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[News] How Closed & Rigid Systems Punish Society

'Most websites' failing disabled

,----[ Quote ]
| 93% failed to provide adequate text descriptions for graphics
| 73% relied on JavaScript for important functionality
| 78% used colours with poor contrast, causing issues for those with
|     colour blindness
| 98% did not follow industry web standards for the programming code
| ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
| 97% did not allow people to alter or resize pages
| 89% offered poor page navigation
| 87% used pop-ups causing problems for those using screen
|     magnification software


This study beautifully demonstrates the dangers of dumbing down.
Designers/developers are enclosed in some flawed GUI paradigm and do not
understand what they do at underlying levels. They are encouraged to be
oblivious to key factors. They do not honour standards because of the
deficiencies of the software they use.

This is yet another argument that can be generalised to support the use of
Kile/LyX/LaTeX rather than doing things backwards (layout to
typesetting/description). This also defends the argument that people should
be taught how to use GNU/Linux, rather than memorise layouts of menus. So,
instead of picking up a book like "Designing with Standards" people
tactlessly pick some book on FrontPage or DreamWeaver (demonstating just


Why Microsoft Expression Web redefines irony

,----[ Quote ]
| Expression is Microsoft's suite of web development tools slated to
| replace the wonderful application known as Front Page. A quick visit
| to the site for this tool yields a fairly typical Microsoft webpage.
| [...]
| WHOA! Did they not even listen to their own marketing garbage? 144
| Errors! No DocType? Are you kidding me?
| [...]
| Bravo to our good friends at Microsoft for setting such a great example
| and leading the masses to a more standards compliant internet! (and
| for giving web standards geeks something to hate on).


Reclaiming ICT education - Why free software is a neccessity in schools

,----[ Quote ]
| Ten years later, not much has changed. Glancing at the National
| Curriculum for ICT, a great deal of it still revolves around the
| correct use of packages such as MS Word and Excel...
| [...]
| The most pressing problem here is that pupils are taught computing
| as a means to an end, rather than as an end in itself. By teaching
| students to use specific software packages to complete specific
| tasks, computing classes become little more than an exercise in
| memorising processes by repetition. No analytical or inquisitive
| thinking is required, and no knowledge is gained about what thec
| omputer actually is, or is capable of.


A critical review of using Microsoft Windows centric applications in

,----[ Quote ]
| Teaching someone how to create hypertext markup language documents
| (HTML) for publishing on the world wide web (www), is not the same
| as teaching someone how to use Adobe Dreamweaver. In fact it can be
| argued that using a proprietary suite of applications to teach someone
| HTML is of detriment to their education, since if they are presented
| with the challenge of developing a project without the use of these
| proprietary applications, they will find the task very difficult and
| would need to learn how to use different tools.


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