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Television Media

FOX.com Apologizes to Linux Users 171

Posted by Roblimo
from the it-was-all-a-mistake... dept.
OnlyNou writes "found this story at Linux Today." Apparently Fox did not intentionally exclude Linux users - along with users of all operating systems other than Mac and Windows - from fox.com, and is rectifying the error. Now if they made the site worth viewing in the first place, everything would be groovy with fox.com. (Free clue for Fox: start by dumping the flashy splash page. All it adds to the site is download time.*grin*)
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FOX.com Apologizes to Linux Users

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  • I don't think it was incompetence, really, just analness combined with ignorance. If you look at the script itself, it indicates that the writer wanted every person who viewed the site to view it the exact same way, without a pixel's difference. Thus, he had to check for browser and OS, since IE/win and IE/mac display differently, and NS/w and NS/m do too. And, of course, he checked for flash, and then decided to wrap all of this up into one script, all of the checks dependant on the other. And he knew not of Linux, and ended up excluding all alt OS's with a bad script. This is not the problem, however. The problem was the original intent of forcing everybody to see the exact same page.

    This can't really be called incompetence, as anyone capable of the lengths necessary to do this probably is capable of pretty much anything web-related. This here was a case of bad web design philosophy. The people who do this are highly-educated, technically-skilled, not-incompetent, fucking idiots.

    Of course, web designers have PHB's, too, especially since half the time they are still under the marketroids. Imagine trying to explain to a marketroid that flash is overrated or that a shift of one element by a few pixels across platforms is not fatal. Uugh. I know people who've had to work in situations like this, and it's not pretty.

    In short, I reserve judgement on the designer's competence until Rob gets the actual designer, instead of a talking head, to make a statement... or maybe an interview? :)
  • Designing a site in proper accordance with World Wide Web principles does not mean making your pages "boring and text-only", it does not mean you can't use whatever "latest and greatest technology" is de rigeur for your sacred cowser, and it does not mean you have to work harder. I recommend reading what the Pedantic Gang of Five have to say in comp.infosystems.www.authoring.html [authoring.html], with Alan Flavell and Arjun Ray being the most knowledgeable.
  • the e-mail Slashdot readers sent did a lot of good.

    In every group there are always those bashers that are ready to send hate mail to anyone who isn't "for" their cause. *Those* e-mails probably didn't do a lot of good at Fox. However, it sounded like a lot of people took the time to write quality level-headed e-mails to the right people. And for that I have a big thank-you to everyone.

    -Brent
  • At Shockwave's site the plugins for Linux don't work. I had the plugin 3.0 and upgrade to 4.0 with no changes.

    I don't know, why don't you download [macromedia.com] it, follow the installation instructions, and try again.

    As for RealAudio they say that we should have a working G2 version by the end of the millenium or early next millenium.

    I've been using the G2 player for months. Sure, they call it "alpha", but it is better then the Windows port, almost. Download [real.com] and install.

    -Brent
  • I was to the site, but I didnt have the energy or time to wait until the flashintro was finiched...
  • Ok, I've read the posts (and some email) regarding the design. The site does mallform a bit at 640x480, and it does have a "bad' colour scheme (hehe :-)). I'm going through an overhaul of the site right now. The "new" layout (not finished design) is located at www.thock.com/thock/ [thock.com]. It's a framed mainpage. This solves the problems of 640x480, allows me to have a PHTML nav bar top, and to have the "body" area filled with the body and the toc associated with the body. This means that I can also give "simple" body pages to clients if they don't support frames (basically losing the fanicer layout and extras that aren't essential to the site). This should provide a good balance for Lynx, IE, Netscape, etc, users.

    Suggestions for a new colour scheme are welcomed. I'll also be tweaking the "new" layout to incorporate everyone's suggestions.
    ---
  • why does this matter: a lot of sites are like this.

    if they are cared in the first place they would make it for everybody.
  • While all of you were so pissed that Linux couldn't use it, you seem to have forgotten that the rinky-dink intro javascript also denied users of a lot more OS's than Linux. Try BeOS, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, HP-UX, Solaris, NeXTStep, IRIX, BSD/OS, OSF, OS/2, and just about any other OS you can think of that doesn't run on a PC or isn't Windows.
    Stop your bitching and look at the big picture.
  • This is the first time I've ever really seen, what the community is able to do.

    It's quite impressive, that a major corporation has changed it's website to more linux friendly and even apologized linux users.

    I like it this way!

  • Apparently PCs running OS/2 STILL aren't considered a "PC or Mac" by the Fox people...

    ...Brains: You can't live with them, you can't... ummm... er...
  • I too have read /. for quite a while. I may be hallucinating, but it seems to me that the stupid ass commentary has increased since the Andover buyout and Roblimo came aboard. It use to just be CmdrTaco saying that he wanted some overpriced toy, now everyone is throwing in their two cents and sounding stupid. I'm wondering if Andover told them to stir things up a bit. Of course if they really wanted to stir thngs up they could just bring Sengan back.
  • by cje (33931) on Friday December 10, 1999 @07:58PM (#1469999) Homepage
    MURDOCH: LINUX IS THE BEST OPERATING SYSTEM EVER
    "Fuck M$", Says High-Powered Executive


    Note: This article subsumes a previous article [slashdot.org] posted by the United Press International.

    NEW YORK, NY (UPI) - Businessman Rupert Murdoch, chairman of the immense and powerful News Corporation, sang the praises of the popular Linux operating system today at Fox News Headquarters in New York. In addition, Murdoch also announced the cancellation of a previously-planned program entitled "World's Least-Supported Operating Systems." The program was part of Fox's new fall line-up.

    "What a jag-off I've been," admitted Murdoch.

    "We all do things in life that we're ashamed of," explained Murdoch. "For my part, I allowed myself to be swept up by a large, domineering corporation. I allowed myself to be manipulated. I allowed the rascals in Redmond to brainwash me." Murdoch's voice cracked dramatically at several points in his speech.

    "But we're past all of that now," continued Murdoch. "And I'm a better man because of it. That's why I say 'to hell with M$!' We will forge on! We will make history! The Fox network considers Linux to be the best operating system ever invented!" Murdoch spent the next several minutes explaining to reporters that the 'S' in "MS" was to be replaced with a dollar sign.

    "It's important," explained Murdoch.

    Candace Gorman, a public relations spokeswoman for the Fox network, made a few brief statements after Murdoch's comments. "I would like to make clear that Mr. Murdoch's statements and position reversal have absolutely nothing to do with the performance of Red Hat stock, and they certainly are unrelated to the record-setting IPO of VA Linux. Mr. Murdoch's stock portfolio is his own goddamn business."

    Ms. Gorman continued. "Additionally, I must also add that Mr. Murdoch's comments are unrelated to the successful IPO of Andover.Net. It is common knowledge that supporters of Andover.Net are a bunch of complete and total assholes. [slashdot.org]"

    Nick Petreley contributed to this story.
  • I am glad someone agrees with me...don't get me wrong...I value, and want to hear Roblimo's opinion, just not in the brief...I want to read it down below where I can consider EVERYTHING to be opinion...I think most of us expect the NewsByte to be factual (as much as possible) and not contain opinion...

