I've just got back from my annual holiday. This year I was with the in-laws in France. I installed a couple of versions of Firefox (in French), and generally encouraged the use of browsers other than IE to the family.
I also set them all up with AdBlock to help save their bandwidth from the thieving advertisers.
IE really is piss-poor when compared with Opera and Mozilla based browsers. Blocking adverts, pop-ups and protecting your privacy and security comes pretty much as standard with Opera and Mozilla, with IE it's a battle against it's design philosophy. No wonder top Microsoft staff prefer Firefox to their own IE...
I've decided to put my money where my mouth is and make this site, and my main site: www.iredale.net, compliant with the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative. There are three levels of compliance "A", "AA", and "AAA", single-A being the easiest to reach and triple-A being the most difficult.
At the moment both site are designed to meet single-A conformance for all pages. Many pages already meet double-A and some are already triple-A, just because I've gone for a clean and simple design. As a general rule good general usability translates into good accessibility, without having to do anything special. Now all I have to do is fix a few niggles on the odd page, and all pages, on both sites, should meet triple-A conformance.
By meeting achieving triple-A rating on all pages, both sites also exceed the minimum requirements of the US Section 508 and the UK DDA regulations that require web sites be accessible for people with disabilities. The EU now recommends that web sites within the EU meet or exceed double-A conformance.
While the guidelines are noble, they are not a magic wand, and companies need to actually design their sites properly if they want to be accessible. Now that some countries have placed legislation, disabled users can sue, and force companies to do the right thing. Alas non disabled users can't yet sue for to get the vast majority of poorly designed sites fixed yet...
To my utter amazement work installed Linux on a server at work, without having to twist their arm first. Normally they are pro Windows and anti-Unix, but they wanted to use MRTG and it seemed an easier path to install it on Linux rather than Windows.