Archive for May, 2006

Grump

Comforting a daughter with chicken pox, while abusing a perfectly good page with disgraceful hacks to make IE6 render it sensibly, and trying to digest the 400 page tedious behemoth of WCAG 2 documents really really gets a man down. Only disco dancing can help me now…

Update: Actually, it turns out I’ve got another three weeks to finish the WCAG 2 reading. The deadline for comments has been extended by three weeks to Thursday 22 June 2006.

‘101 Reasons to Hate Bruce Lawson’

Chris Mills is interviewed in Digital Web magazine and recalls a practical joke involving me, Steve Champeon, hotmail and a hippie shitting himself – and describes it as one of his 101 reasons to hate me. At least he didn’t mention my legendary musical ability, my exasperating modesty and reluctance to talk about myself, or my beating him to Olympic Gold in the freestyle cunnilingus competition (he still remains tight-lipped and somewhat tongue-tied about that – which might explain his lack of success).

Help me use this Mac!

In my quest to nuke the scrollbar that Safari apparently puts on my blog, I’ve got hold of a Mac Mini. The trouble is, I can’t use it! I don’t know how to right click a file and choose “open with Opera”, then “open with Notepad (or whatever it is)”. Where is the text editor? I don’t know how to rename things. I don’t know the keyboard shortcuts for copy, paste, cut, refresh. I feel as vulnerable as a little kitten that can’t find its mummy. (Aaah…)

Anyone recommend a “how to use a Mac for PC people” resource (preferably online)? Also: what’s really cool in the Mac Mini that will help me learn to love it?

Ajax, accessibility and assistive technology

I’ve been worrying about Ajax accessibility for a while now, so I was delighted to read two very interesting items of research on Ajax accessibility which were published last week. Brothercake ran some tests and wrote,

I’m forced to conclude that, unless a way can be found to notify screen readers of updated content, AJAX techniques cannot be considered accessible, and should not be used on a production site without a truly equivalent non-script alternative being offered to users up-front. (Source)

Meanwhile, Joe Clark found what appears at first sight to contradict Brothercake’s research, when he tested a real-life Ajax application:

Everybody could do everything. It just wasn’t all that convenient. (Source)

Actually, these aren’t contradictory at all. Making Ajax apps accessible is a brand new endeavour. So there aren’t any hard and fast rules about what works and what doesn’t. Paraphrasing PAS 78 (because Christopher Okonjo at the British Standards Institution told me not to quote it):

Test your pages, you wanker. With assistive technologies. And real disabled people. Or you’re a bigger nob than you look.

Even when you’re sure of your assumptions, a bit of testing works wonders. And with Ajax, any assumptions seem destined to be proved wrong by testing.
Continue reading Ajax, accessibility and assistive technology

Local election voting lunacy

Nongyow is a natural Tory (as are most South-East Asians, in my experience) so, after reading all the election leaflets, she voted Labour. I’m a lifelong leftie, so obviously I voted Liberal Democrat. Maybe that shows how far from its traditions the Labour party has come.

But what worries me is that Nongyow and I cancelled each other out, and boosted the Conservatives.