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Criminal Negligence (was: OT (slightly): Salt Lake '02 Webmaster: Inaccessible site)

From: Terje Bless <link@pobox.com>
Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2001 19:08:52 +0100
Message-Id: <200110301808.f9UI8qc23040@zidane.inria.fr>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

On Tue, 2001-10-30 at 17:16, Harry Woodrow wrote:
> I leave the judgment on whether they should have continued to build
> a site which was inaccessible and thus illegal to others to decide.

Well, since you left the soapbox standing in such an auspicious place
I'll just step right on up, shall I? :-)

Web designers who try to pass the buck by saying "The customer made me
do it." are about the lowest form of vermin in my not noticeably humble
opinion. If a structural engineer told me the same ting in [insert
suitably heart wrenching and totally inappropriate analogy] I'd have the
scum defenstrated; a good tongue-lashing or virtual lynch-mob for the
web designer seems not at all disproportionate.

It's not that I don't understand the sentiment; I just don't accept it
as excusing the practice. If you make the choice that you will sell your
professional integrity for money I will understand perfectly...

...and expect you to understand _my_ choice to shun you like a
particularly viral strain of pestilence.

Bringing this slightly more back on topic -- and away from the land of
flame war fodder -- I disagree that the web designer in question should
be able to excuse him or her self from blame by invoking Pragmatism.

There are many more or less valid excuses for failing to deliver a high
quality product, but a desire for money at the expense of professional
ethics is not among them. I have several skeletons -- not all of which
are safely tucked in my closet -- to answer for; but by god, I'll joke
with the hangman for Sloth before I lay my head on the block for Greed!

To this specific case, I'd say the response can be summed up as "We know
it's not up to code, but we don't care". That, in my opinion, makes him
personally culpable and the entity commissioning this Work For Hire have
failed to exercise Due Diligence (making them equally culpable).

Now, how best to _respond_ to that situation, and in what venue, is a
matter on which reasonable men may disagree. However, despite the
relative suitability, or lack of such, of the WAI in the general case, I
cannot see that there are, today, any better suited fora. If I were to
receive a reaming for my personal sins, I would much prefer it come from
the WAI in preference to almost any alternative I can imagine.

Watching from the sidelines as I am, it may well be that the WAI sees
it's mission and goals differently. I would argue, though, that if the
occasional virtual necktie party is not according to charter it bloody
well should be! (all within reason, of course)

In other words, Kynn, I again disagree with your methods. As far as I
can tell, they are nothing more then "To defeat the enemy, you must
/become/ the enemy." and I strongly believe that this is not a sound
strategy. It may win the battle, but will lose the war...
Received on Tuesday, 30 October 2001 13:08:53 UTC

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