    -Davidu
  • by cyoon (99971) on Friday December 10, 1999 @08:00PM (#1470001)
    Of course it was unintentional of FOX to have their site not support. I find it completely typical of Slashdotters to believe that the world is so out to get them and that they must all band together to make their mark in the world. Does anyone actually believe that FOX didn't want Linux users to view their site? Let's be realistic. Noticing that their site didn't recognize Linux was not Slashdot news. Who cares if it doesn't work? Just send a note to them and ask them to rectify it. To try to get everyone to jump on the Slashdot bandwagon was ludicrous to begin with.

    And after all this commotion, Slashdot has a right to complain that it isn't worth visiting anyway? WTF?

  • Well, now there will be an even bigger problem. Millions of Joe/Josefine Users will not be able to view the page. They'll be thinking "What? I could have sworn that I saw F-O-X-dot-C-O-M at the end of Ally McBeal. Hmm..maybe I'm wrong." and only *we* know what the problem is. Maybe they'll have to apologize next for their site being inavailable..."No, Fox.com was not down. There was an influx of people viewing our site due to it being viewed on Slashdot [slashdot.org]." Then all their users will follow the link and we'll be wondering "Hmm..is this the Twilight Zone or something? Slashdot NEVER gets slashdotted...strange...maybe they had to take down the site." And the process will have begun all over again.

    I found a penny on the ground today. Therefore, this is my $0.03 worth. I didn't need it anyway.
  • by Foogle (35117) on Friday December 10, 1999 @08:04PM (#1470003) Homepage
    You know, there's a lot of people who think like you, and I'm one of them.

    Yeah, get rid of the Flash intro screens. And while you're at it, get rid of those annoying animated buttons. And those blasted popup windows. And color too, because it's just a strain on my eyes. Actually, just get rid of all the images anyway; text is the way to go. Aw, fuck the text, let's just have a big array of lights on my desktop that I can use to view the contents of my CPU registers. Nah, forget that, that's a waste of lightbulbs... I'll just guess what's in the registers, because -- seriously -- it's more fun that way.

    Oh wait... I guess I don't agree with you.

    -----------

    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • by ReadParse (38517) <.john. .at. .funnycow.com.> on Friday December 10, 1999 @08:10PM (#1470004) Homepage
    Roblimo wrote:
    "Free clue for Fox: start by dumping the flashy splash page. All it adds to the site is download time."

    Sorry Rob, I've got to disagree with you on this. I'm sure the /. crowd is no fan of Flash, and there can be a multitude of reasons for it (in all honesty, there's a lot of "If it looks nice it must suck" in this community. Not everybody, but many).

    Anyway, amid all the reasons, download time shouldn't be it. Sure you *could* make a Flash movie that requires the browser to download all day before it starts, but most Flash downloads very quickly. And if it's big, there's a small initial download followed by streaming.

    That has been true from the earliest days of the technology, when it was called FutureSplash (before Macromedia bought it).

    Many of us geeks enjoy the whole multimedia experience, even in a web browser under the right circumstances, as long as it's done right and isn't forced upon us when we don't want it. Kind of like porn, now that I think about it :)

    RP

  • Does that mean that all the messages we may have sent them went to /dev/null?

    No, they most likely went to the "Recycle Bin." :)

  • I don't know if this works with Linux or not, but Fox News [foxnews.com] just re-vamped their website, in a simmilar move to the Parent Site [fox.com].

    Can you guys check it, I cannot from my present location [intuit.com].

    *Carlos: Exit Stage Right*

    "Geeks, Where would you be without them?"

  • Some people need graphics, animations and sounds to keep them interested.

    Then those people should go watch tele-vision. ;)

    I defy any assertion that jiggly-fied web pages get more traffic than content-at-all-costs ones do. I believe the numbers speak in favor of those who provide services or information, not eye-candy.

    Qualifier: I don't have a tv, and I spent about three hours tonight reading www.webelements.com. That's right, it's the periodic table. Some neat stuff in there. No flash.

    I can't see the fox site at all. There are no links. Pretty cool. Sorta artsy, all black and imposing.. Hmmm.. maybe it's a metaphor for some new dirge-comedy they have brewing. Damn, those kids are smart.

    --
    blue
  • I'm curious if the VA Linux IPO had never happened would this apology have come? I guess ten billion dollars equates legitimacy to a crazed few :)
    --
    "Some people say that I proved if you get a C average, you can end up being successful in life."
  • Jesus christ I cant belive the ego with most of you. Do you think a bunch of FOX exec's sat around one day and said "Ohh lets SCREW the linux crowd."..

    Hell maybe it was even a product of the evil empire. I bet that there was a special team form Microsoft that came down there and said "Dont allow linux users to view your site or.. or.. or.. we will do bad things to you!".

    My god grow up.

  • What I'm even more curious about is how many emails did the webmaster/PR team received.

    What is puzzling and strange is that it took someone from LinuxToday to escalate the issue at Fox. Does that mean that all the messages we may have sent them went to /dev/null?

    Anyway, its good to know they will comply, but they could speed it up quickly than saying it will be done by 12/17 -- it's not that difficult modification. I guess theyre probably trying to track down who actually runs the website. :)
  • Well, I was visiting their site with JavaScript shut off (so that their detection code wouldn't work). I quite enjoy their content (on the X-files site) and I just think their web designers went "over the top" with the creation of the page.

    For instance, the opening splash screen REQUIRES javascript to click-through ... (to skip the intro).

    I sent them two notices about three weeks apart about why I couldn't see their page and how to fix it properly. It seems that enough of us were nice this time (as opposed to the slashdot effect on the GIF patents).

    :-)
  • I still can't view it. So who cares about the apology?
  • Check out "Thugs On Film" at www.shockwave.com. Hilarious.
  • I'll believe it when I see it, but just to check, I load up fox.com. However, now I'm on a windows box.

    All I wanted to do was view the source of the page, but this Shockwave stuff loads automatically and I can't stop it with the "Stop" button. Frickin' plug-ins.

    "hard-hitting"... "always on"... "FOX.com"... "This program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down."

    Oops. Maybe basic HTML *would* be a better idea. :)
    ---
    pb Reply or e-mail rather than vaguely moderate [152.7.41.11].
  • Its always great to see big commercial companies bend their will to help us. I mean, they could have just said "ah, screw it, none of those nerds ever watch TV anyways" but they didn't. It's showing how large companies are willing to accept linux as a big thing now.

    Just imagine Joe Schome TV watcher... "wow, they made their page compatable with linux? they bent to the linux users demands? there might be something in this linux thing i havnt seen. maybe i'll try it"

    then he spends a week whining, crying, and complaining about how it doesnt like him, but still... one less windows user ;-)
  • So much for the apology... I still get the refused page. maybe if they had more linux people on their staff they may now how to fix it.
  • Yeah, but they're a tv station. TV is flashy, catches the eye. What the hell did you expect? This isn't the website for National Geographic, or PBS... it's fox, the station that brings you the simpsons, and other stuff that pales in comparison to the simpsons.
  • This REALLY doesn't deserve a +5 score! It was only given it because it mentions linux advocacy, and the linux advocacy HOWTO...

    (sigh)
  • Exactly. I had added a nice splash page to a site I was working on. Took no time to load. My bossed liked it, the board members like it, and the initial reaction was great. Then, the user feedback came in...

    "Why do we have to have another page to get where we want to go?" They said.

    I pulled the splash page the next day.

  • I don't think it has Flash, but boy they screwed up the colors big time. Unless my contrast is way off, some text is unreadable.

    Look at the stock quotes on top, they are black foreground against a dark blue background !!! HELLO ???
    Then the links on the right are blue against another blue background ... Have these guys heard about the concept of contrasting colors ?!?!

    I'm about to send a screen shot to the interface hall of shame website.
  • The problem with Flash is that people over-use it. If you use it sparsely to spice up your navigation, it not only loads fast (it's vector) but can make for more stable rollovers then Javascript.

    Jus my $.02

    --Jon
  • especially when there's a better way. Put a small flash movie on the first page which just loads the front page of the flashed site. Auto refresh in 3 seconds or so to the non-flashed site. If they have flash, they'll go to the flash site, else they'll go to the other. I don't understand why people go nuts with the javascript.
  • by jetpack (22743) on Friday December 10, 1999 @08:47PM (#1470033) Homepage
    I guess the best way to add to your karma on this story is to bash roblimo, so I must play the karma whore and do:

    ObKarmaWhore: Roblimo is a lewser and doesnt know jack shit about journalism! He must be roasted over the pit for all eternity!

    blah. Get over it people. Slashdot is *not* journalism, and the folks that run slashdot know it. They just point us to things they think geeks might be interested in knowing about. And that's why slashdot is such a great site.

    You can bitch about the article contents, but please dont bitch that this isn't journalism because by definition it is not

    When I've perfected my whiny-slashdot-filter program, I'll be sure to let you all know. Maybe even that guy that puts grits down his pants will use it.
  • Unlike some more pure geeks (I guess), I enjoy some good animations and well designed eye candy on a web site. I like to be given the option of skipping animations and whatnot, but I usually let them load and watch them (the first time ;-).

    The first time I visited the Vigilance game site [vigilance.com], I found the introduction informative, interesting and even a little fun.
    Considering Fox [fox.com] is a television network and aims for visual pleasure of its viewers in general, I don't see why they wouldn't use lots of eye candy on their website.

    I have a problem, as I reported to them twice by E-mail, with their limiting of the possibility of even viewing their site without certain technologies / platforms. I do not have a problem with the use of Flash animations [shockrave.com] or any other kind of eye-catching material. The web is not, as some may try to purport, all about "information". Yes, its a great information source, but its also about entertainment.

    I enjoy being entertained, and some days, I even enjoy being advertised to ... I'm a real person ;-).

    Have a nice day all ...
  • while I agree with your comments about everyone making things fit into 640 width, I see that you're page is just as guilty about assuming what size type will come out.

    A general rule of thumb is that all dimensions should either be set in pixels or left to flow by points. Never mix the two.

    At 640 your central column bleeds into the slashdot green nav column, at 1600 it's vice versa. The new version is made even worse by the fixed width frameset; "Destinations", "thock.com", and "Adventures" all spilled out of the frame's width and require scrolling to read. I won't even go into the blue on slashdot green issue since that's already been brought up....

    As long as people forget (or don't know) that HTML is a markup language, not a page definition language, we will continue to see some of the hideous travesties of design that are the mark of today's "Web Designers". (I'm not talking about thock.com here, the internal @Home web pages are far more like what I'm talking about... too bad NT's screen capture facility doesn't work under SMP with my video card drivers; I'd post some screen shots to show what I mean. ;)
  • This can't really be called incompetence, as anyone capable of the lengths necessary to do this probably is capable of pretty much anything web-related. This here was a case of bad web design philosophy. The people who do this are highly-educated, technically-skilled, not-incompetent, fucking idiots.

    Quite well said, I must say. In my experience, these people are quite intelligent, as you mention, and are completely clueless w.r.t. why people wouldn't "just use the latest and greatest?"

    I have a cable modem -- I don't design my website arounda cable modem. I've tried to make my page browser-friendly with a mix of javascript and <noscript> tags.

    I went to a site that had used an animated GIF for an intro screen (ACC Telecommunications [acctel.net] - no longer there) that was over 80k and I optimised it down to 22k (same quality) with Gifsicle [lcdf.org]. I E-mailed it to them and they actually used it.

    Fox, on the other hand, doesn't even seem to notice its E-mail (as the reporter mentions re: their phone calls to the technical people in the article). Not paying attention to customers is going to kill any company, on any front.

    Technical (in)competance aside, I think we (the community) should be trying to get the attention of the major web design firms and authors (websites re: design, like Webmonkey [webmonkey.com]) to realise the truths of webdesign that we've mentioned.

    I've got a couple comments on my new web design page [linuxsupportline.com], but nothing sophisticated enough. Yet.

    Lets win this by making awareness ...
  • I was referring to websites in general, not just Fox.

  • I think various usability studies have shown that almost all web user are out to get something,and don't li having to wait longer than they have to. Apparently there is a suprisingly large number of people who will hit the back button before a less than quick download finishes.
  • Hear Hear...

    --

    However this really has nothing to do with Linux, or even [alt*] OSes, but browers, and complete lack of support between them.

    Mlk

    * I hate the word Alt, as Be is my primary OS. Each time its used you seem to be putting yourself below windows. Well in my opionon anyway.
  • maybe not, but the blind do watch, uh, listen TV. sure, they lose the visual part of TV, but they also don't have the visual part of real life, so where's the difference?


    )O(
    the Gods have a sense of humour,
  • The front page has commentary for all stories, and as long as the staff's commentary is obviously their own words, I don't see anything wrong. The italicized text is supposed to be the scoop, while the normal text is the staff's comments to the scoop. For the actual news, you have to click on the link. This is what Slashdot is.

    Maybe there should be a preference to disable the staff's two cents. My only request is that they think about what they write first. They need to realize that Slashdot is a powerful medium, and many posters post without reading the article first. The summary is all they have.

    Talking about how they don't like Fox's web site is one thing, but saying that a preliminary copyright ruling could, "destroy the web and all" is not responsible journalism. Obviously, CmdrTaco didn't read or think about the story before making the comment. How many people were at the water cooler today complaining that the web's days are numbered?
  • Hmmm...maybe I'll change 'incompetent' to 'not wide enough thinker'. Although I think there is a fine line between 'ignorance', 'fucking idiot' and incompetent :)

    Dana
  • get a better browser and a faster internet connection if you can't handle flash. if all sites were in plain text and had no graphics, there would be no need for the masses to have faster internet connections and TECHNOLOGY WOULD CEASE TO ADVANCE. boohoo, i have a 14.4 modem and slashdot.org's fancy graphics take too long to load, please make it text and take out the vowels to conserve bandwidth. not going to happen, wtf is on fox.com that you are being withheld from seeing anyway? its all shitty content about ally mcbeal anyway, but thats another storry
  • by Inoshiro (71693) on Friday December 10, 1999 @08:55PM (#1470047) Homepage
    IMHO, it's not just Fox that are at fault here, it's commerical "web design" in general. Ever notice how places like PCWeek [pcweek.com], Altavista [altavista.com], mp3.com [mp3.com], and many -- many -- others use pages replete with br and such to force the 640x480 look on people? Most of the time it's not even centred, forcing me to stare at the left 30% of my monitor.

    There is no excuse why this should be. Give me my content, give it to me nicely, and, damnit, let me view it in my browser window at proper scaling. There was an artcle on some site about Slashdot long ago. I had to use Opera to magnify the page view 300% for it to show the "content" at a decent size in my 1024x768 desktop. When I started using Linux exclusively (with Windows as a glorfied Nintendo), the problem was exacerbated by the simple fact that the pages designed to look great at 640x480 also assumed a bunch of fonts (which I did later setup, thanks to the ttf font server in the Slackware contrib dir).

    Why bother to take the time, spend lots of your company moola, only to come up with a hard-coded, useless, junky site?

    Flash? Great -- what's the point? Slow downloads suck, and I'm on a cable modem! The only site I've seen to use Flash in a compelling way (in terms of "mainstream" sites), is After Y2K [geekculture.com]. With Cascading Style Sheets, it is trivial to implement really nice looking sites that scale well. Netscape, Opera, and (gahck) IE support CSS very well, as does Mozilla. With Lynx, it's a non-issue ;-)

    If anyone doesn't understand what I mean, go look at my webserver (Thock.com [thock.com]) for an example of how I write my HTML (which is all hand written, and generally tested well). I'll also welcome any comments anyone has on my HTML, I am writing an HTML primer, and related, documents for the webserver.
    ---
  • It sounds like they just need to fire their web developers. A web site for a company like Fox is like a brochure. Not only should everybody be able to see it, but it ought to look nice to everybody; that's what marketing is all about, appealing to as many people as possible. They should just get some decent developers and this problem won't come up!
  • Welcome to Slashdot, 1999: Year of the Fucked Up Moderation System.

    I've posted several things on this topic.

    -Chris
  • And the readability of Slashdot is any better? Green on White text? Do you know how badly that fries your eyes after an hour or so? And the clutter on the front page? C'mon, give 'em a break... they'r eusing technology and making some eye candy, let the marketing hype do it's thing...
  • Since you mentioned it, I checked to see if it would be possible to do anything with flash to make it work better. It turns out that you can get the source code, and the file format spec, for flash. I am very impressed by the fact that they realize exactly what they are doing. check out their FAQ [macromedia.com]. They realize that what they're doing isn't open source, and say so. They are calling it "free source", which means that they own it, they maintain it, but you can look at it. Cool. also check out this page [macromedia.com] for more info.

    I respect macromedia a lot more than I did before I read that, since they obviously have people who can think checking on what they are saying on their web site.
    #define X(x,y) x##y
  • My /dev/null actually just cats to /lost+found/RecycleBin. That way, I don't actually delete anything when I delete something. If I REALLY want to get rid of something, and I'm absolutely sure, I use /dev/null2.

    :)
  • Wow, you were right! It is a Lynx unfriendly site. All I got when I loaded it up was the page title and a single "[EMBED]" word.
    Later...
  • Ok - but where do you draw the line?
    For example, with my own personal web site, I made great efforts to retain compatibility with the majority of browsers/platforms out there.

    (After all, why work long and hard to build a site that a good part of your audience can't view properly afterwards?)

    Unfortunately, I reached a point where I wanted to do more than just text, static images, and some tables. I decided against the proprietary plug-ins, and went with Java. After all, Java was made to be cross-platform compatible. Well, guess what? Now I have more complaints than ever from people who can't view my site because my menus are in Java and they don't have Java support working on their browser!

    I think at some point, you have to make the decision to upgrade technology at the expense of those who refuse to keep up. Otherwise, there can be no progress. This is as true for web site design as it is for PC hardware. "Sorry pal, we just don't offer this program on 5.25" floppy disks anymore...."

    This isn't necessarily a "war on people's minds" or an example of "Brave New World" mentality. This is just people trying to make use of the new tools that are provided for them.
  • IMHO, it's not just Fox that are at fault here, it's commerical "web design" in general. Ever notice how places like PCWeek, Altavista, mp3.com, and many -- many -- others use pages replete with br and such to force the 640x480 look on people? Most of the time it's not even centred, forcing me to stare at the left 30% of my monitor.

    basically the reason that pages are scrunched to somewhat narrow widths is due to text readability. if you stretch out text too far it becomes hard to read. usability test show that your eyes have a hard time keeeping track what line they are on when the page is really wide.

    personally I like 'stretchy' sites as opposed to fixed width and I just narrow the window when I have a-lot of text(and usually bump up the font size)

  • I kinda agree. I expected it to stay around 2, but my god it went straight to 5 and then back to 4! Not that I ever want my posts moderated down, but man, that was extreme!
  • I do web stuff and a lot of clients insist on doing stupid things like Flash splash screens and stupid animated gifs. We urge them to reconsider and explain to them that we have their users' best interests (which means their best interests) at heart but they ignore us. In the end, they control the purse strings. I wouldn't be surprised if that is what happenend here.
  • Aggh! It drives me bonkers! You can't click on the little buttons beside each of the links! (I know they're not buttons, but they look like them and they should be part of the link anyway)
  • Roblimo has considerable influence, what is wrong with suggesting a little more accountability? Slashdot isn't journalism, but he has quite a pulpit.
  • Not only should everybody be able to see it, but it ought to look nice to everybody

    I'm not saying that you shouldn't throw in advanced features for users that can take advantage of it. I'm simply saying that they should not call the web site "finished" until everybody, even those with mosaic, 640x480 on a B&W monitor can have a good experience on it. I'm not saying "lowest common denominator", I'm saying "include everybody" and make it as nice as you can considering the limitations of the browser.
  • by Listerine (7695) on Friday December 10, 1999 @10:03PM (#1470071) Homepage
    My biggest qualm with the intro movies is that I usually open in new window and forget about it for 10 minutes, rendering useless the animation.

    If I wanted to be force fed flashy graphics, I'd watch TV.
  • And before I get too far, the war is NOT to make all sites Linux-accessable. The war is to make all web sites usable under any standards- following browsing situation, from the lastest IE/NS versions, to Lynx, to blind/visually impared users, to WebTV users, to cel phone uses. HTML is meant to gracefully degrade when the browsing situation cannot handle certain elements (such as IMG on text browsers).

    Key issues to do this is separating presentation from content (thanks to the use of style sheets), providing alternate content when appropriate (using ALT tags as well as the much-welcomed OBJECT tag), and in general, making sure to validate the HTML code you write (just as you would use "use Strict" in perl, or compile your programs for errors in C or other languages).

    Unfortunately, I'd estimate 90% of commercial websites (and a larger percentage of personal pages) do not follow the above. The crap of HTML tag soup that FrontPage and other HTML authoring software puts out is poor quality, and while it's ok to set up the basic HTML, most good authors know they have to clean up the tag soup before putting it out. Even then, too many people try to force HTML into acting like a desktop publishing language.

    What will help is the blind accessibly lawsuit against AOL. Before that was announced, I know I heard rumblings of a major suit of this nature by sight-impared people because they could not use a service provided by the gov't. Sure, it's still a long way before Joe Q's "WAY PAST K00L HOMEPAGE" is going to need to be site-impared accessible, but there's plenty of reason to make more commercial sites more accessible.

    The best way for everyone on the Linux side to help is that the next time a site like Fox.com comes up where Linux users are shunned, email said site maintainers and point out it's not just Linux that is shunned, but anyone not using a "status quo" box. Sure, that might only be 5% of the potental viewing audience, but that's also 5% of potental customers. Point them to sites like www.websitesthatsuck.com [websitesthatsuck.com] which run down the bad tricks that should be avoided, and to www.w3c.org [w3c.org] which have validators and other helpful information for writing clean HTML. And the key thing to remember is that it takes more work to make a web site less accessible than it does to make them fully accessible.

  • People are all up in arms because "Linux is excluded." Big deal. Imagine for a moment that you are blind. (If your imagination isn't that good try the following command:

    $lynx http://fox.com

    Try to get some usable content from the resulting screen.

    THAT is the real tragedy here.

    It's late (early?), I'll shut up and go to bed now.

  • The 30-second Flash Intro on fox.com makes more sense if you consider it this way:
    Watch TV for a while. The TV format has 30-second intros (basically). It seems to work pretty well, considering the number of people that continue to watch TV.
    Now when you get done watching your couple hours of television, notice at the end of some show a reference to a web address: www.fox.com [fox.com]. Hmm, why not? Go over to your computer, fire up www.fox.com, watch another 30-second intro just like you've been watching for the past few hours on the television, and lapse back into advertisement land and learn all about Ally McBeal on your new favourite website.

    Or something like that.

    Generally speaking, all of this requires that you _not_ be the average slashdot reader, but I think you can see what I'm talking about anyway.
  • if you didn't like the site why did you even bother complaining about it in the first place
  • So let me get this straight...

    If Roblimo, instead of saying:

    "Now if they made the site worth viewing in the first place, everything would be groovy with fox.com."

    had instead said:

    "Thanks for all the great work Fox, we appreciate your effort."

    then you'd all be happy?

    You're saying it's ok to post positive, feel-good commentary but negative commentary makes the Linux community look bad? Or as Amit said, the commentary has to be as "impartial as possible" ??

    Give me a break. Just because Slashdot has gotten big doesn't mean it has to get impersonal. If Roblimo, CmdrTaco, or Hemos wants to post a comment in a news item then more power to them. If I don't like their comment, I'll take them to task in a comment of my own. But I won't start complaining that I don't like their comments so they shouldn't make them or be allowed to post them on the front page.
  • Well, probably not every combination. I think the following would be enough:

    MSIE4/Windows
    MSIE5/Windows
    Netscape 4.7/Windows
    Opera/Windows
    Netscape 4.7/MAC
    MSIE 4.5/MAC
    Netscape/Linux

    eventually Lynx/Windows

    Argh. Thats why my desk is cluttered with keyboards.
  • Why do they appologise, while they haven't corrected the problem yet? I run Netscape 4.5 on a RedHat 6.0 system, and was unallowed to enter their site right now. It told me I needed to run a PC (I do. But not with MS Windows)... So what reason do they have to appologise, and what reason do we have to accept their appologise? None.

  • I think that the the script you are discussing is not the same as the problem with the Fox page. I experience a lot of pages that pop up telling me I need to get the flash plugin when I do have it installed and working (even Macromedia's own pages do this), but most of the time you can at least cancel and see any non-flash content.

    How the fox.com script worked was discussed before, and it was just pitiful (if ! win || mac && ! netscape || ie then throw out)..

    -
    We cannot reason ourselves out of our basic irrationality. All we can do is learn the art of being irrational in a reasonable way.
  • Today's web pages are so full of animations of anykind. What are there goals anyway: sale things on the web or inform people. You can't go on those sites without being invade by publicity. I think this is sad.

    Don't consider yourself being invaded, consider it a very fair exchange: A couple of seconds' worth of your attention in exchange for a service. You may find it sad, but if it weren't for advertising, the amount of good information available on the web absolutely free would be miniscule compared to what it is. And that would be truly sad, because the Internet wouldn't have seen the phenomenal acceptance and growth it's been through in the last decade. (I won't even go into the huge positive economic impact.)

    This happened with the print media centuries ago, radio 80 years ago and television 50 years ago. There are bills to be paid for providing content at a bargain price (sometimes free) to a large audience, and your choices are to charge for it, take on advertisers or go bankrupt and close your doors. Radio and TV stations have the same monthly operating expenses whether they've got ten thousand or ten million people tuned in at a given instant. More listeners/viewers means higher ad rates and therefore revenue at very little (if any) extra expense. Once you pass the break-even point, every additional person means a profit, and that's why you're in business to begin with.

    Print media and web sites are a different story because they have increased costs to bear as more prople use them. Magazines have to print and deliver more copies; web sites have to add bandwidth and server capacity. Call a national ISP sometime and ask them what a full T3 costs. Multiply that figure by 4 or 5 and you've got what a Yahoo! or MapQuest is paying for Internet access alone. Then add the cost of racks of servers and the facilities and staff to run them and provide the content. It adds up very quickly.

    I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that if an oft-used site like MapQuest [mapquest.com] dropped their advertising started charging for their services, there'd be something about it here on Slashdot and 500 replies about how terrible it is. (And it would be pretty terrible. I remember the bad old days of the mid 1980s when you had to pay an online service a pretty hefty fee to look at airline schedules.)

    In terms of the Fox site, it's not about providing information, it's about getting more viewers for their shows. You visit Fox.com, see a banner for their new show When Slashdotters Attack, decide it's worth watching and plop down on the sofa to watch it. That's one more set of eyeballs seeing the national ads, and a few cents more Fox can charge their advertisers for 30 seconds of air time. The advertisers get the exposure they want, and in exchange you get 22 minutes of entertainment absolutely free.

    If it were just about providing information, Fox would have a single, static home page listing their programs and what they're about. Web sites are like electronic brochures, and you can bet that the boring ones get passed over. Fox is a TV network, and the TV business lives on glitz. They want to be able to give visitors to their web site the same glitzy experience they'd get if parked in front of the tube watching channel 5. Their web designers chose a good vehicle for it that unfortunately excluded Unix users. But they've promised to rectify the problem, and that's a step in the right direction.

