Superspecial Jeff Croft Memorial Edition!

Project X is a new CBC science program. It has its own microsite and blog. We would tend to expect that in this day and age.


  • Why is all the content on the microsite homepage delivered in Flash? (Using Arial type, no less?) I have no way of checking its accessibility features, if any, but it is always safe to assume they don’t exist. (To this day, almost no Flash developers have serious knowledge of the black art of Flash accessibility.)

    And here’s how it is rendered in Lynx, a somewhat unfair comparison:

    If you see thismessage, you need to download the latest version of Flash to view this content.

    Here, “this content” means “your entire purpose for coming here.” All you can read without Flash is the CBC boilerplate surrounding the real content.

  • Why is the navigation on the blog also in Flash? (Actually, you can’t even link from the homepage to the blog without Flash. You could just add blog/ to the URL. That would be a fair guess, and it’s certainly one of the available options for rational URLs, but how are you to know that in the first place?) Basic blog navigation is in HTML. (They’re running TypePad.)


I have heard a little susurrus of complaint that I failed to “give props,” as no one says anymore, to CBC for producing mostly-standards-compliant relaunches of its Sports and News sites, among others. What a Canadian thing to expect. My response is I’m not here to give you a pat on your back for being competent. I am, however, here to point out standards noncompliance when a prevailing design norm of standards compliance has been brought to fruition.

So what the hell is going on with the Project X site? CBC developers – at least the ones not hired en masse from Blast Radius, a mistake that will come back to haunt the organization – simply aren’t incompetent enough to do something like this. They must have had outside help. But, after mailing over a question for attribution, Mark Smyka of Cossette Communications refused to confirm or deny that his firm had anything to do with the site.

Nonetheless, the site remains CBC’s problem. How much did it cost again?

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2008.02.26 14:25. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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None. I quit.

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