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Re: bits from the NM process: advocacy, no more AM reports, AMs needed

On Tue, May 29, 2012 at 04:08:28PM +0000, Thorsten Glaser wrote:
> I must *strongly* protest the creation of new webpages that are not
> accessible, and requiring ECMAscript is preventing all Lynx users from
> accessing it.

Actually, no, I think you must not, or at the very least not *strongly*.
Simply because you're not doing the work yourself. I think you should
rather first of all say thanks for the work done. And then report a bug
against nm.debian.org stating that "it would be nice/better if" the site
would also work for a different use case than those it has been written
for (i.e. FrontDesk needs, according to Enrico's mail). Adding a patch
would be nice too. Especially, if you consider that all the information
we are talking about is already accessible, and has been for a while,
from a different page, as discussed elsewhere in this thread.

Don't get me wrong: I'm all for accessibility on the web, avoiding
JavaScript wherever possible, etc.  But it's really rather depressing to
see a thread where quite important changes to the NM process --- like
reducing substantially, and smartly, its bureaucracy --- are neglected
in favor of complaints against the lack of accessibility in information
which are, in fact, accessible anyhow. That's really the mother of all

Enrico is an old timer and surely doesn't need me to write this, but try
to put yourself in his shoes. You spent time in developing and deploying
an nm.d.o improvement which, unfortunately, it's not perfect. It's not
accessible at it should _yet_ but it is still an improvement for your
and your co-workers' work-flows. All the answers you get are "it's not
accessible, yada yada". I don't think that would motivate you in
spending extra time on improving the code further. If that's true, the
net result is that it would likely _diminish_ the chances that the
accessibility issue get sorted out. Which is probably not the
achievement we are looking for.

Not to mention the new Debian members that are the reason why this list
exists. If they happen to lurk on a thread like this one, a likely take
away message they will learn is that incremental improvements are not
welcome in the Debian infrastructure (or at least not on nm.d.o). Either
it's perfect from day 0, or it's not worth sharing --- *unless* you're
ready to accept criticism for the non-ready part and zero thanks for the

This rant of mine (sorry!) is not about politeness for the sake of it or
dreaming of Debian as a teddy-bear-style happy family, it's plain
pragmatism: in a volunteer project how we discuss is as important as
what we discuss, because in the long run it affects our ability to
attract and retain talented contributors.

Stefano Zacchiroli     zack@{upsilon.cc,pps.jussieu.fr,debian.org} . o .
Maître de conférences   ......   http://upsilon.cc/zack   ......   . . o
Debian Project Leader    .......   @zack on identi.ca   .......    o o o
« the first rule of tautology club is the first rule of tautology club »

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