Here in the office, we keep having power outages. The lights are on one breaker and the outlets on another, so our computers go suddenly, disconcertingly black while around us everything appears normal. Yesterday things stayed dead for so long that eventually the lights went, too, and there was nothing left to do but drag my chair over to the window and read by the wintry gray light.
We did consider going to the restaurant next door for drinks, but what’s the point of going to a bar if the blenders are dead? (The admin assistant points out that she prefers her ‘ritas on the rocks anyway. Nyah.)
The book I curled up with was Joe Clark’s Building Accessible Websites. I had gotten bogged down in this last week, but things picked up again once I got out of the quagmire that is chapter 4. Chapter 5, as it turns out, is a gem. I’m tempted to photocopy parts of it and force it on our graphic designers who insist on doing things the 1997 way.
Chapter 5 contains such unexpected delights as “HTML has been tarted up considerably since its earliest days” and, on Bobby, “Do not rely on software as dumb as a dromedary to evaluate accessibility.” Clark is one of those rare few who write as honestly and plainly in books as they do online.
That said, I thumb my nose at chapter 6, which is much too long and rambling. A section about pop-up windows does not belong in a chapter on images.
I’ll let you know about the rest of the book once I’ve finished slogging through “The Image Problem.” I have read the appendices, though. They’re wonderful, particularly the one about accessibility and the law. I must warn you, however, that if you approach the colophon with the same anticipation you held for the appendices, you will be sorely disappointed. It’s nothing but navel-gazing (mostly about typography). At least Clark has the good sense to relegate this stuff to a colophon rather than diluting his appendices with it.
I suppose I should go get some work done while the power’s still on.