Re: [WSG] .NET sites which are XHTML 1.0 strict

2008-12-15 Thread David Lane
Great to see that someone has finally helped MS technologies adhere to
the standards that the open source world has supported for years now.  A
step in the right direction, deserving congratulations, but only a small
step.

Although Oxite may be open source in the strictest sense of the term,
being .Net based it has dependencies on the MS Windows platform, so it's
still dependent on expensive proprietary software...  For those aspiring
to support .Net on other platforms (e.g. efforts like Mono and
Moonlight), let's not forget Microsoft's patent infringement threats on
Linux and other open source software.  

Ultimately, open source or not, anything .Net-based exists at the
discretion of Microsoft's legal team.  When MS release a CMS under the
GNU General Public License (the GPL is the prevalent open source license
that is, essentially, share and share alike), then I'll be impressed,
because doing so would mean that they've agreed to waive software
patents on that code.  

Personally, given the outstanding quality and maturity of fully open
source alternatives (Plone, Drupal, Alfresco, Joomla, MySourceMatrix and
many others), Oxite probably only a good option for people who've
already got a massive sunk cost on MS infrastructure.  For everyone
else, the open source stacks (LAMP/Zope/Tomcat, etc.) and platforms
(Linux, *BSD, OpenSolaris) are where the action is. 

Kind regards,

Dave 

On Tue, 2008-12-16 at 10:27 +1100, Anthony Milner wrote:
 Glad to report that I've found a .NET site that validates XHTML 1.0
 strict (hat tip to Craig Bailey
 http://www.craigbailey.net/live/post/2008/12/14/Microsoft-Oxite-coverage.aspx 
 for leading me to it.) 
  
 It's the Mix Online site which is built on a Microsoft Open Source CMS
 platform (yes you read that right Microsoft and open source in the
 same sentence, I was also surprised) called Oxite.
 http://visitmix.com/
  
 Oxite is still in beta and is built on the MVC platform which appears
 to be a good news story for building .NET web standards compliant
 websites. 
  
 Anthony
  
  -Original Message-
  From: li...@webstandardsgroup.org
 [mailto:li...@webstandardsgroup.org]
  On Behalf Of Anthony Milner
  Sent: 08 October 2008 03:23
  To: wsg@webstandardsgroup.org
  Subject: [WSG] .NET sites which are XHTML 1.0 strict
 
  Hi,
 
  I was having a *chat* with some .NET developer colleagues and they
  challenged me to find a .NET site that achieves XHTML 1.0 strict
  compliance. Hoping to prove to them that it can be done.
 
  Does anybody know of some .NET sites which are XHTML 1.0 strict (or
 even
  transitional)?
 
  Thanks,
  Anthony
 
 
 
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Re: [WSG] Re: WSG Digest

2009-01-10 Thread David Lane
   pushing
   that envelope, doesn't that make that statement self-fulfilling
   prophecy?
   There are lots of us out there working on improving the
   accessibility of
   both existing and future content authored in Flash.
  
   There are many arguments to be made for HTML -- I made loads of them
  
   while
   working for W3C, all of which I would stand by today -- but it is
   not all
   things to all people. The fact is that many educators have found
   that they
   can use Flash to teach their students effectively. I'm not an
   educator by
   profession, but my wife is, and she prefers Flash over HTML/CSS/JS to
   develop her courseware. If you were to tell her she's wrong,
   especially
   before seeing what kind of work she does, I think you'd probably find
   yourself dodging a couple shelves' worth of education texts. Telling a
   professional their tools are wrong is not the most endearing of
   approaches.
   In my opinion, the best one can do is to learn what they're doing,
   and offer
   ways to make that output more efficient, more inclusive, and easier to
   produce.
  
   Teachers aren't usually web developers, and we shouldn't want them
   to be. So
   I'm all for companies taking on the technical problems so teachers
   can be
   teachers, and so on.
 
  Ultimately teachers should aim to teach the skills that are required
  of students entering the industry. It’s not uncommon that many
  secondary and tertiary IT and web media courses are grossly outdated.
 
