After 35 years (and true of basically everything in which I take an interest), how I tire of repeating myself. Another rich software startup is about to blow it vis-à-vis accessibility.

Mincing in the footsteps of Camino and iCab (the latter quite beloved), Arc is some kind of Web browser one might eventually have to pay for. They’ve pulled in a preposterous $17 million of vulture-capitalist money, or perhaps even more. (Alexander Clauss, sole proprietor and sole creator of iCab, is owed a Mormon-style tithe of at leat a tenth of that.)

Maybe Arc is a good product. (À l’époque, Opera certainly was. So was Lynx in its.) But they’re launching out of the gate with no real accessibility. It isn’t a straightforward task: It took Firefox till Version 87 to be usable in VoiceOver. (Or halfway thus: “we think it’s complete enough for everyday use” [sic].) There has never been a browser that fully complies with the almost-completely-unknown UAAG (“yuuagg”), the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines.

I basically expected to be called a sexist faggot by a Jewish developer (Halide did that) when I posed this question, but the general E‑mail box, and Arc cofounder Hursh Agrawal (no relation) and CEO Jason Miller, refused answer “Who, if anyone, is looking after accessibility for Arc?”

Because nobody is.

But they’ll apologize all day for the races and sexes of their developers.

Someday, somebody is going to pick up the thousand-dollar-bill getting damp in the rain on the trottoir alongside a “homeless” encampment and ship a fully accessible product. Because one can earn open-ended millions from government contracts by doing so, a fact none but I understand.

(Don’t worry. The ineluctable course of the universe will remain undisturbed: Arc will hire some kind of girl or a Democrat voter instead of me. The imperative is I must be kept in my place. But to paraphrase Karen Silkwood, there’s a moral imperative here.)

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2023.06.02 14:43. 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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