  • I'll have to agree with you on this point. While there are many types of methods for communication, usually the best one is the direct method. Using flashy plugins and other such media is more of a waste of my time than anything---especially when I'm searching for something specific. As someone else already mentioned, if I cannot get the main idea about a website in less than 10 seconds I will usually go on to the next one. Waiting for flash to do it's thing just doesn't cut it---maybe when I have my own DSL line things will change, but until then...
  • I still can't view it. So who cares about the apology?

    I think this is a terrible attitute to take, and most definitely doesn't deserve a +1 moderated score. Reform takes time, and they gave a target date that is within reason. If they had said something like 'Wait till 2011' then ya, an attitude like that is well deserved, but they said things would be good to go within a week, which is not too bad since they are not in the business of providing web content. We can expect 1 day turnaround from companies like Netscape, Yahoo, AOL, etc... who claim to be portal, web-content based companies, but from a company who used the web as a way to transfer info, I think a week is okay.

    Anyway, I'm hammered (way too many rye/cokes at the company Xmas party), and really have no time for people with:
    a) no patience (expocting an instant fix to as problem)
    b) an attitude that does nothing but make Linux users look like a bunch of whiners.

    They are addressing the problem, which is far more than any Microsoft employee, deptarment, group, etc... has ever done.

    -dr

  • As was commented on the "Bruce Perens to sue Corel" story, there will always be someone to apologize when someone fucks up. A big corporations's apology isn't worth an AOL CD. They have people hired just to apologize in a situation like this!

    If you read their "apology", it is more or less the same thing that any half-smart person would write while trying to save his/her ass in a situation like this.

    I haven't had a lot of sleep lately, so my thought2text script isn't working very well. Someone help me out here... link to the comment about the Corel story or something.

    --

  • Now that you have convinced me that every web page must be viewable by _every_ prospective user, I suggest the following guidelines:

    1. For the Coleco Adam users (there were 29,629 visitors to "Coleco Adam's House" - http://www.flash.net/~coleco/main.htm - so they do exist), Opera Software needs to port a version of their browser, and ensure that it is available on 256K digital datapack tapes. I doubt that there are modems available for the Adam, but, hey, it the equal opportunity that counts, isn't it?

    2. There are still CP/M users who might want to fire up MEX and peruse Fox's content, so I think that Fox, and Wired, and /., ought to make their content easily accessible to those forgotten users. Telnet and terminal access today!

    3. Gopher is a protocol now seldom used, and that is inexcusable. Do Disney or Microsoft or Amazon ever consider the Gopher user when they design their sites? No! I think we should all write letters of protest about this omission. Why, neglecting Gopher users is the same as putting signs up saying 'No Blacks Allowed" or "Homosexuals Not Welcome Here " or anything else that excludes or denies!

    This is just the start of the revolution. I have a Vic-20 and a TI-99/4A that glare balefully at me whenever I connect to the net (okay, maybe there is slight anthromorphism here), and I think that /. should spearhead a new Open Source project to provide Internet connectivity to those beloved platforms.

    Let us all unite in this important struggle! Linux today, the HP-67 tomorrow!
  • Slashdot isn't journalism. It's not even news. Journalism would mean researched stories with a sense of accuracy without bias. News would mean something akin to fully fleshed out articles describing what's this and that about, explaining everything you need to know to understand the news, the whole story, perhaps with a few links at the bottom to cite sources or better explain details.

    But Slashdot isn't either of these. Sure, /.-specific things like Ask Slashdot or an interview now and then comes close, if properly done. However, the majority of the stories posted are nothing but a link to real, fully fleshed out article. And that's what people come here for. /. picks up the stories that would most likely interest its viewers, and promotes those out of the general roar of the internet.

    Yeah, the comment system, blah blah blah, Slashdot community, blah blah blah. Slashdot is links, that's what it's good for. If want something more, by all means, start a site with some journalistic undertones. /. is for something totally different though.
  • I'm no webmaster but, unless their setup is truly bizarre, deleting the check for browser and OS should take about 20 seconds

    Maybe it's not their setup, but their procedures that are bizarre (or, in business terms, "normal").

    You know:
    - appoint project manager
    - Draft work effort document
    - Have budget approved
    - Plan changes
    - Draft functional and technical specs
    - Have specs approved
    - Form project team
    - have team delete check for browser
    - Do code reviews
    - System and acceptance tests
    - Roll out changes

    On a more serious (and scarier) note: I just noticed that when I access any page on our company intranet with Netscape, I automagically get redirected to a page "http://blablabla.bla.bla/noie.html". No IE?!? All our pages are created with MS Frontpage, and it seems this "feature" is part of Frontpage or Microsofts web server. Grrrrr.
  • I'm not saying that they deserved all of the nasty mail that I assume they got, but they sure learned how many people want to have the linux option available to them. Putting the word out. It was news to make a point, and I think it did. I would never say that Fox was an evil corporation (wait, aren't they all?), but they have now actually been introduced to our friendly OS and maybe the fervour with which they were flamed will lead them to our higher ground.

    \/This .sig sounded funny when I thought of it\/
    \/soon to be replaced by real humour\/
  • by Travoltus (110240) on Friday December 10, 1999 @07:15PM (#1470104) Journal
    The liberal adherence to, and application of, the Linux Advocacy HOWTO [linux.com]. Know it Live it Love it And you'll see more positive results like this.
  • It's all well and good that fox.com has apologized, but I'd prefer the apology to be accompanied by a fix. I'm no webmaster but, unless their setup is truly bizarre, deleting the check for browser and OS should take about 20 seconds. What exactly is their problem? I am not booting to winbloze just to have the experience of viewing there site. My uptime is too important to my ego :)
  • Today's web pages are so full of animations of anykind. What are there goals anyway: sale things on the web or inform people. You can't go on those sites without being invade by publicity. I think this is sad. They want to reach the mass so they build the latest plug-in technology running on the latest browser on the world #1 selling OS (not the best). The first thing we know is that those pages do not have any valuable information on it...
  • ...they fired whatever company they hired to create their pages in the first place. I don't think it was an attack on the linux community in the first place, it was merely incompetance. No one should be *forced* to download a plugin to view your site, suggest it, sure, but offer a link to a page that doesn't have Flash (especially since Flash is usually used only on the entrance page anyway!)

    And why would you want incompetent people to design your site?
  • by Galois (37155) on Friday December 10, 1999 @07:22PM (#1470110) Homepage
    We used to have a Flash intro screen on our site. We even won Macromedia's Site of the Day. Most of the user feedback we got from users was about the Flash Intro - it was actually turning lots of people away.

    Now, the first thing I do when I see a Flash Intro is look for the "skip intro" button, or hit the back button as fast as possible.