   From my experience this is mostly attributed to the teacher’s
  education in the field which they received when they did their
  tertiary education in order to teach, and have since not remained up
  to date with new developments and sadly even standards. Money and a
  requirement to regularly attend courses to keep educators up to date
  help in this regard but nothing beats personal interest—the high
  school IT teacher that in their own time is actively involved in his
  or her field will be more likely to teach his students about the
  latest relevant and exciting bleeding edge technologies.
 
  On a side note, my personal opinion on web media courses focusing on
  rich web content is that they should still entail the bare basics of
  HTML, XHTML, and CSS, with a toe-dip into JavaScript. These
  technologies are so fundamental to the web, and given their role as
  standards they should be part of any web-related courses.
 
  Just my 2¢. Thanks for raising this topic. (:
 
 
  —Pascal
 
   Thanks,
   M
   Accessibility Engineer, Adobe
  
   Christie Mason said:
   Exactly right.  I've sadly watched Flash take over eLearning and
   still
   haven't figured out the attraction, except that it offers the
   control of PPT
   while appearing to be rich.There's only a very few types of
   web sites
   that still use Flash for delivering primary content - media sites,
  
   those
   that focus more on look at me instead of  being a resource to
   their site
   guests, and eLearning.
  
   Since, supposedly, eLearning is about offering web based resources
  
   for
   learning it just doesn't make sense to me that it has ignored all
   the ways
   the web has supported, continues to support,  learning w/o using
   Flash.
   Flash on the web is like cooking with garlic.  A little adds depth,
  
   a lot is
   inedible.
  
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  Concept designer
 
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Re: [WSG] Re: WSG Digest

2009-01-10 Thread David Lane
Apologies, all, that last message wasn't particularly constructive of
me. I'll be more explicit here - my beefs with the use of Flash on
anything to do with education (or anywhere else, for that matter) are
as follows:
1. Adobe's Flash belongs only to Adobe - there is no Flash open standard
like there is for all the other important technologies on the web.
Eschewing open standards is poison on the web (although I don't have to
tell that to this group).
2. Flash, as a tool, is technically impressive. It's the way that it's
used by a naive market that sees it as a hammer, and every problem as a
nail that raises issues.  Our local tech school turns out hundreds of
Flash-only designers every year that the market doesn't need.  They have
to go *somewhere* - so they tend to freelance and eek out an existence
by selling Flash sites to even more naive customers.
3. Flash encourages designers to break web conventions by providing
their own buttons, hidden or subtle scroll bars, and in every way
customising a site's user interface. In doing this they negate all the
learning that web users have done on every other (non Flash) site
they've visited.  I've visited plenty of Flash sites, the navigation for
which probably made sense to the designers, but certainly didn't to me,
and I suspect, every other user.
4. Flash navigation is not accessibility friendly, not SEO friendly, and
not visible to people who... get this... don't use Flash.  I use the
handy Flashblocker extension in Firefox, so I can be aware of every
instance of Flash on sites I visit.

In my opinion, the only thing worse for the web than Flash is
Microsoft's also-ran juggernaut: Silverlight.  Why not use the open
standard of SVG, which is already natively supported (most of it,
anyway) in Firefox and Webkit (Safari/Chrome)?  The answer is simple:
because Microsoft or Adobe can't control it.  

Kind regards,

Dave

On Sat, 2009-01-10 at 08:26 -0800, Alan C Whiteman wrote:
 James and Matt -- Comments below.
 
 Alan C. Whiteman
 Visualis Web Design
 http://visualis.us
 (562) 305-2862
 ___
 
 

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Re: # Re: [WSG] Beta Testers Needed for BCAT

2009-01-13 Thread David Lane
On Tue, 2009-01-13 at 11:42 -0800, Matt Morgan-May wrote:
 If evil is all you have to say about Flash, then there's not much that can
 be said. It's clearly not worth taking a reasoned approach to convince you
 that it has merit as a classroom tool, despite the thousands of teachers and
 millions of students using it.

Thousands and millions of teachers/students also use MS Powerpoint and
MS Word, too (paid for by hapless taxpayers), and we've all seen the
horrible uneducated results of that, I'm sure... We web developers use
the term angry fruit salad to describe it.

