PDA

View Full Version : the government not supporting macs


Thom_Edwards
Jul 4, 2003, 12:23 AM
i know this has been beaten to death, but i am sick and tired of macs just being left out in the cold. the thing is, this time it's a government agency doing it to us.

i like looking at job sites just to see what's out there, and i come across the texas workforce commission's site. i get to the page with the jobs (http://www.twc.state.tx.us/jobs/jobx/express.html#PTM), and at the bottom they have some bizarre "offline reader" that runs on windows only. i wrote them the following letter and thought i would share it with you guys. the last paragraph i'm kind of proud of...:D

At the page http://www.twc.state.tx.us/jobs/jobx/express.html#PTM on your website, you can download Job Express for Windows computers. What about those of us that use Macintosh? The downloadable file is even a .exe file, so even Mac users with Microsoft Office could not open it. There is no way for a Macintosh user to open this file! Why not use a cross-platform standard, such as .pdf, for your information distribution?

Quoting directly from your site (at http://www.twc.state.tx.us/twcinfo/accessibility.html), "The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is committed to making its Web site accessible according to the standards set forth by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) . To improve the accessibility of our Web site, we ensure any major redesign or new development conforms to these accessibility standards." Your site is not designed to this standard. According to the W3C (at http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Points/), their number one point of focus reads: "W3C defines the Web as the universe of network-accessible information (available through your computer, phone, television, or networked refrigerator...). Today this universe benefits society by enabling new forms of human communication and opportunities to share knowledge. One of W3C's primary goals is to make these benefits available to all people, whatever their hardware, software, network infrastructure, native language, culture, geographical location, or physical or mental ability. W3C's Internationalization Activity ,Device Independence Activity ,Voice Browser Activity , and Web Accessibility Initiative all illustrate our commitment to universal access."

This problem with your site should certainly be remedied, especially due to the fact that is a government website. Although the argument certainly lacks a humanitarian and civil rights aspect, should not the government provide equal access to employment information for all? There are plenty of unemployed programmers, such as myself, who would enjoy an employment opportunity to write a program that would make this information available to all people, whatever their hardware or software.

iJon
Jul 4, 2003, 12:30 AM
well said and i completly agree, lets see if they have anything to say back.

iJon

switchedoff
Jul 7, 2003, 11:13 AM
If it makes you feel any better, look at this:
http://www.ada.gov/

This is the site for Americans with Disability Act!! and it doesn't meet accessibility standards!

I'd say the government just doesn't know how to hire decent web designers!

As for the offline reader, I'm wondering why they don't just use a database driven page to offer stuff all the time, and allow you to download stuff in office/pdf format.

Capt Underpants
Jul 23, 2003, 06:43 PM
This is not fair, but it doesn't really bother me. I use a PC. Still saving for a mac.

rainman::|:|
Jul 23, 2003, 07:00 PM
this is nothing new. I don't know of any time when macs were supported, except when inevitable (like standards)... it's just always been like this. They will tell you that it's not economical to program things for every OS, because once you do Mac, you have to do Linux, and Lindows, and so on, so on... :rolleyes:

pnw

Billicus
Jul 23, 2003, 07:30 PM
Originally posted by paulwhannel
this is nothing new. I don't know of any time when macs were supported, except when inevitable (like standards)... it's just always been like this. They will tell you that it's not economical to program things for every OS, because once you do Mac, you have to do Linux, and Lindows, and so on, so on... :rolleyes:

pnw

But that doesn't mean that they couldn't put it in an open source format like PDF's or Office files. Maybe I just misunderstand...:rolleyes::mad:

rainman::|:|
Jul 23, 2003, 08:08 PM
Originally posted by Billicus
But that doesn't mean that they couldn't put it in an open source format like PDF's or Office files. Maybe I just misunderstand...:rolleyes::mad:

No, you're right, that's the part that doesn't make sense. For instance, not government related, but at work I was trying today to get a template for a CD label to work on a Mac-- who wants to use a PC for graphic design, when there's a G4 sitting 5 feet away? Plus it has the only color inkjet in the office... So anyway, they have a design software suite won't run on Mac of course, but they have blank templates-- in MS word format, but still, i think i can work with that. I open it on Word on the mac, and it's formatted totally wrong, from the platform conversion! If they would have simply given me a document with two circles on it, it would have been fine. But they did this fancy thing with gutters and margins that just wouldn't work right on the Mac. So they spent extra time and energy developing something complicated that's lesscompatible and more inconvenient (you can't let graphics overlap outside the squares, so the printer better align the damn paper perfectly or there's white space). I tell ya, i was like murderously frustrated for a while... a end-of-day deadline, and the labels were only like 1/10th of the whole project. It's just counterintuitive that it should be so difficult. My guess in that situation is that MS spends a lot of money making sure Avery puts out templates that only PC's can read... but if i apply that theory to the government... well, it becomes way too scary...

:)
pnw

bennetsaysargh
Jul 23, 2003, 08:50 PM
PDF is the way to go. or at least make it a MS word document so some can read it:rolleyes:

Billicus
Jul 23, 2003, 08:55 PM
I agree that PDF is the way that they should go. Even those without Micro$oft Office could use Appleworks to explore the job opportunities in Texas.

Rower_CPU
Jul 23, 2003, 10:56 PM
Originally posted by switchedoff
If it makes you feel any better, look at this:
http://www.ada.gov/

This is the site for Americans with Disability Act!! and it doesn't meet accessibility standards!

I'd say the government just doesn't know how to hire decent web designers!

As for the offline reader, I'm wondering why they don't just use a database driven page to offer stuff all the time, and allow you to download stuff in office/pdf format.

Just curious about which accessibility guidelines you're using. I ran it through Cynthia Says (http://www.contentquality.com/) with the government Section 508 guidelines and it passes.

PowerBook User
Jul 23, 2003, 11:43 PM
Did you ever get a response from them? I'd be interested to see what they said.

MrMacMan
Jul 23, 2003, 11:47 PM
Originally posted by Rower_CPU
Just curious about which accessibility guidelines you're using. I ran it through Cynthia Says (http://www.contentquality.com/) with the government Section 508 guidelines and it passes.

Even though I'm going to talk gibberish hereL
macrumors.com fails in alot of places in the test, run it on the homepage...

switchedoff
Jul 24, 2003, 10:19 AM
Actually I was setting my standards too high, I was going by W3C (http://www.w3c.org) standards.

As far as the label goes, I would never use word, even on my pc, to do something template based that needed to be accurate. I'd just reach over to InDesign or pagemaker. (quark if I need to) I love working at a place with fun software!

But then again, since I use both PC and a MAC, I get to see the other side to this as well. Anyone try to by a single mp3 file on a PC lately? Yeah, without iTunes for the PC it is kind of hard. And now Apple is coming out with all this software only for MAC OS, so when I'm at someone else's house or at work being forced to work on a PC it is so much different.

judith
Jul 29, 2003, 11:40 PM
Originally posted by switchedoff
Actually I was setting my standards too high, I was going by W3C (http://www.w3c.org) standards.

But then again, since I use both PC and a MAC, I get to see the other side to this as well. Anyone try to by a single mp3 file on a PC lately? Yeah, without iTunes for the PC it is kind of hard. And now Apple is coming out with all this software only for MAC OS, so when I'm at someone else's house or at work being forced to work on a PC it is so much different.

I found this so funny! Don't know if it was in your stating W3 standards are way too high for gov sites, or if my experience in trying to buy with a PC was so laughable.
We're a cross-platform household, so I've the pleasure of iTunes. But when we went to buymusic to investigate we got a redirect to : ierequired.htm, "you must have internet explorer to view this site..." (no buddy, you gotta have more M$ than that) so we then opened the ie browser (instead of our beautiful Safari) and tried it again, and whatayaknow, got the same redirect. They couldn't even create a more appropriatley named pcrequired.htm? I found that amusing. Pathetic, but amusing nonetheless.

We really wanted to see what exactly 79&cent would buy, and yes, I did search, and found one song for 79&cent.. Tommy Lee of course. Gag!

switchedoff
Jul 30, 2003, 10:25 AM
Sorry, I was assuming the W3C standards were higher because some sites that pass 508 guidelines don't meet w3c standards.

Anyway, I really don't care what people use anymore, buymusic.com will work on my PC, so things are balancing out. Prices aren't as good as iTunes, but at least it is legal to download music finally. (I was wondering how long the music industry would take in profiting off of what they were fighting against)

As far as IE vs. Safari, definitely stick with Safari. MS has gone and made IE proprietary. No longer will they have mac versions. Personally as a web designer I hate the fact that they use separate engines for displaying web pages. There should be ONE engine, and the different browsers should have different features, like email, printing capabilities, and plugins. Now I've got to go buy some new books on how safari renders so I can design for yet another browser.

Unfortunately we are now a PC household as our Mac that supposedly would never crashe, has died. It froze up, hasn't started since, and I'm tired of having to spend hours tweaking it to work with new appliances on my network. I guess I'll stop posting on these forums now. Sorry if I offended anyone.

Thom_Edwards
Aug 4, 2003, 10:04 AM
Originally posted by Rower_CPU
Just curious about which accessibility guidelines you're using. I ran it through Cynthia Says (http://www.contentquality.com/) with the government Section 508 guidelines and it passes.

yes. they emailed me back and basically said that they are working on that issue. (didn't see that one coming, did ya????)

anyway, like many have said, the lack of mac support is certainly not some new thing on the scene. i doubt my little email will do much good... it just bugged me really badly that day, so i emailed them and thought i would vent it here as well. thanks for listening! :D

jefhatfield
Aug 19, 2003, 09:55 PM
Originally posted by switchedoff
If it makes you feel any better, look at this:
http://www.ada.gov/

This is the site for Americans with Disability Act!! and it doesn't meet accessibility standards!

I'd say the government just doesn't know how to hire decent web designers!


many decent people who are good at what they do want nothing to do with uncle sam...they know better and either want to make more in the civilian world or, like me, can't stand around being forced to be a part of the government waste i saw so rampant with the federal government

whenever the department of defense got somebody qualified, they found something better or got fed up within a year and left...i used to hear people brag about how DoD chased away college grads:confused:

themadchemist
Aug 21, 2003, 05:48 PM
Originally posted by Billicus
But that doesn't mean that they couldn't put it in an open source format like PDF's or Office files. Maybe I just misunderstand...:rolleyes::mad:

no, you're absolutely right. Only thing, PDFs and Office files aren't really open source...They are definitely proprietary.

But they are cross-platform, and that's the important thing. PDFs would be the best solution, because one need not spend any money to read a PDF. 'Just download Acrobat Reader. On the other hand, one needs to own Office or some sort of translator to read office files.

jefhatfield
Aug 21, 2003, 08:18 PM
Originally posted by themadchemist
no, you're absolutely right. Only thing, PDFs and Office files aren't really open source...They are definitely proprietary.

But they are cross-platform, and that's the important thing. PDFs would be the best solution, because one need not spend any money to read a PDF. 'Just download Acrobat Reader. On the other hand, one needs to own Office or some sort of translator to read office files.

omg, bill gates = smart businessman

or bill gates = apple's worst nightmare, and the worst nightmare of the rest of high tech:p

hayesk
Aug 26, 2003, 01:22 PM
Originally posted by paulwhannel
this is nothing new. I don't know of any time when macs were supported, except when inevitable (like standards)... it's just always been like this. They will tell you that it's not economical to program things for every OS, because once you do Mac, you have to do Linux, and Lindows, and so on, so on... :rolleyes:

pnw

I'm sorry, but that statement is wrong. On the internet if you use published standards, you can develop only one site that is supported on all platforms.

Mac users aren't asking for Mac-specific code in web sites - just standard code that everyone can use.