Posts Tagged ‘accessibility’

Unknown Beethoven symphony discovered!

May 14, 2008

I heard a new — to me — piece of music the other evening, It was on ClassicFM‘s rather lovely ‘The Full Works‘, the late evening show which plays whole pieces, rather than the shorter snippets featured during the day. The piece was clearly (to my admittedly untutored ears) Beethoven, and symphonic, but, familiar as I am with Beethoven’s symphonies, I’d never heard it before, and couldn’t place it. The use of horns was typically Beethovian, the woodwind was very Beethovian, the strings were quite Beethovian, and the structure of the piece itself was absolutely Beethovian. No doubt about it, it was a Beethovian piece. But what was it?

As soon as I could, I pulled the car over and parked at the side of the road, whipped out my trusty Nokia N95, and used ClassicFM’s useful, if appallingly inaccessible and not really mobile- friendly, on-line playlist to check what it was. And it wasn’t Beethoven at all. To my surprise, it was Georges Bizet‘s Symphony In C Major. Remarkably, it was written as a student exercise in 1855, when he was just 16, and lay forgotten and unperformed until it was rediscovered in 1935. You’d never tell, if you heard this impressive work.

Well worth seeking out, I reckon. Especially if you like Beethoven.

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hAccessibility – Unhappy First Birthday

April 27, 2008

It’s one year today since Bruce Lawson and James Craig published “hAccessibility“, about the misuse of the ‘abbr’ element in microformats (an issue I first raised on 20 September 2006 in Accessify Forums).

As recent events show, the microformats cabal still has its collective head up its own^W^W^W in the sand.

Despite suggestions for a workaround, a solution seems no nearer, thanks to their apparent indifference. Shame on them.

Spatial references to page layout considered harmful

April 23, 2008

This screenshot (linked to a larger version) shows a TechCrunch article in Google Reader, as it appears “out of the box” (apart from cropping, blurring irrelevant content and the addition of orange highlighting). Note the position of the logo, described as being “shown at right”.

[Screenshot of Google Reader]

In this era of mobile devices, freed readers and other such proxies — not to mention aural browsers and assistive devices with no spatial component — referring to the location of an element on the screen is stupid. Harmful, even.