  Adobe could do a better job, the makers of assistive
  technology could do a better job
 
 Great. I'm all ears. What should we do? So far, the impression that I get is
 that we should give up. Flash being evil and all. But since we continue to
 improve our accessibility, please feel free to send me your ideas.

In my opinion, the next improvement Adobe Flash needs, if it wants to be
acceptable to at least this member of the Web Standards Group audience,
would be for Adobe to create the definitive Flash specification, release
it under a royalty-free and patent unencumbered license, and try to get
ISO certification (without buying/badgering national bodies, a la
Microsoft). 

Then there could be competition in the provision of tools for Flash
(rather than the current Adobe monopoly), and I, for one, would be
willing to consider using it... where it's appropriate.

  but there is very little that the man in the middle can do
 
 This is the heart of the matter. It's just not true. Flash authors can do a
 lot to be directly accessible to assistive technology. And bringing it all
 back to the original message here, that's what BCAT's developers are trying
 to do. What's wrong with more people producing more accessible Flash
 content, other than you disliking Flash?

BCAT's developers have a serious nerve asking the WSG community to
provide feedback on a site they've built, but then require that
a) people compromise their freedom by signing an NDA to even view the
site, and then add insult to injury by 
b) making the terms of the NDA available only in a non-standard,
proprietary MS Word DOC format. 

Frankly, I'm amazed that some people (the BCAT guy) have so little
appreciation for the audience they're entreating to give them free
consultation.

Dave

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[WSG] It's about web standards: use SVG, not Adobe's proprietary Flash

2009-01-14 Thread David Lane
 and
 rebuild Flash delivered content.
 
 I am a student. Formal resources are about the best damn thing that
 university has provided me. Unfortunately it's (arguably) not fun or
 cool to read a programming book cover to cover, so I can see why
 people complain. Stop using the term 'love the web'. Lots of people
 love the web, I'm sure, but it doesn't mean they have the first clue
 what's good for it.
 
 
 The few times I have seen Flash used well and written well it's
 beautiful. It's amazing. It's like having sunshine flowing through
 your vains. So, do you blame HTML for every poorly coded website? Do
 you blame Flash for every bad use of Flash?
 
 Anyway, it seems like this entire argument would be better stated as
 People who hate Flash because it doesn't behave in a manner identical
 to HTML, and also because it isn't HTML.
 
 - James
 
 
 
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Re: [WSG] It's about web standards: use SVG, not Adobe's proprietary Flash

2009-01-14 Thread David Lane
At the risk of responding to my own post...  it occurs to me that Adobe
would have an amazing business opportunity if they released their Flash
authoring tools with full SVG support - i.e. the ability author SVG
content with the same tools that are currently used to author Flash...
if they could do *both* Flash and SVG, I think they'd successfully
outflank and kill Microsoft's Silverlight, which would be a huge boon
for the web, and all of humankind (except those invested in Microsoft,
but I have a hard time feeling sorry for them).  I, for one, would be
most impressed.

Thoughts?

Cheers,

Dave

On Thu, 2009-01-15 at 09:32 +1300, David Lane wrote:
 snip...
 
 Until Adobe does with Flash what it did with PDF and make it an open,
 unencumbered standard (making it possible to build a true market
 around
 the concept), I'll look for every opportunity to promote the SVG
 standard instead, which, despite having its own challenges, is an open
 standard with an ambitious brief. 

snip...
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Re: [WSG] Examples of great high-school websites?

2009-01-15 Thread David Lane
Gidday Sigurd,

You could have a look at http://www.hagley.school.nz and
http://computing.hagley.school.nz as examples of student/teacher
designed and developed sites (both built on Drupal).  If you're
impressed, I'd encourage you to send a comment (via one of the contact
forms) as I suspect the school's administration  doesn't fully realise
how cool their sites are compared to most.

Disclaimer: I've had occasional association with the work being done at
Hagley, and have been a guest speaker to the computing students on a
couple occasions :)

Cheers,

Dave

On Fri, 2009-01-16 at 14:43 +1300, Sigurd Magnusson wrote:
 Can people offer examples of school websites that lead the way, for  
 instance in terms of;
 
 - interaction between student/parent/school/community
 - allows students to show off work
 - allows students/teachers/parents/community to engage (e.g. see  
 sports results, look up when next school theatre production is on, etc).
 - less important, but strong information architecture / usability /  
 visual design.
 
