An Algorithmic and Social Introduction to Computer Science (CSC-105 2000S)


What does the use of HTML as the ``language'' of the World Wide Web say about the Web's accessiblity?

Adan

Taking into consideration how easily a group of non-science and in some cases non-computer people gained access to the World Wide Web says a lot about the accessibility of the WWW. Granted our access to the WWW was aided with some guidance and that others may not have the same resources available to them, I still think that if anyone wanted to make their own website, it would only be a matter of days before they could make one to their satisfaction. Furthermore, HTML is a universally used code that makes life easier for any webmaster. Of course, we cannot forget how many resources are at the disposal of many WWW users. There are many guides and references tools for html that make accessibility extremely easy. In a matter of minutes, I found a website that provided me with the necessary html code (free,as long as i have their logo posted) to have such tools as a counter, guest book, and a comment board. Because of the simple features that html follows and the universality, I believe that any joe blow with the internet and a host site can pretty much have a functional website rather quickly.

Cathy

Well, the most obvious answer is that, before the advent of "visual editors," only those who knew HTML could construct pages and put them on the WWW. However, relative to programming languages, HTML is pretty easy to learn. Plus, HTML allows people to create pages that are very navigable and "human-readable." So, even if someone doesn't know HTML, it is still HTML that is allowing them to see and work with things on the WWW -- just as while I don't fully understand how all of the circuits that make up this computer work, they are allowing me to access this page. Nevertheless, HTML still creates a two-tier system (perhaps somewhat alleviated now by "visual editors") of page producers and page consumers within that segment of the population -- already very stratified -- that does have access to computers.

Ivy

well, i think the use of html can be viewed from two different perspectivies. one can either say that it limits the web's accessibility to an exclusive population who have the time and resources to learn a language that is completely manufactured (as opposed to instinctual and natural). or, after our introduction to and experience with html on friday, one can say that it's not that complicated and anyone with the interest can buy a guide and figure it out, meaning that it's not exclusive in the sense that you don't have to be a genius or have any computer science background to learn it. another point is, if one takes accessibility merely to mean being able to use the internet, html is irrelevant because i've used the internet extensively and for years before last friday, with no problems or limitations. i've even had my own webpage in the past, through one of those sites where you design the page completely through a windows application rather than having to type any html.

Jae

I suppose it says that the web was orginally designed to be accessible to the scientific field (derived from SGML), yet HTML was also designed to be in 'human readable langauge' so that it could eventually be accessible to more general users of the web because it is easier to program, than say, digital code. It is simple and thus accessible. Moreover, it shows that people were concerned with non-linear means of accessibility.

Have you seen the visual poets on the web? (Austrialian origin, I think) I think that they are a fascinating example of non-linear literary movements taking stage on the web. They write poems where the words move on screen, or appear and disappear, and some place numerous links inside thier writing to other bits of writing, which in turn have more links, etc.

Jeana

Nothing received?

Jeff

The web is divided into two classes of people. The programmer sitting somewhere in a desk works for the user or consumer of the programmer's information. That brings up a lot of questions about ownership of the internet. The user then responds to the language the programmer has communicated. The language the user views and the language written are different languages. The visual aspect of programming is simple and the average user is able to understand it. The programming language is more complicated with </u> that means little to nothing to the general public. The users have the power in that they employ the programmers however the programmers have the power over the users because they have all the knowledge and the users only have a partial knowledge. HTML acts as a barrier between the programmers and the user. It may or may not be a intellectual barrier, however, it is a psychological barrier reminding the average user that they are not masters of there domain. If a more user friendly programming language was used many of the users would attempt to use that programming language. That puts a number of programmers out of work; maybe there is a vested interest in keeping the general public in the dark? The web is accessible to everyone.

The knowledge that powers the web is held in the hands of the few. When the power is distributed in such a manner those without power will only remain satisfied with that distribution for a certain length of time. It is inevitable that the general public will gain knowledge concerning the internet (computers in general) and html (if the language remains).

Joel

Since HTML is a markup languange for the WWW, I have no idea what it has to do with its accessibility. However, my best guess is that since HTML is a certain form of the full SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language) - designed to organize documents in a non-linear fashion (e.g. the Talmud) - that it is therefore more accessible and navigatable.

Kevin

HTML in general appears to be a very accessible language to authors. While complicated formatting may require a great deal of HTML, the amount required to make a small, relatively effective page is rather small and easily put together. A decent page can be made with the few tags we've learned already, and no scripts or anything more complicated are necessary. Hopefully this will help every person feel willing to make their own personal Web page.

Liz

The fact that HTML is so easy to learn and accessible to everyone shows that the same is true of the web. Since today, the web is intended for use by and person to do anything, it makes sense that any person should have the ability to learn how to work in the language of the web.

Sam

Nothing received.


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