Monday, December 26, 2016

Matters Electronic and otherwise

For orientation, a Friend's meditations about another Meeting's Meeting for Business jogged RantWoman's memory and tempt her to post more than necessarily should be posted unseasoned. This post is basically meditations on matters of electronic communications, with a digression not ripe for further detail about being faithful to various Quaker testimonies. Toward the end buried for now in a blizzard of esoteric techie minutia is a REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS request which hopefully RantWoman will summon presence to make more concisely and to be patient about. Hopefully.

For those who like to nerd out about matters of electronic communications, there is a link to further meanderings at the bottom of thist post. Basically the path to unity is long and tangled and RantWoman keeps taking vigorous exception to other people's pronouncements. Aren't we all glad for continuing revelation and shared discernment no matter how disconnected the shared discernment is!

The part of meditations about RantWoman's most recent Meeting for Business that should not be posted unseasoned has to do with lawyers and wordsmithing of a minute and leadings and shared discernment about a Meeting position. Hold said discernment in the Light. Hold in the Light RantWoman's ability to broaden a discussion to more general themes and then to admit to LOTS of experience talking with different lawyers about said generalized topic.

Then hold in the Light either getting to clarity about wording or getting to clarity that needing to nail down clarity of wording is not the direction the discussion is headed.

While we are at it, hold in the Light RantWoman's utter inability to stay completely in scope at least as defined by others even if what needs to  be seasoned for this moment really IS only one sentence in a minute. God is telling RantWoman pretty firmly that there is more to be said....

In the meantime, speaking of lawyers RantWoman's other thematic experience with lawyers is the moments when RantWoman has needed legal advice and first had to seek legal help about applicability of the magical phrase "reasonable accommodation" before anything can happen about the topic RantWoman has sought advice about.

In this case, RantWoman's main REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS request is just for people to LISTEN to her perspective, not to talk over her without attention to RantWoman specifics, not to whine because RantWoman is not automatically "nice" when being silenced, and not to take it personally when RantWoman is called AGAIN to say "just because it works for you does not mean it works for me."

RantWoman's other specific REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS request (yep, a vocabulary check on top of everything else, and topical because of the matter being seasoned) is to consider RantWoman's points specifically about list archives and the matter of Reply/all.

Welcome to life around RantWoman's inner blowtorch and no, sorry, readers do not get away just with putting up with lumps of coal in a Christmas stocking.

Who knew deciding on an email distribution list platform could be so COMPLICATED?


RantWoman's Meeting has begun a mailing list experiment, a list for ANNOUNCEMENTS, a list people are requested not to do Reply/All to. Back to this point when RantWoman decides to compare notes with another mailing list practices.

The platform chosen in Google Groups. RantWoman is familiar with this platform, familiar as in email is one thing, but when RantWoman interacts through the Google Groups portal, the keyboard tricks RantWoman relies on with her screen reader do not work. RantWoman can get away with screen enlargement but this is slow, aggravating, and not RantWoman's first choice. When the selection of Google groups was announced, RantWoman finally took some time to read help files and to learn that n the accessibility picture has improved over time. There is reference to this point in RantWoman's comments below.

RantWoman was informed that the guidelines, not reported here, came from some article in Friends' Journal. RantWoman has asked for help pointing her to the exact article. Silly RantWoman: RantWoman figures someone who has a link to the article could easily email to RantWoman. This would save RantWoman a whole lot of extraneous screen reader chatter and allow her to focus more of her energy on the article content. Sigh RantWoman possibly overestimates others' fluency with electronic media.

   RantWoman can probably bloody well go find the article herself, except RantWoman does not have a paid subscription to FJ. RantWoman went to the FJ site and put in a term RantWoman guessed MIGHT take her to the article. RantWoman got invited to have a paid subscription.

    RantWoman would love to have conversations with QuIP about Quaker publications and library practices. RantWoman's Meeting has a wonderful libbray. If RantWoman could still read print, RantWoman would save paper and read the article at the library. Enough said for now.

Back to the mailing list guidelines found at Our Mailing List guidelines PDF: RantWoman has two beefs with the guidelines.

Who is going to Moderate, a single person or a team / committee? RantWoman strongly recommends a committee. So far that recommendation has not been heard. RantWoman does not apologize for being fairly insistent about the value of checking out different features and thinking things through but hey, RantWoman is versatile and can let things unfold...