 In otherwords, all the usual sort of stuff that leading private/public  
 sector websites have, and that seems all too rare on school websites..
 
 Sigurd
 
 PS: I'm not really looking for examples of Moodle / learning  
 management systems; more the public-facing side.
 
 
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Re: [WSG] Examples of great high-school websites?

2009-01-15 Thread David Lane
Oops - should've been Disclosure rather than Disclaimer :)  

On Fri, 2009-01-16 at 15:21 +1300, David Lane wrote:
 Disclaimer: I've had occasional association with the work being done at
 Hagley, and have been a guest speaker to the computing students on a
 couple occasions :)

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Re: [WSG] Examples of great high-school websites?

2009-01-17 Thread David Lane
Ouch - yes, I'm a bit embarrassed for the EducationalNetworks crowd -
their own website, presumably their calling card, is also a dogs
breakfast from a web standards point of view - haven't looked at it much
beyond that.

I should point out that the sites I mentioned earlier in this thread -
the two a Hagley Community College (it's a high school, using college in
the English rather than American sense) were both designed to be XHTML
1.0 strict compliant.  The main school site validates, and the computing
one has 2 errors related to an image tag with a border attribute and no
alt text...  The teacher involved is a strong web standards advocate.

My suggestion to EducationalNeworks... try web standards - they're not
that hard.

Cheers,

Dave

On Sat, 2009-01-17 at 22:47 +, David Dixon wrote:
 Perhaps the blatant disregard for common web standards could be the 
 reason? (this is after all a web *standards* list and not a web 
 designers list...)
 
 Lets see:
 
 - tables for layout
 - no alt attributes for images
 - obtrusive javascript (are professional companies really still 
 getting away with the default Dreamweaver rollers???)
 - reliance on javascript for basic functionality
 - the marquee tag ?!?
 - no form labels
 
 So that's inaccessible, non-semantic and non-xhtml/html compliant
 
 ... im not sure i can stand to review any more of the site, the home 
 page is enough to kill my spirit.
 
 David
 
 Rick Faircloth wrote:
  What did you find to be so bad about the site, Stuart?
  
  -Original Message-
  From: li...@webstandardsgroup.org [mailto:li...@webstandardsgroup.org] On 
  Behalf Of Stuart
  Foulstone
  Sent: Saturday, January 17, 2009 2:11 PM
  To: wsg@webstandardsgroup.org
  Subject: Re: [WSG] Examples of great high-school websites?
 
 
  Perhaps the students should code the site - they couldn't do much worse!
 
  On Fri, January 16, 2009 7:00 pm, Fred Ballard wrote:
  Take a look at Sullivan High School's http://www.sullivanhs.org/. As you
  can
  see in the homepage's lower right corner it's from the Chicago Public
  Schools, http://www.cps.k12.il.us/, with a company, Educational Networks,
  http://www.educationalnetworks.net/, behind it.
 
  Is it too slick? I'm of two minds. It's great that it's a good-looking
  site,
  but it might be nice to let the students be the designers. I don't
  actually
  know what the students think about it, on the other hand.
 
  Fred
 
  On Thu, Jan 15, 2009 at 8:29 PM, David Lane d...@egressive.com wrote:
 
  Oops - should've been Disclosure rather than Disclaimer :)
 
  On Fri, 2009-01-16 at 15:21 +1300, David Lane wrote:
  Disclaimer: I've had occasional association with the work being done
  at
  Hagley, and have been a guest speaker to the computing students on a
  couple occasions :)
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Re: [WSG] Examples of great high-school websites?

2009-01-17 Thread David Lane
I've just sent them a comment on their comment form (which wouldn't
submit unless I enabled javascript, although it had no noticeable need
for it) politely suggesting that they could improve their offerings
through increased adherence to web standards and accessibility
guidelines, providing them with links to this group.

