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Re: "somebody needs to blink first"


From: Kynn Bartlett
Date: Feb 21, 2003 12:06PM

On Friday, February 21, 2003, at 10:17 AM, John Foliot - bytown
internet wrote:
>> I so wish I could agree with that (since I agree with most of the
>> rest of your commentary during this thread)... but consider the
>> educational institutions, non-profits, and sheer numbers of
>> economically disadvantaged who may not have the option of
>> switching to a newer browser?
> Which begs the question - why? How is it acceptable that educational
> institutions (in particular) would continue to use flawed software,
> especially since a free replacement is a download away?

If you ask on this list, you're not likely to get a real answer,
because most
of us have likely upgraded to the latest and greatest. To some degree
is the argument "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." Another reasoning
is that
newer browsers tend to have any number of security problems or
performance problems that may not exist on older versions. Many
places such as libraries and the like may have non-technical folks
"in charge" and they don't know what it will take to upgrade a browser
version. Or maybe they don't feel like disrupting the usage patterns of
their patrons; they may need to generate completely new tutorials or
guides if a browser's user interface has changed.

Why not provide free consulting to any "big lumbersome institution which
has not kept up"? If you say that's the problem.

See, the main problem I have with all of this is that people who are
all up in arms and indignant are basically doing it because It Makes My
Life Easier -- a very designer-focused approach. Yes, you may throw
out the old justification that "but it's BETTER for them because
they'll have
better software!" but the truth is that most designers are irrationally
at the fact that someone is using "old software" because it means we
have to deal with it. The benefit to the user is not REALLY why we're
concerned as much as our own comfort.

Whenever designers start putting their own comfort and ease of
before that of the user, you see problems resulting. It's the same
slope that eventually leads back to developers saying "screw the blind,
it's too much work" and other non-accessibility concerns. It places the
needs of the developer above that of the user.

Don't try to tell me that someone who has been using Netscape 4.7 for
4 years and is completely happy with it is going to be better served, no
matter WHAT she might think, by upgrading to the latest version of
or Opera or whatever -- she'll have to relearn, her IT department will
to take on a greater support burden, and the benefits will be quite
to the point of being unnoticeable.

Artificially creating a problem by "suddenly making 40% or 50% of the
web sites fail" is developer dishonesty, akin to Microsoft's nonsense of
breaking their site in Opera on purpose.


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