Has the intended tool been checked for accessibility by the people who are going to use it? The guidelines make NO mention of this, so welcome to another unplanned trip to exotic Planet RantWoman.

RantWoman here is just going to excerpt some emails. RantWoman KNOWS that many readers really do not want more detail than "RantWoman had to go to a lot of extra trouble to figure out the interface for Google Groups," but Merry Christmas and here is the detail anyway!

Begin First Email Excerpt:
Honestly, I wish the question "does it work with a screen reader?" were
part of the decision process about whether to use a given tool BEFORE the
tool is selected.  In the case of Google Groups, the answer is yes for some
screen readers and no (or unknown) for others. Luckily I have access to the
Windows screen readers it works for. Unluckily I have an android phone so
it amuses me that the help mentions Voiceover for Mac /iPhone but even
though Android is a google product the help does not mention So no Google
groups on my phone with Talkback. And accessibility is always  a moving target
as different parts of the software chain needed get updated in different
cycles. But I get ahead of myself.

Tonight I used the search string

JAWS google groups

to see about accessibility issues.

The good news: The interface is similar to blogger so MAYBE somethings from
Google groups will also be useful in Blogger. There is stuff in Google
groups help that should be useful but here are the comments I wrote when Google  asked whether the results are useful.

1.  Group the results by most recent first. I really do not mind skipping all the results about things that do not work in 2013 when it is now 2016.

2. It is okay I guess to have the info about tabbing around when I want to know about navigating by headings or links on a page. Okay but not terrific.

3. The keyboard shortcuts page is fairly useful. I am not sure how iintuitive I will find the individual letters, but I will try. Also I find it sort of vexing to have to read all the way to the bottom to get the part about "TO make the keyboard shortcuts work turn off the JAWS virtual cursor.

End First Email Excerpt and detail overload.

Second Email excerpt from item seasoning in Drafts folder
3. I am going to continue to attach accessibility related comments to announcements until I hear back that at least a FEW people GET MY SPECIFIC POINTS. The specific nugget I promised: why it is really helpful to have discussion go to the archives and why I put others through my previous comments about screen readers and all the things I had to go through to use what other people just take for granted:

--I actually get (and send--urk) a lot of email. When I want to look up old email, I do not search visually. I use the search bar. (Y'all can probably save time doing that too and I would be happy to say more if you are interested.). Even though I think I am pretty smart about searching I still wind up with more emails than I am looking for.  If material from the announcements list goes to the google groups archive AND I have taken time to figure out the  particular keyboard shortcuts for Google groups then I can search only in the group archives and cut down on having to weed through extraneous materials with my screen reader. If anyone would like some blindness tourism about the screen reader experience, feel free to request...
End of Second Email excerpt

RantWoman is perfectly well aware that she is talking about email list platform functionality that she as a certified geek cares about and that others less encumbered by techie fascinations might not even care about.


RantWoman at this point is kind of hard-wired with some tolerance for answering basically tech support questions from other people newer to technology. However RantWoman can only answer the questions if she herself either knows what is going on or can guess where to point people. So RantWoman being able to navigate ... is a GOOD thing for many....

And furthermore, yes, a few people are specifically being eldered. RantWoman encourages readers to hold them all in the Light and RantWoman is happy to entertain complaints and comments from people who recognize themselves or someone they know.

"it works for me and I don't see why it doesn't work for your..."
Friend, you are a very weighty Friend. RantWoman has been TRYING to have this conversation with you for ...  You are still a weighty friend and you are STILLL MISSING THE POINT.

"...but I'm a lawyer and ..."
Friend, RantWoman likes you fine. Soooo, for now RantWoman is not going to regale you with every single complicated leglal matter where RantWoman has had to cold-call lawyers and then also get advice from an ADA lawyer.

"...I am (former supposedly topical role...and I am going to tell you how it might be without asking you what issues you are most concerned about."
Bless your heart Friend. You get multiple opportunities to read about RantWoman's perspective whether you asked for them or not.

A further link, posted here for ease of locating when rantWoman is clear about trying to have more discussion in person. Translation: this blogger is at least as wordy and abstruse as RantWoman. Sigh.

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