    Flash can be a very usefull tool when used properly, and a time soaking intro is not a proper use. Sites start to loose eyeballs if everything isn't loaded in 5 seconds, so what on earth makes anyone thing that a 30 second intro is going to do any good.
    - daniel

  • I think the important thing is they are trying. Only if they would speed up and get the site up quicker, and it's a very simple mod so it shouldn't take more than a day. Oh well.
  • by MoNickels (1700) on Friday December 10, 1999 @07:25PM (#1470112) Homepage

    I just want to comment for the umpteenth time in the umpteenth place: web designers should not be using the canned Javascript code that is supposed to diagnose whether a user has Flash/Shockwave installed. It comes with the entire range of Macromedia Flash/Shockwave products and is available in various places around the web

    That diagnostic code is faulty. It does not work properly. It misdiagnoses. It's wrong. It comes up with bogus download-the-plugin messages and/or shuts out zillions of users (like me) who actually have the plugin. It makes you look like a chump and your site look half-assed.

    What you should do, if you're using Flash/Shockwave in your site design, is leave out the diagnostic code and let that dumb little you-don't-have-the-plugin icon show up for the tiny handful of users that don't have it. You can offer those three or four people a link nearby for a non-Flash/Shortwave version of your site. Dump the diagnostic code.

    It's so strange to me that a site which spends thousands to look good doesn't test the project on every platform, every browser. Lame.

  • Rather than looking to TV for an example, look to "normal" (ie: non-web) computer programs. Most have a splash screen of some sort, consisting mostly of the program name, a copyright notice, and some fancy graphic.

    Most people don't complain about these. Moreover, they actually have a purpose. They are there to "hide" the program start-up. Most programs take a second or 2 (or in the case of MS' programs, a minute or 2 (sorry, couldn't resist)) to load up, into memory. Rather than sit there, loading, and doing nothing visibly, leaving the user to wonder, "did I actually click the icon? does the program actually work?", the splash screen provides some sort of feedback to inform the user that something is, indeed happening.

    And this is a Good Thing (TM). One of my biggest pet peeves about XEmacs (an otherwise nice program (no flamewars, please!)) is that it doesn't do that. It just sits there and loads in the background, and I never know whether it's loading or not, for the first several minutes.

    So the natural impulse to most web designers, when creating a web site, is to treat it as a standalone program. For the most part, I think this actually works. Except for a few things, like the splash screen.

    Since the splash screen takes just as long to load as the normal starting page would, it becomes useless. Moreover, you can tell when the main screen loads. Even if, for whatever reason, the main page takes a while to load, you can still tell when the process has started. You can still tell when the site exists. So the splash screen becomes pointless. Redundant.

    In fact, if -- as is apparently the case here (I haven't actually checked the site out myself) -- the splash screen takes a long time to load, it is counterproductive. It re-introduces the very problem it was designed to solve.

    But most web designers, for whatever reason, don't realize this intuitively. The splash screen seems just as valid (especially when they are designing it on a local system) as it would have been on a standalone program.

    So it becomes up to us ("us" being the web-browsing public) to inform them that their lovely splash screen is, in fact, detrimental to fluid browsing.


    Just a few thoughts of mine... don't kill me over them :-)
    --
    - Sean
  • I can assure you that _this_ kind of publicity will cause at least a major slap in the neck of their web-company. If fox is hard, they fire the company, if they are cute, they'll get their web-page for free or very cheap for the year or so.
    There is major competition in the web-designer business (a company I work for had to compete for a client against a "free webhosting + design for the first year" offer from a rival), and cute clients know that. So they will use every failure you make to get something cheaper.
    Some clueless people seem to have nothing else to do than to write email to companies about their websites (why do you use cookies? your background is too bright! your pages load too slow! why can't I...? why don't you...?) and everything gets forwarded to the webdesigners who then have to investigate why some asshole on the other end of the world has a shitty provider/browser/ broken os/14.4k modem and whatnot and reply with a sensible answer. But the same company would eventually fire you if just wrote a fully navigator 3.0/ie 3.0-compatible page without frames+plugins+javascript, cause they all use a fast connection with newer browsers and compare your design with the overloaded ones you can see everywhere.
    In this case the complaint was rightfull, but I wouldn't be surprised if that exact design was demanded by fox.
  • Why did Linux Today do the followup instead of Slashdot? Why not? Emmett Plant, the LinuxToday reporter who wrote the story, is a friend, not an enemy. I knew he was working on this story and encouraged him, even fed him a lead or two.

    In the "old media" world, sure, Emmett and I would be racing to get the scoop and would trample each other for it, but in this case it would have been pointless. Sure, competition is good, but there are plenty of cases where cooperation is better.

    Emmett put a lot of work into that story and did a great job with it. Go, Emmett!

    BTW, you're right about how hard it was to track down the people who actually run Fox's site. Even the Fox media relations people didn't know.

    Another BTW: the e-mail Slashdot readers sent did a lot of good. According to a couple of (anonymous) people inside Fox, there was some major embarassment over this, and there are many employees there who are as frustrated as anyone else with the long, slow, bureaucratic process they must go through to get approval for a Web site change that is only going to take an hour or so to actually implement.

    - Robin

  • by Tom Christiansen (54829) <tchrist@perl.com> on Saturday December 11, 1999 @05:59AM (#1470121) Homepage
    Remember this:
    ``Anyone who slaps a `this page is best viewed with Browser X' label on a Web page appears to be yearning for the bad old days, before the Web, when you had very little chance of reading a document written on another computer, another word processor, or another network.''

    --Tim Berners-Lee in Technology Review, July 1996
    The web has been co-opted by forces who want to commit all the same evils as we thought we were escaping. Reading over the responses to this article, it doesn't seem like we're making much headway. We've got people whose companies assume an "MSIE or die" mentality. We've got rampant use of unportable, closed-source viedo games posing as plug-ins. We have people requiring you to use 640x480 displays with few pixels and bad colors. And of course, we have incorrigibly non-portable vendor-specific character sets [www.hut.fi] that completely ignore standards.

    We shouldn't be surprised that once money makers got involved that the web became just another casualty in the war on our minds. Information is less important than image. Literacy is less important than economics. Critical reasoning is less important than feel-good emotive response. Welcome to our brave new world; we hope you like it, because you don't have any choice. Best to just lie back, close your eyes, and think of England--er--America.

    Neil Postman's non-fiction book, Amusing Ourselves to the Death, is a disturbing report of this phenomenon that offers no real solution. Bruce Sterling's science fiction novel, Distraction, is not just a decent story; it's also filled with social commentary about a world in which media image is paramount. I heartily recommend both books. Huxley's Brave New World wasn't that great a read, but he was scarily on-target about a lot of this.

    Here are two links to resources related to this disturbing trend. The first is to the Any Browser Campaign [anybrowser.org], a definite must-read for designers. The other is a far less ambitious work, my own short treatise on Diversity in Web Design [perl.com]. Both are replete with links to further resources.

    There's also a subtle connection between the themes of bad keyboard strategies [perl.com] and bad webpage design. In both cases, we have people who think they're making things better for one portion of the populace at the cost of making things worse for another portion.

