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Thread: Betsie

  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Betsie

    People seem to think this tool is the answer to ensuring their site meets accessibility guidelines. I disagree and I'm sure others do. I'd be interested to hear why as I think this an argument I foresee myself having with my bosses very soon!

  2. #2
    gingham dress, army boots... silver trophy redux's Avatar
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    in my opinion it's far from being the answer to accessibility issues. in many cases it's a stopgap, a little sticky plaster that many websites add on top of their completely inaccessible, legacy, non standards-compliant site...rather than redesigning their sites with accessibility considerations from the start.
    furthermore, betsie has some serious security implications when it comes to content that's limited to "intranet only" scenarios (as the betsie application itself usually runs on the internal network already, AND is openly accessible from the outside, it nicely circumvents any IP based restrictions, for instance).
    last, but certainly not least, i've spoken to various blind and visually impaired users who all have expressed their dislike for purely text-only sites. part of this, they admitted, was due to the fact that there is still a certain fear that text-only versions might be separately maintained (and not, as is the case with betsie, the same source files) and contain outdated information.
    the strong points of betsie (the fact that users can choose their preferred colour scheme and resize text) can all be implemented perfectly well with stylesheets and some compliant coding.
    it is my opinion that betsie should only be used as an interim solution, and that organisations (or more generally, web content creators) should strive to make their sites accessible (as most accessibility features in a page have additional benefits to non-disabled users and facilitate machine-indexing of sites...which is a good thing in terms of search engines, to name just one).
    sorry about the long, unstructured rant...

    additionally, betsie has been discussed a little bit here already http://www.sitepointforums.com/showt...3&pagenumber=2 (and yes, i'm pretty much saying the same things there as well)
    re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
    [latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]
    WaSP Accessibility Task Force Member
    splintered.co.uk | photographia.co.uk | redux.deviantart.com

  3. #3
    SitePoint Enthusiast lhatkins's Avatar
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    Betsie has been disabled on our server at the moment because our IT team think there is a secuity flaw in it.

    I am in agreement here in saying its a stop gap, I did like using betsie at first as I thought it was a useful little tool, but as Redux pointed out to me its a pain to have to go to another link to see the same page. Since I started my job I have used style shees to layout my pages and this has made it much easier to make the page accessbile. So I wonder how my other collegues are going to get on now the betsie "function" is removed, I bet they don't even notice as they're still Frontpage freeks with their webbot and completely inaccessable pages, what can I do! I dispare.
    Regards

    ---
    Lee


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