Elements or Lower

Wed, 30 Nov 2005

Access Versions, Redacted

Last year, I picked a beef with Mike Davies and Matt May over their arguments concerning the counter-productivity of having a separate “Easy Access” version of a website. Matt was kind enough to post a response to this in the comments here, which of course was lost when I turned comments off from the site.

Thankfully, Matt crossposted his comments to his own site. As (typically) belated as this is, I’d like to observe how calm, rational and unargumentative Matt was about this. A lesser man might have called me out for being overly defensive and, frankly, jumped-up.

Whilst I still feel that the apartheid analogy is, as the Missus would say, “a bit extra”, in hindsight it’s pretty obvious that my argument here was really that:

  1. Woking had, at that time, an “Easy Access” version.
  2. I thought I was doing a good thing by implementing it.

Deep down, I knew that making the regular site accessible beyond WAI-A was really the right thing to do, but I was too enamoured with the fact that the “Easy Access” version of the site showcased how the CMS could re-contextualise the whole site at the drop of a hat.

We have other uses for that technology now (more on which another time), so I don’t feel it’s wasted now that we’ve fixed up the normal site and dropped the “Easy Access” version. And, honestly, it really is so much better this way.