in utility for the
general case.  It would be different if we were talking about the
expense and inconvenience of putting in ramps rather than taking them

Also, I myself do not have a color monitor at home.  No one who has
said how they are affordable has been willing to give me the money to
buy one.  Also, my love happens to be color blind and has said that
some web sites and color coded messages are unreadable to him if they
choose the colors a certain way.  Given that rich text on a discussion
list has only cosmetic value to some and prohibits utility to others,
the conclusion is forgone on my list.  I need to see substantial
utility to the general case to justify locking out the few (not just
cosmetic value).

Michelle Dick             artemis @
 rahul .
 net              East Palo Alto, CA

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From: dattier @ wwa . com (David W. Tamkin)
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