[ntp:questions] Re: Trimble Setup Question

Brad Knowles brad.knowles at skynet.be
Thu Aug 28 12:21:13 UTC 2003

At 2:54 AM +0000 2003/08/28, David L. Mills wrote:

>  I did a bit more checking and found I have less of a problem with twiki
>  than I first supposed. So far as I can determine, those pages are
>  vanilla HTML, even if the shrill commercials for twiki are irritating to
>  the max. Remove all commercials for twiki and rename the index page
>  faq.ntp.org and I have no problem with it.

	We're still learning how TWiki works, and how best to tweak it to 
make it look and work better, be less confusing, etc....  I imagine 
that this is a process that will continue for some time.  We may even 
hit some roadblocks that prevent us from feasibly going any further 
down that road with a particular tool, and decide to try a different 
tool instead.  We'll cross that bridge if/when we come to it.

	In the meanwhile, if anyone has specific recommendations or 
concerns, we're very interested to hear them.

>                                                                  The most
>  important reason for that is that I have only one-sixth vision compared
>  to normal folks, and I often light up these documents using an ancient
>  text editor more eye-friendly to low vision types.

	I have been sensitive to various issues facing people with 
various mental or physical challenges, for a very long time.  Ever 
since high school, I have had friends who were legally blind, very 
low mobility, or very little muscular control.

	I was the only other person in the entire school who could 
understand what Chuck Roberts was saying (a case of very severe 
cerebral palsy), so the only time his assistant could go to the 
bathroom or eat by herself was when I was around.

	I still contend that Chuck was the most amazing programmer I've 
ever met, and probably one of the most amazing people -- with his 
arms flailing about wildly, he could still somehow manage to hit the 
right key on the keyboard, each time, every time.  His programs were 
always penultimately concise, the very model of clarity, and compiled 
and executed perfectly on the first try -- they had to, since it was 
so much effort for him to even hit a single key.  He couldn't afford 
to waste one iota of energy.  He did all of his homework for all of 
his classes on the computer, and he got perfect scores each and every 

	I've never met Steven Hawking, but I'd like to think that he's a 
little like Chuck.

	Moreover, I am particularly sensitive to issues facing visually 
challenged people.  One of my favourite benchmarks for website 
usability is how well it functions when a text-mode browser like 
"lynx" or "links" is used.

	Of course, I'm not the webmaster for ntp.org, so while I can make 
some observations and perhaps some recommendations, I don't have the 
knowledge or the technical skills to make those kinds of improvements 
happen.  Nevertheless, I will try to do as much as I can, to the 
degree that I believe it may help.

>  Along with other vision impaired folks here, I prize the capability with
>  IE to resize the text with the scroll wheel. Why do the twiki section
>  heads resize, but the text does not?

	Good question.  We need to look into that.

>                                             Our department head is wanna
>  those bees and our serious differences have created deep divisions in
>  the faculty. He wants beauty at the expense of utility and of course I
>  want those goals reversed.

	I am a strong supporter of function over form, although I do try 
to achieve both.

	As for the rest, yes -- I was being intentionally provocative, in 
direct response to your own behaviour.

	You automatically leapt to the conclusion that we were screwing 
things up and making them excessively complex, and publicly lambasted 
us for doing what you claimed.  If you had complained in private, I 
would have been happy to set the record straight, and done so as 
diplomatically and with as little attitude as possible.

	However, if you want to continue this kind of behaviour in 
public, you can expect that I will continue to stand up for myself 
and the other members of the team.

Brad Knowles, <brad.knowles at skynet.be>

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary
safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
     -Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania.

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