I'm sure many already know about Mozilla's hypocracies, but this is a nice compendium of transgressions:

So use what? Crome? *barf* I think the problem goes deeper. We need a web that isn't so confounded to the point where no one, besides large corporations, can maintain a performant, usable and accessible web client. As long as it's this way we will continue to pay for the web with our privacy.

@self This is an amazing article. I do wish the images were described, but the great content vastly outweighs that.

@devinprater This might seem an odd question, but do you think the web has gotten better or worse for accessibility?

I know more people are aware of accessibility and consciously making an effort these days, but do you think the complexity and bloat of the web has made it worse? That is, if people were just as aware of accessibility issues in the past, would the less complicated html specification better facilitate accessibility on a technical level?

I know it used to be easier to scrape data.


@self I think it's gotten worse. HTML is used to make things pretty now, not to, oh I don't know, markup content like it was originally designed to do. And operating systems, like Linux and Android, with poor accessibility don't help either. Now, blind people usually prefer mobile apps and desktop clients because they feel *clean* compared to the sometimes very verbose, linear web, where keyboard commands are few and far in between, non-standard (look at Gmail then Twitter, or even Gmail compared to Google Voice.) And there are so many sites where headings could be used but aren't, and lists to facilitate things which can be skipped, like alternative language options for articles, replies to a comment, things like that. It's just poorly done, and even the "simple" layered approach of mobile apps are easier to use for us than the flat (to us) representation that is the web.

The HTML standard changing stuff probably doesn't help much either. And Javascript just means that if I want to use Emacs with Emacspeak to gather text formatting information that a dumb screen reader doesn't provide, I usually get told that Javascript needs to be enabled, on a mostly textual site. In fact, text is *all* that a blind person gets, besides other audio. So if image descriptions aren't provided, or if there's a presentation-style thing going on, like in a lot of Apple press releases, we need textual alternatives to the silent videos and images. So plain sites, like my blog which I recently moved to Hugo, are best. Simple, statically generated, no stupid freaking databases! and it's freaking clean! No heavy bull crap slowing down load times and not many images.

Oh and screen readers aren't magic, either. They're really quite dumb. They gather as much information as they can by the OS accessibility API's, which can be pretty good, like Windows, fairly okay, like Apple's, or pretty neglected, like Linux because no one wants to actually work on the core OS accessibility. Like I always say, accessibility starts with the OS.

@devinprater thank you for the detailed assessment of the current accessibility landscape! You just confirmed, and surpassed all my suspicions about how bad the web had become, beyond my own bad experiences, but I didn’t want to be presumptuous.

At some point HTML, between 4 and 5 iirc, became this nearly free-form system where all the rigid structure was rendered optional... and folks could just make up their own conventions.


@devinprater one cannot even scrape data consistently anymore, which should be an obvious sign that the schema is nearly useless. I think this ties in to why the browser landscape is so bleak.

Im not presuming to have the skill or influence to change the web, but I do have a small idea for something that I’d like to discuss more with you. Can I send you a link when I have a coherent project description?


@self Yes, you definitely can. My blog has much more of my writings on all this: open source, text formatting, all that, so that may be a good read as well.

@devinprater @self I was going to ask if there was a way to check web accessibility, but then I went and found one. https://www.webaccessibility.com/ My websites are all more accessible than the checker itself. :^)

@petit @self Yeah, a lot of "accessibility" organizations and sites just want to grab on to something to be made a little more visible, without actually being more helpful. Really, if you just use regular HTML without hacking around with non-standard stuff, things will work okay. I hate that everyone has to look different on the web. We should all focus on what our content is, not how it looks.

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