Flash’s inaccessible installer

June 18th, 2010  |  Tags: , , , , ,  |  Leave a comment

Daring Fireball links to a report that the installer for the latest version of Adobe Flash is incompatible with OS-level assistive technologies on both the Mac and Windows. So if you need, for example, a screen reader to interact with a computer, the standard Flash installer will just look like an empty window to you. On the plus side, you won’t even have to pretend to read the EULA.

I rarely miss an opportunity to enjoy Flash-related schadenfreude, and am completely in favor of any criticisms of Adobe installers, which generally resemble the sort of software provisioning technology that might have been designed by mid-level bureaucrats in Soviet satellite states. But I’m also reminded of the accessibility concerns surrounding cash machines in the mid-1990s. Isn’t it a little silly to complain that visually-impaired users won’t be able to use the inaccessible installer for the latest version of a browser plugin that exists exclusively to render inaccessible web content?

Dialog by committee

April 13th, 2010  |  Tags: , , , ,  |  Leave a comment

After seeing the following dialog box from emacs (a program I love and have been using in some form or another since 1988), I can no longer maintain quite as much moral superiority over the committee of maniacs responsible for the Windows Vista “shut down” dialog with its myriad options: