Re: Keeping Up With Technology

Daniel McBride


Just my two cents worth. In the 13 years that I have been computer literate,
I do not believe that these constant changes have as much to do with the
"cutting edge of technology" as it does with "going over the edge for
profits". The constant changes accomplish little more than earning profits
for the shareholders and owners.


-----Original Message-----
From: Jfw [mailto:jfw-bounces@...] On Behalf Of Brad Martin
via Jfw
Sent: Monday, June 22, 2015 8:34 PM
To: The Jaws for Windows support list.
Cc: Brad Martin
Subject: Re: Keeping Up With Technology

I can't really fault Freedom Scientific for this. Designers do crazier and
crazier things with software and websites every day, and the people at FS
aren't psychic. It's been this way since before I got into computers I'm
sure, and that was 1992. You can't redesign software to fix a problem until
the problem exists. So what happens. A new version of Windows comes out, and
then JAWS has to be rewritten to handle the new stuff. A new version of
Office comes out replacing menus with ribbons, and again, the software has
to be rewritten to deal with the new layout. Netflix changes their website,
and again something has to be tweaked to handle the new wrinkle. If the site
designer would use Alt tags on their graphics, graphical links wouldn't be
an issue.

The other side of that coin is that you have to do your part, and that means
updating to the latest version of JAWS if you want the latest fixes to the
latest problems. I don't generally update to every new release, because for
what I do, I can usually skip five or so versions.
It's cheaper that way, and I don't feel like I'm missing out. If you're more
on the cutting edge of technology, you may have to update more frequently.

Which brings me to my final point of the night. People gripe about the cost
of assistive technology, but as rapidly as things change, programmers are
always having to work writing code to accommodate those new features and
problems. And unlike, say, Microsoft Office, which people use by the
millions and millions of copies, assistive technology has an extremely small
market share. People want the very latest and greatest, and they want the
software authors to work for free.

Is what we have perfect? No. But if you were using JAWS back in the days of
Internet Explorer 3.0, you remember when the only way to read a news article
was with the JAWS cursor (there was no virtual cursor), and you had to read
three or four columns of articles at one time with all the stories mixed
together. We've come soooooo far since 1997 when I started teaching people
how to use the Internet. When you step back eighteen years, it's really
quite amazing how rapidly our technology catches up with the rest of the
world compared to how long it used to take.


On 6/22/2015 6:25 PM, Kevin Wollenweber via Jfw wrote:
You know, with all the hardships that I read within this EList,
especially regarding Netflix and other such sites-I know I'm having my
share of woes regarding these-I think the fault lay not only with
sites like Netflix that change configurations as often as they change
their underwear, but also with Freedom Scientific for not keeping the
programs compatible and current with a lot of new programs and
changing graphics. If screenreaders were able to recognize changing
graphics, I think things would be a lot more accessible.
No one saw this Netflix change coming; I mean, the site is definitely
changed completely to the point where I cannot find my DVD queue; if
they were phasing out the DVD queue, news of this should have been
announced to subscribers long ago, but if this is merely a
configuration issue where more is made of graphics, well, then I guess
that, right now, they'll lose a lot of subscribers who can't figure
out the situation, but my hope is that screenreading software is
keeping up with the times, because they're certainly *NOT* slowing down
for us.


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