Perhaps others would like to do similarly:
http://www.educationalnetworks.net/contact/

Cheers,

Dave

On Sun, 2009-01-18 at 00:18 +0100, David Storey wrote:
 Sadly sites like these are the norm rather than the exception.  From  
 my experience working in web site compatibility anyway.
 
 Can someone please send them http://www.opera.com/wsc ?
 
 David
 
 On 18 Jan 2009, at 00:07, David Lane wrote:
 
  Ouch - yes, I'm a bit embarrassed for the EducationalNetworks crowd -
  their own website, presumably their calling card, is also a dogs
  breakfast from a web standards point of view - haven't looked at it  
  much
  beyond that.
 
  I should point out that the sites I mentioned earlier in this thread -
  the two a Hagley Community College (it's a high school, using  
  college in
  the English rather than American sense) were both designed to be XHTML
  1.0 strict compliant.  The main school site validates, and the  
  computing
  one has 2 errors related to an image tag with a border attribute and  
  no
  alt text...  The teacher involved is a strong web standards advocate.
 
  My suggestion to EducationalNeworks... try web standards - they're not
  that hard.
 
  Cheers,
 
  Dave
 
  On Sat, 2009-01-17 at 22:47 +, David Dixon wrote:
  Perhaps the blatant disregard for common web standards could be the
  reason? (this is after all a web *standards* list and not a web
  designers list...)
 
  Lets see:
 
  - tables for layout
  - no alt attributes for images
  - obtrusive javascript (are professional companies really still
  getting away with the default Dreamweaver rollers???)
  - reliance on javascript for basic functionality
  - the marquee tag ?!?
  - no form labels
 
  So that's inaccessible, non-semantic and non-xhtml/html compliant
 
  ... im not sure i can stand to review any more of the site, the home
  page is enough to kill my spirit.
 
  David
 
  Rick Faircloth wrote:
  What did you find to be so bad about the site, Stuart?
 
  -Original Message-
  From: li...@webstandardsgroup.org [mailto:li...@webstandardsgroup.org 
  ] On Behalf Of Stuart
  Foulstone
  Sent: Saturday, January 17, 2009 2:11 PM
  To: wsg@webstandardsgroup.org
  Subject: Re: [WSG] Examples of great high-school websites?
 
 
  Perhaps the students should code the site - they couldn't do much  
  worse!
 
  On Fri, January 16, 2009 7:00 pm, Fred Ballard wrote:
  Take a look at Sullivan High School's http:// 
  www.sullivanhs.org/. As you
  can
  see in the homepage's lower right corner it's from the Chicago  
  Public
  Schools, http://www.cps.k12.il.us/, with a company, Educational  
  Networks,
  http://www.educationalnetworks.net/, behind it.
 
  Is it too slick? I'm of two minds. It's great that it's a good- 
  looking
  site,
  but it might be nice to let the students be the designers. I don't
  actually
  know what the students think about it, on the other hand.
 
  Fred
 
  On Thu, Jan 15, 2009 at 8:29 PM, David Lane d...@egressive.com  
  wrote:
 
  Oops - should've been Disclosure rather than Disclaimer :)
 
  On Fri, 2009-01-16 at 15:21 +1300, David Lane wrote:
  Disclaimer: I've had occasional association with the work  
  being done
  at
  Hagley, and have been a guest speaker to the computing  
  students on a
  couple occasions :)
  --
  David Lane = Egressive Ltd = d...@egressive.com = m:+64 21 229  
  8147
  p:+64 3 963 3733 = Linux: it just tastes better =  
  nosoftwarepatents
  http://egressive.com  we only use open standards: http://w3.org
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Re: [WSG] Users who deliberately disable JavaScript

2009-01-26 Thread David Lane
Given the increased number of threats and the availability of slick
script blocker extensions for Firefox like NoScript
(http://noscript.net/) it's only going to get more common, particularly
among security conscious people. I certainly use it, only enabling
Javascript for a site I'm visiting when I can see what benefit it has to
me.

Cheers,

Dave

On Tue, 2009-01-27 at 07:33 +1100, Jessica Enders wrote:
 Hi Pascal
 
 In the JavaScript/Accessibility/form validation discussion you  
 mention the growing number of users who purposefully disable  
 JavaScript. I'm always curious just how many people this is.
 
