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Re: OFF TOPIC - Shame on Google

From: Harry Loots <harry.loots@ieee.org>
Date: Thu, 4 Sep 2008 15:41:16 +0100
To: "Accessys@smart.net" <accessys@smart.net>,Joachim Andersson <joachim.andersson@etu.se>
CC: Harry Loots <harry.loots@ieee.org>,James Craig <jcraig@apple.com>,John Foliot <foliot@wats.ca>,wai-ig list <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>,"wai-xtech@w3.org WAI-XTECH" <wai-xtech@w3.org>,webaim-forum@list.webaim.org
Message-Id: <20080904144116.M51156@ieee.org>


The problem (IMHO) does not lie solely with Google, MS, Adobe, etc... It lies
equally with an industry that is trying to sell services and products as fast
as possible so as to keep 'upgrading' clients, and take more of their money...
SharePoint is sold as an upgrade to MCMS - a product which after about 6 years
nearly managed to achieve WCAG compliant status. SharePoint, will probably
never achieve this in its current format. But, even though we know this, we
(the industry) sell the product, take the client's money, then ask them for
more money to make it compliant, then complain to the client that the product
does not comply; then ask for more money to make more changes; then we sell
them the next generation of the product and start all over again. 

So our criticism, if at all, should not stop at the doors of MS, Google,
Adobe, etc - let's point it right back at the industry... because if we
stopped buying rubbish the products would improve in no time at all. 


Regards
Harry

~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~
 We do not inherit the Earth from our Parents-
 We are simply Borrowing it from our Children!
~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~


---------- Original Message -----------
From: "Accessys@smart.net" <accessys@smart.net>
To: Joachim Andersson <joachim.andersson@etu.se>
Sent: Thu, 4 Sep 2008 10:06:01 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: OFF TOPIC - Shame on Google

