[Foundation-l] site notice not accessible to users with disabilities

Platonides Platonides at gmail.com
Mon Apr 27 14:37:09 UTC 2009

jidanni wrote:
> Imagine there was a message so important that you show it at the top of
> the page, on every page on the whole site, and in every language; no
> matter if you are logged in or not, and no matter how many times you
> have seen it before.
> Then imagine all you ever hear about these messages is a passing mention
> elsewhere,
>        The survey, which ran in a central sitenotice in October and
>        November of last year ... and whether they donated to the
>        Wikimedia Foundation (or not).
> Of course they did not donate. They never saw any fundrasing, nor
> Wikimaina notices, so nobody ever encounters such users either.
> In http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.science.linguistics.wikipedia.technical/42824

wikitech-l is precisely the proper forum. Crossposting, please answer there.

Yes, the current solution isn't the best one. However, if the sitenotice
were simply provided into the html, you'd need to purge *all* the pages
on a sitenotice change.
You don't want to take the site down just because a sitenotice change
(temporarily) disabled the squid layer and thus the apaches aren't able
to cope with the load!

Normal sitenotices are in html, without purging the squid cache, and
thus unlogged user may be seeing a sitenotice up to 30 days old.

> Aryeh Gregor <Simetrical+wikilist at gmail.com> writes:
>> My understanding is that we use JS for this so that
>> a) search engines don't pick up the notices (which are typically transient),
> That is throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Also search engines
> request that you don't try to present different content to them than
> regular users. I'm sure site notices would not spoil search engine
> results.
>> b) we avoid Squid cache, so they can be visible immediately.
> I.e., they are of the utmost importance that everybody see.
> Please use a different technical solution. Site notices and ways to just
> see them once etc. have been around at least since UNIX. Never before
> has one used a method that excludes users of certain devices from ever
> knowing about them.

That's because when you log into a UNIX machine, you're getting a
connection  just for you.
Still, if you just connect using a "file-transfer device" (scp,
rsync...) you won't see the messages the admin may have put there.

> Isn't an accessible web site a pre-requisite for some grant monies?
> At least provide site messages that gracefully degrade if one does not
> use fancy browsers, but not disappear completely!

A browser with javascript isn't exactly the latest technology.

Having said that, you're right in that it's a problem with the current
I propose that the globalsitenotice add a note to the html like "There's
some important announcement on going, go to [[meta:Announcements]] to
see latest announcements, or enable javascript."

(but unlogged users may still not see that for a month)

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