 Do you, or does anyone else, have any statistics on this? Is there a  
 reason you describe it as a growing number?
 
 Any information greatly appreciated.
 
 Cheers
 
 Jessica Enders
 Principal
 Formulate Information Design
 
 http://formulate.com.au
 
 Phone: (02) 6116 8765
 Fax: (02) 8456 5916
 PO Box 5108
 Braddon ACT 2612
 
 
 On 19/01/2009, at 11:14 PM, Simon Pascal Klein wrote:
 
  If there were further communication between the user and server  
  between submission of the form that would entail a page reload then  
  a screen user shouldn’t have an issue, whereas if JavaScript would  
  run in the background and inject errors or suggestions as it thinks  
  the user makes them (e.g. password complexity recommendations,  
  username not available messages) numerous accessibility issues arise.
 
  The only solution that came to mind was having a generic message  
  (such as ‘please fill out all marked (*) fields’ or the like) that  
  could be hidden using CSS and through JavaScript ‘unhidden’ when an  
  error appears (though it could only be a generic error). As dandy  
  as these automatic feedback and error messages are through  
  JavaScript maybe a full submission and subsequent page reload is  
  best—after all it’s impossible to tell those users using an  
  accessibility aid like a screen reader from those who do not, and  
  hey, the growing number of users who purposefully disable  
  JavaScript won’t see the glitzy JavaScript injected errors anyway.
 
  Just my 0.2¢.
 
 
  On 19/01/2009, at 5:52 PM, Rimantas Liubertas wrote:
 
  Isn't 'aria-required' a non-standard attribute?
 
  Sadly, yes. But there is some hope: it is possible that ARIA will be
  accepted in HTML5 and there is an initiative to provide validation  
  for
  (X)HTML+ARIA: http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/wai-xtech/ 
  2008Sep/0381.html
 
  Validator.nu already has experimental support for HTML5+ARIA, and I
  believe (did not check) http://qa-dev.w3.org/wmvs/HEAD/ provides the
  same for document type HTML5.
 
  There is also a possibility to add ARIA attributes with Javascript.
  All the options are controversial, but that's how it is for now :(
 
  Regards,
  Rimantas
  --
  http://rimantas.com/
 
 
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  ---
  Simon Pascal Klein
  Concept designer
 
  (w) http://klepas.org
  (e) kle...@klepas.org
 
 
 
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Re: [WSG] Users who deliberately disable JavaScript

2009-01-26 Thread David Lane
Hello Patrick,

On Mon, 2009-01-26 at 21:55 +, Patrick H. Lauke wrote:
 David Lane wrote:
  Given the increased number of threats and the availability of slick
  script blocker extensions for Firefox like NoScript
  (http://noscript.net/) it's only going to get more common, particularly
  among security conscious people. I certainly use it, only enabling
  Javascript for a site I'm visiting when I can see what benefit it has to
  me.
 
 As good as it is to hear anecdotal evidence from expert users such as 
 list members here, I'd say it's much more important to bring some actual 
 live user stats to the table. Most normal users don't even know that 
 the internet is not just the blue E on their desktop, or what 
 javascript is, or how to install extensions, or what security threats 
 are. Heck, most don't even know that they can zoom/text resize/print 
 most of the time, without having a widget or icon on the actual pages.

Agreed - the level of savvy of most user is absurdly low, and at present
few will know what Javascript is, much less how to disable it. The
question is whether people today design for today's users, or
tomorrow's... 

The trend will continue towards more sophisticated users, using better
browsers (i.e. not IE) which support useful plugins like NoScript and
their analogues for Opera, Webkit, etc. 

I suspect as more and more people get burned by identity theft and other
forms of exploitation, the pain individuals experience will provide a
strong motivation for learning. Also, organisations will increasingly
make that decision on behalf of their users to minimise their own
risk...

Cheers,

Dave

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David Lane = Egressive Ltd = d...@egressive.com = m:+64 21 229 8147
p:+64 3 963 3733 = Linux: it just tastes better = nosoftwarepatents
http://egressive.com  we only use open standards: http://w3.org
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