[iBook] Need a job? Don't use a Mac | CNET News.com

Buddy Brannan buddy at brannan.name
Sun Oct 30 19:50:37 PST 2005

Actually, this problem is bigger than just not supporting Macs. In  
fact, this is a problem that's been getting worse since, well, about  
1995 or so. I blame WYSIWYG Web publishing software that requires no  
knowledge of the underlying code that makes the sites work...I mean,  
apart from generating exceedingly sloppy code, these tools, in my  
always humble opinion, promote over-all sloppy design with no  
knowledge. Anyone can call him/herself a webmaster and yet not know  
something as simple as what an alt tag is, as an example. Then, you  
get sites optomized for M$IE, which pretty much breaks all the Web  
standards. Moreover, you get sites that rely on bloated (sometimes  
proprietary) technologies to work without a simple alternative...I'm  
thinking here of sites written totally, or nearly totally, in flash;  
sites with gratuitous Javascript (not as big a problem as the Flash);  
things like that. These are real accessibility nightmares! Sites that  
break standards can cause real accessibility headaches for people  
with disabilities. Some problems are easily fixed with the addition  
of the aforementioned alt tags on graphical links. Others are a lot  
more problematic, like the sites that use Flash only for navigation,  
links that only work when you move a mouse over them (we don't all  
use mice, y'know), and on and on. So, really, it isn't just the Mac  
people left out. In a lot of cases, the disabled are, if not left out  
completely, faced with a very difficult--and an unnecessarily  
difficult--set of computer access problems.

A long time ago in Internet time (I joined the net community in  
1991), I saw the net as a great equalizer. We became no more and no  
less than our thoughts and the words we used in Email, Usenet, online  
virtual worlds, IRC chats, and later, Web forums. We had a world of  
information at our fingertips--through telnet services, (y'all  
remember those?), archie, gopher, (remember those?) and later, the  
emerging WWW. It was an exciting time. Truth is, it's still an  
exciting time, and the potential for the net to help level the  
playing field is fantastic! Sadly, though, we've found the same  
battles to fight in the virtual world as we often have in the real one. 

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