Blowing a raspberry to Operation Firefox

On powering up Firefox, I noticed that the Firefox-branded Google page had a link inviting me to join Operation Firefox, with a link to a shiny new site.

Operation Firefox invites me to “infiltrate society one sticker at a time”. It’s a viral marketing campaign to encourage people to switch to Firefox.

I’ll not be joining, though. Nor will any blind users, as the homepage is made entirely of images without alternate text (26 October: They’ve added alternate text now). It’s laid out with tables, and uses JavaScript-driven rollovers. A fine demonstration of the web standards that Firefox did such a great job in encouraging, I don’t think.

If you want that image-heavy look, you can do it with CSS and xhtml – see Stuart Robertson’s 2003 article Night of the Image Map. If you want special fonts, then follow those WebKit guys and gals, and add @font-face to the Camino engine that powers Firefox.

In short: Operation Firefox is a good idea. But bollocks execution.

6 Responses to “ Blowing a raspberry to Operation Firefox ”

Comment by Daniel Walker

Well, they used real text for the cipyright notice, down at the bottom (just in case you felt like coopying it :o))

Comment by bruce

I don’t use SIFR, but from what I’ve read, it’s too slow to use as body text, so maybe the Operation Firefox page would be slowed by using SIFR for all its fancy fonts. But I’m willing to be corrected.

Comment by Tim Keenan

I think you’ll notice a marked improvement shortly.
If you’re still having trouble, just let me know. All the images will have alt-tags and the tables should be parsed correctly by your screen-reader. If you use a magnifier and are running into problems, drop me a note or post a comment. Thanks.

Comment by Mo

People still build pages with tables used for layout?

Okay, okay, that’s not so far-fetched. It probably makes sense to designers. The worst culprits I see for it are developers, though. Developers who understand the difference between layers; the separation between form and function, and the need and long-term benefits of abstraction. Developers understand that building something in the most correct way possible means you don’t have to go back and do it again a few months down the line, and know that a good defensive strategy is to stick as close as possible to best practices unless you can be very very sure that the best practice is wrong. Good developers, I mean.

And yet… good developers still write HTML with inline images used solely for effect and tables used solely for layout. It’s like there’s a mental block or something.

Comment by bruce

Tim – good to hear that it’ll be repaired.

Nearly a fine example of how zealous marketing sabotaged the Mozilla branding of open-ness and standards.