Re: Most ridiculous website?
- From: ak621@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx (Richard Bonner)
- Date: Sat, 27 Aug 2011 11:15:21 +0000 (UTC)
Adrienne Boswell (arbpen@xxxxxxxxx) wrote:
Richard Bonner wrote:
Adrienne Boswell (arbpen@xxxxxxxxx) wrote:Here's something that drives me
nuts, you go to a web site that is mostly plain HTML, and there is
navigation that requires flash, or a button of some sort that requires
flash. What's wrong with <a href="whatever">Whatever</a>?
*** It's too plain for the eye-candy-junky authors. Unfortunately, they
seem to be ignorant or uncaring of those that can't deal with the eye
access those and other forms of eye-candied links without the appropriate
browser or plug-ins. It's been my experience that people can't be bothered
with downloading, installing and debugging yet another plug-in, add-on or
software-capability program just so they can view or navigate a website.
Most all the above persons simply leave the site, since in most cases,
there will be scores of other sites available that are accessible.
To keep on topic for this group, search engines cannot follow most
eye-candy links. This is very bad for a business that is not only blocking
access to potential customers, it is reducing its search-engine presence.
I am not a professional website developer, but I do author my four
websites myself. I prefer plain, simple html coding with a minimum of
images, save for one of my sites that displays a lot of photos and
scans, and another of a photo gallery of my work.
I use descriptive "alt" tags for everything; even bullets are
alt-tagged as `*'. I check my sites using as many browsers on as many
systems, with as many monitor types as I can. The first test is
always with a text browser. If it can't pass that, I re-code the offending
areas. After that I tweak for the most popular browsers to be sure the
pages display as closely the same on as many systems as possible.
All this effort makes for accessible sites that also place well in
I was taught accessibility by my poor and handicapped friends and I
took it to heart. When I first altered my pages to reflect this, I was
amazed at how quickly my hits rose and how much higher my sites placed in
search engine results.
One final comment on this: Please do not think that I am against eye
candy and truly usable things that require plug-ins, add-ons or certain
browser capabilities. I only request that those authors employing such
methods provide usable "alt", "no-script" / "no-frames" and similar tags.
Most that do so should see a rise in hits and search engine placement.
I use Opera for my primary browser, and have Flash configured to leave a
placemark that I can click if I want to see it. So, I see these web
sites with unnecessary flash doohickeys all the time.
*** Sure. Now how many of them require you to click on them to continue?
If there is even one, it means poor authoring. Any visitor with any
browser on any platform should be able to at least navigate and be
able to view (or arrange to be able to view) all of a site's content.
The Internet should be for everyone.
I once say a lecture given by a blind presenter; excuse the pun,
but it really opened my eyes as to how the blind and sight
impaired "see" the Internet.
I knew a blind case worker at the Social Security Administration. He was
my girl friend's case worker when she was applying for SSI. Social
Security's computer system is ancient at best, text based something that
looks like it might be AS400.
*** Text-based systems are reliable, demand few resources and can
readily use older equipment.
Anyway, I was amazed at how his fingers flew over the brail keyboard -
but he did continuously complain about how antiquated their system was,
compared to his system at home.
*** His home system may not be that new either. Handicapped software is
expensive and few handicapped are rich or even well off. Thus, they tend
to keep the same systems for years.
2. The poor?
Modern browsers are free, just as is the plugin necessary
to use the site in question, so I don't understand why you are
including the poor.
*** Being free does not help the poor who may be using older
systems. The poor cannot afford broadband (especially here in Canada
because of the rip-off rates charged) and therefore cannot view flash
animations without a way to download them and view them off line
(which is useless to them for a website entry). Many poor here use
text browsers or simply turn off images if using a graphic browser.
You are right about that. I never thought about that, since broadband
here in Los Angeles is usually about the same price, if not cheaper than
*** The cheapest broadband here in Halifax is about $500 a year.
However, one can also have an inexpensive, dial-up shell account that
provides text-based Internet access with e-mail and newsgroup services,
and a small webspace for $25 a year -- yes, a *year* ! Graphic access to
the same is $120 a year. I have both, but use the shell account the most
because the majority of my Internet usage (e-mail, newsgroups and website
maintenance) can be done via text only. It also means I need no firewall,
router or virus protection at all. I only use the graphic account if I
need to see a catalog or a photo website.
Surfing in text mode on dial-up is as fast as broadband for most
purposes. It also eliminates a tonne of unnecessary crap. (-:
...for a girl on social assistance that I know, I recently
set up an old laptop and a dial-up account so she would not have to
travel to a library. The Internet account is free from my ISP but it
only provides a shell account with a text browser for non payers.
I see situations like this all the time. I know many on assistance
and have visually impaired friends.
I imagine that "they" think that since these people are on assistance are
too stupid to need the Internet, so why make any effort to make it
available to them.
*** Yet it is these people that need the Internet even more. The
example girl I gave uses the Internet to job search, send resumes and
converse with prospective employers. It is more efficient and cost
effective because she need not take a bus to the library and back.
It means she can check things daily instead of just a few times a week.
Plus, she can communicate with distant friends and relatives. This goes a
long way toward removing feelings of isolation.
What "they" don't get is there is so much extra
paperwork, and therefore man hours that are wasted because people on
assistance don't have access. The one that I love especially is two
envelopes with three pieces of paper each that the one says "Your benefit
was $xx.xx - and has now been changed to $xx.xx", one that says you can
have a hearing if you don't agree with that xx.xx is the same as xx.xx,
and yet another one that says that you can get this same information,
that xx.xx is the same as xx.xx in twenty different languages. Talk
*** It seems to me that with computers, it would be possible to target
each recipient with one piece of paper in that person's language. Of
course, it takes time to develop that, but it can be done with any word
processor of the past few decades that has a "Mail Merge" feature.
You bring up some interesting points here. Are discriminating against
someone who is poor when you have a heavily flash or graphic laden
*** It is discrimination if there is no alternative coding for the
poor and handicapped. In defense of the authors though, it is probably
not intentional; it is because of their ignorance and incomplete education
regarding webpage writing.
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