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RE: repetitive navigation


From: Philip Pawley
Date: Feb 19, 2003 7:39PM


See my replies in-line.

>JAWs is but one adaptive technology, as is Connect Outloud, IBM HPR, Window
>Eyes, etc. Accessibility is about more than making something available to
>any one specific technology, it's about any and all technologies. There is
>a fairly extensive list of alternative browsers available at
>http://www.w3.org/WAI/References/Browsing : a resource I might add that is
>specifically geared towards helping developers of all stripes "get on with
>it". One browser in particular, Simply Web 2000, is... wait... FREE
>(http://www.econointl.com/sw/). However, be forewarned, you get what you
>pay for. (It works fine, but is minimal at best). Also, unlike JAWs (which
>interacts with all Windows applications) it is nothing more than a "talking"

I know about Web 2000 but nobody uses Web 2000 so its idiosyncrasies are irrelevant.

Many people use JAWS so its idiosyncrasies need to be catered for. Web-site developers need to know what works and what doesn't. The WAI resources simply aren't adequate to the task. The discussions last year about adjacent links are a case in point.

This isn't only about JAWS, of course. What goes for Freedom Scientific also goes for IBM and the makers of Window Eyes. I wasn't intending to single JAWS out.

>The point is, if you feel you need to hear your site to ensure you've not
>missed anything, fair enough.

Precisely. Further, in taking the time and trouble to do this, I am helping to enhance the usefulness of JAWS (admittedly only in a tiny corner of the web). I don't believe I should have to pay for the privilege. I am doing that bit of the work, not Freedom Scientific. Why should I have to pay them for the privilege of helping them make JAWS as useful as possible to their customers?

If Freedom Scientific want to interact only with customers, they will have to pay the price. The inevitable result will be fewer JAWS-friendly web-sites. It's not about free lunches, it's about give-and-take. It's the users of JAWS that lose out most. (In the long run, believe it will also have an adverse effect on Freedom Scientific's profitability, but I could be wrong about that).

>But to somehow feel that you are being
>short-changed or put upon by software companies who require that they
>actually be paid for their software is plain ridiculous

I dare say it would be if I did so feel.

>- do you work for free?

A lot of my time, yes. My whole web-site is free. So is the advice I give to people who write to me from all over the world, much too far away ever to become my clients.

>You can be commended for caring enough to look into accessible
>development, whether as a full time occupation or simply a hobby, but there
>is no such thing as a free lunch! Like anything in life, if you wish to
>succeed there is a required investment; be it time, money, effort, or all
>three. The up side of all of this is that should you become accomplished in
>this field, you will be one of a very few, making your services all that
>more valuable...

You mistake me, I have no intention of selling my (very amateur) web skills. I was saying that a lot of the more thoughtful content on the web (including mine) is freely offered by people expert in their own fields. It is offered for free and at a considerable personal expense. Maybe I did not make myself clear enough.

Philip Pawley
Liverpool, UK

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