  • I don't believe that there is one answer to the Flash/animation/splash screens question. From what I see,
    geeks tend to enjoy direct access to text information with minimum distracting elements. I perfectly
    understand the reasoning behind this. Indeed, it would be upsetting if yahoo.com would start using flash
    animation and intro pages.

    However, there is another group of people out there -- the "visual" crowd. It would be great if someone
    would do statistical studies as to what proportion of web surfers this group constitutes.

    Anyway, what's important is that many web sites are designed with these people in mind. Many product
    promotion web sites found that it's easier to make a customer pay for the product if you first impress the
    customer. It's just a simple logic. And it works.

    I didn't like Flash for quite a while. Then I found another job with web development company. One of their
    projects was for a large manufacturer who intended to sell electronic products online. The customer
    *insisted* on mind blowing graphics, animation, etc. Yes, the site contained a lot of technical specifications
    for the visitors like you, but it also had Flash. I was very impressed with the final results.

    Just understand guys, there are web sites that are "selling" information (thus they are mostly text based),
    and there are web sites that sell products. The later usually put a lot of effort into impressing visitors with
    visual effects.
  • Well it may be fine for all the Win95 users if Fox makes a pledge but leaves the actual site unavailable to Linux users, but for those of us on Linux a pledge is just a pledge until they actually do something. If you can't handle the bloat you shouldn't be surfing a TV network's site in the first place. TV is a very high bandwidth business.
  • by DanaL (66515) on Saturday December 11, 1999 @07:39AM (#1470131)
    Well, as it happens, I work for a web design company (as a database guy, mind you), and if we released a website that people couldn't access without a plugin, someone would probably be fired.

    I woudln't consider myself a hot-head, I just believe in professionalism. The NFB can sue because blind people are denied access to some web services, linux,Beos and other users were all denied service just the same.

    Dana
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 10, 1999 @07:32PM (#1470135)
    Let's sieze the moment and demand that fox--web page and all--embrace open source. The community should be able to contribute diff patches to Simpsons scripts. I want to be able to download and edit my own version of the local affiliate news feeds. I want to remotely log into the freaking water cooler where the employees take breaks.
  • by jfunk (33224) <jfunk@roadrunner.nf.net> on Friday December 10, 1999 @07:34PM (#1470137) Homepage
    they could have just said "ah, screw it, none of those nerds ever watch TV anyways"

    I think they know the demographics for shows like "The Simpsons," "Futurama," and "The X-Files."

    Keeping us nerds out wouldn't be a very intelligent thing to do, and despite shows like "World's Scariest/Funniest/etc foo," they probably are somewhat intelligent.
  • by davidu (18) on Friday December 10, 1999 @07:38PM (#1470140) Homepage Journal
    Roblimo, Ok, so Fox did something wrong...big deal...they fixed it...and in good faith. Why do you use Slashdot.org as a soapbox to give your un-needed commentary?

    Roblimo writes: Now if they made the site worth viewing in the first place, everything would be groovy with fox.com. (Free clue for Fox: start by dumping the flashy splash page. All it adds to the site is download time.)

    Don't take this as a flame, just a comment. I think your opinion should be heard, just maybe in the comments section. This way, we can seperate news from opinion...an important thing for any journalist to do.

    One idea that might kill two birds with one stone is to automatically give the poster the chance to do the first post. This would eliminate some first post babies...but then we would see the wrath of the "I am 31337 HaX0r, SECOND POST!!!" hehe...

    Like always, just my $.02,

    -Davidu
  • I hate it that it's always those American originated systems that get credit.

    Linux did not start in the U.S., and many of it's developers are not American.

    I got the impression from the apology that their intent IS to make their site accessable from all platforms.

  • Wednesday nights on FOX: "THE WORLDS MOST DANGEROUS WEBSITES!"

    TONIGHT! See the crazed fans of the internet deluge a mail server! A fan tries to hack the home page! And a riot ensues when a TV stations flash intro crashes thousands of angry surfers!

    I think it has potential, I wonder if they're hiring? *grin* ctimes2

  • by hernick (63550) on Friday December 10, 1999 @07:42PM (#1470152)
    I mean, why the inflammatory phrase like "now if they made the site worth viewing..." ?

    We now know that they made an honest mistake: their web programmer simply used a pre-made script to detect the OS, that unfortunately locked out linux users.

    Now, they've apologized and promised to correct the situation, and even given a reasonable timeframe. I don't see why people should be angry at Fox anymore. They're trying to make a good-looking, user-friendly website.

    I expect the target population of that web site to be more likely to stay on site longer if the site looks good. For many people, having a really bland site, yet full of information that is easy to access, is a turnoff.

    Not everybody on the web is a geek. Not everybody likes bland webpages. Not everybody can see a site like http://www.linuxhq.com/, which is perfectly structured but even at first glance incredibly boring. Some people need graphics, animations and sounds to keep them interested.

    I don't see why we should expect media companies to target their site at geeks. I'm sure many of us would like a Fox site that gives us the schedule in a nice HTML compliant table with no formatting tags, and a brief technical description of each show separated by paragraph delimiters, but that's not going to happen. That's not what the target audience wants.

    And why, of all companies, continue to be angry at Fox ? Most companies wouldn't even give the courtesy of an answer, never mind giving a timeframe for the problems to be fixed.
  • Wouldn't it be great if front page stories could be moderated?

    Now if they made the site worth viewing in the first place, everything would be groovy with fox.com.

    Score: -1 (Flamebait)

    Heh.

  • The Net's signal-to-noise ratio is rapidly dropping... not that it was that high anyways, but look at how much bandwidth is wasted on unnecessary Flash plugins, "cute" animations, "cool" special effects... especially on lame commercial pages so poorly designed all you ever see is ads, hype, and garbage, but it's next to impossible to find what you want. Ugh.

    When I visit a website, I want to see what they got. Not the silly flashy stuff (unless the page is dedicated for that purpose) but the real stuff they have to offer: useful information, their products, etc.. Who cares about all that bandwidth hogging eye-candy anyways?! Where's the beef? I wish more web designers would knock this into their heads: put your products up front! publish your useful information up front! (if you have any, that is). Sites that contain endless animations usually are so poorly design it's next to impossible to navigate and find what you want. And too often than it ought to be, that is usually a sign that they have (almost) nothing of value to offer.

    Sorry for this rant. I'm just so fed up and turned off by flashy commercial sites that I can't help it...

  • It's so strange to me that a site which spends thousands to look good doesn't test the project on every platform, every browser. Lame.

    Well, the way I see it, and I'm could be wrong, but Fox has a fairly large website. When you spend all that time developing (content), you make mistakes. Now, although they were a company hired to do that, they're just human beings. Human beings screw up. Sometimes you look at something that looks fine to you after weeks/months of work on the same project. They got the message, and said they're fixing it. It was a mistake. Leave it at that for now.

Swap read error. You lose your mind.

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