> Google is the current target I guess or maybe it just came to the
> fore. but be assured that MS and Adobe are also under significant
> presure.
> 
> allowing one company to flaunt the standards of the W3C because they
> are "big" totally defeats the purpose of the concept of
> standardization. and a few years of this and there will not be a WWW
> but a Google web and a MS web and an Adobe web etc ad nauseum.  it
> would be the end of the web as we know it.
> 
> Bob
> 
> On Thu, 4 Sep 2008, Joachim Andersson wrote:
> 
> > I find this interesting, due to earlier discussions with Google staff on web
> > accessibility. Looking at Google development there are many applications
> > that do not follow W3C recommendations on web accessibility. For example,
> > Gmail, Google Earth, Google Docs and so on.
> > But one needs to look at why. Google is one of the largest companies in the
> > world. Making a small web application accessible to all is one thing. Making
> > all Google applications accessible to all, now that is a whole different
> > deal. I am sure Google do their best to make it possible for people to use
> > their applications/services. It would be rather strange if they weren't,
> > wouldn't you say?
> >
> > On the other hand, Google seems to be in the line of fire here, and none of
> > the other giants are even mentioned. Are we to interpret this as a sign of
> > Microsoft, Adobe and other giants to be better at this job? I'd say that it
> > would be a mistake. Many companies are developing applications that are not
> > at all accessible for all users. Both Microsoft and Adobe are quite good
> > examples. But I do not see the point in picking on these companies. Wouldn't
> > it be a better idea to contact them suggesting a solution?
> >
> > Best regards,
> >
> > Joachim Andersson
> > Web Accessibility Specialist
> >
> >
> >
> > 2008/9/3 Harry Loots <harry.loots@ieee.org>
> >
> > >
> > > > I don't think it was off topic, I just think it was nitpicking on a
> > > > detail. While I do admit that I reacted more strongly because I
> > > > initially thought you were referring to the product rather than the
> > > > marketing piece, I stand by my defense that this is likely one
> > > > person's mistake, instead of something that should bring shame on
> > > > Google as a whole. There is other documentation after all, and
> > > > yesterday I didn't even find the comic book with a search. The
> > > > results  for "Google Chrome" came up with the download info and text
> > > >  documentation pages.
> > >
> > > whether nitpicking, off-topic whatever...
> > >
> > > When was Google elevated to status of beyond reproach?
> > >
> > > If it was Microsoft being criticised would you have defended them in the
> > > same
> > > manner?
> > >
> > >
> > > I work for a large corporate, and i can assure you that errors like this
> > > does
> > > not reside with one person only. It was careless, and that's the end of it.
> > >
> > > Regards
> > > Harry
> > >
> > > ~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~
> > >  We do not inherit the Earth from our Parents-
> > >  We are simply Borrowing it from our Children!
> > > ~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~
> > >
> > >
> > > ---------- Original Message -----------
> > > From: James Craig <jcraig@apple.com>
> > > To: John Foliot <foliot@wats.ca>
> > > Sent: Wed, 3 Sep 2008 11:46:33 -0700
> > > Subject: Re: OFF TOPIC - Shame on Google
> > >
> > > > John Foliot wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > the fact remains that sometime prior to
> > > > > today *somebody* should have said "...what about text equivalents
> > > > > for these
> > > > > images?"
> > > >
> > > > Agreed.
> > > >
> > > > > This time is was not meant to be either - it was a pure play "shame
> > > > > on you"
> > > > > statement, which is one of the reasons why I also labeled the
> > > > > posting as OFF
> > > > > TOPIC.  I was mad, sad and frustrated, and said so to a community that
> > > > > shares in a common goal of improved web accessibility - it was not a
> > > > > technical question or statement, and was not meant to be - it was
> > > > > very much
> > > > > off topic.
> > > >
> > > > I don't think it was off topic, I just think it was nitpicking on a
> > > > detail. While I do admit that I reacted more strongly because I
> > > > initially thought you were referring to the product rather than the
> > > > marketing piece, I stand by my defense that this is likely one
> > > > person's mistake, instead of something that should bring shame on
> > > > Google as a whole. There is other documentation after all, and
> > > > yesterday I didn't even find the comic book with a search. The
> > > > results  for "Google Chrome" came up with the download info and text
> > > >  documentation pages.
> > > >
> > > > > No, Google dropped the ball in a very big way here, and if my
> > > > > commentary
> > > > > comes across as too strident or "nit-picky" then I am sorry, but
> > > > > Google (the
> > > > > corporate entity) deserves to be shamed here. You mention that I
> > > > > know a
> > > > > number of people at Google who know and care about accessibility,
> > > > > but this
> > > > > gaff transcends individuals and speaks to a corporate culture, not
> > > > > only at
> > > > > Google, but at many large organizations - it's lip-service to
> > > > > accessibility
> > > > > and disabled rights - how else could something this important be so
> > > > > ignored
> > > > > when push comes to shove?
> > > >
> > > > Corporate culture is still determined by individuals. I struggle
> > > > with  the same kind of apathy, and in my experience, shaming tactics
> > > > make  people recoil into a defensive stance rather than open up to
> > > > the  possibility of needed and worthwhile change. When companies are
> > > > on the  defensive from external attacks, it undermines the efforts
> > > > of  individuals attempting to persuade from the inside.
> > > >
> > > > It's easy to forget how inaccessible (as a whole) Google was just
> > > > four  or five years ago. The reason it has come so far is not
> > > > because of  external shaming, but because of the hard work of people
> > > > on the inside.
> > > >
> > > > > Given that Google probably has the original script supplied to Scott
> > > > > McCloud, we can only surmise that it would have taken a Google web
> > > > > developer
> > > > > even less time to do what Simon did.  They didn't, and for that I
> > > > > cry "For
> > > > > shame!"
> > > >
> > > > I'll concede that point, and perhaps this time the shame worked.
> > > > Jonathan Chetwynd just mentioned, "Google's already looking into
> > > > improving the accessibility of the web version of the comic." I
> > > > would,  however, encourage you to use shame as a last resort; used
> > > > too often,  it will its effectiveness.
> > > >
> > > > Cheers,
> > > > James
> > > >
> > > > PS. Removed the GAWDS list from the CC because I'm no longer a
> > > > member  and it was bouncing.
> > > ------- End of Original Message -------
> > >
> > >
> > >
> >
> 
> -
> end
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Received on Thursday, 4 September 2008 14:42:15 GMT

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