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The Icon Bar: News and features: RISC OS users barred from Odeon cinemas
 

RISC OS users barred from Odeon cinemas

Posted by Phil Mellor on 01:23, 11/7/2004 | , ,
 
The Odeon has forced the closure of an independent, accessible version of its web site, thus denying information to disabled and minority browser users.

The unofficial version fetched data from the original site and presented it in an accessible way, but the Odeon had worries about disclosure of their customers' personal information. They also disputed the use of registered trademarks and reproduction of their copyrighted listings and content.

Matthew Somerville (the RISC OS advocate responsible for the site) offered to make alterations, but was refused. Perhaps you'd like to let the Odeon know that you won't go to their lovely cinemas if you can't find out what's on?

Matthew Somerville's accessible sites
Official Odeon site - or see it rendered badly by Oregano 2, NetSurf, or Links
The Guardian's review
The Disability Discrimination Act
The BBC gets in on the act
 

  RISC OS users barred from Odeon cinemas
  JWCR (14:22 11/7/2004)
  Matthew (14:35 11/7/2004)
    ad (14:40 11/7/2004)
      andrew (15:02 11/7/2004)
        JWCR (15:44 11/7/2004)
          andypoole (16:33 11/7/2004)
            Matthew (16:41 11/7/2004)
              mdpenny (18:53 11/7/2004)
                ad (22:01 11/7/2004)
                  pvigay (09:15 12/7/2004)
                    ad (10:37 12/7/2004)
                      flibble (13:53 12/7/2004)
                        andrew (00:29 13/7/2004)
                          monkeyson2 (16:02 14/7/2004)
                            ksattic (22:05 14/7/2004)
                              flypig (17:07 15/7/2004)
                                monkeyson2 (00:12 19/7/2004)
 
John Campbell Rees Message #93087, posted by JWCR at 14:22, 11/7/2004
Member
Posts: 6
It is a case of six of one, half a dozen of the other.

On the one hand, the Odeon site is terrible, far to flashy for its own good. On the other hand, it does show up the weaknesses of Oregano, a commercially available Web Browser that cannot cope with something as simple as tables in this day and age is quite frankly pathetic.

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Matthew Somerville Message #93088, posted by Matthew at 14:35, 11/7/2004, in reply to message #93087
Matthew

Posts: 520
"On the other hand, it does show up the weaknesses of Oregano, a commercially available Web Browser that cannot cope with something as simple as tables in this day and age is quite frankly pathetic."

Any website should degrade gracefully for any web browser, no matter what its capabilities (and Oregano can handle tables fine, as far as I am aware). There is no way I would expect Oregano to display the Odeon website - the site has buggy complicated JavaScript that has only been tested on a couple of browsers. Firefox, with lots more support, can't show it either.

Thanks for the article. :)

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Andrew Duffell Message #93089, posted by ad at 14:40, 11/7/2004, in reply to message #93088
ad

Posts: 3255
From what I can see it is not Oregano's fault, but bad deisgn on Odeons part.
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Andrew Message #93090, posted by andrew at 15:02, 11/7/2004, in reply to message #93089
HandbagHandbag Boi
Posts: 3439
Last time I looked at the Odeon site it was virtually unusable on any RISC OS browser I have. What does the disability discrimnation act have to do with it though?
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John Campbell Rees Message #93091, posted by JWCR at 15:44, 11/7/2004, in reply to message #93090
Member
Posts: 6
[Duplicate posts remove - Rich]

Visit the 20six.co.uk home page with Oregano and then with IE. It greives me to say this, but the display with Oregano is crap, the button bar at the top is supposed to have the buttons next to each other, not on on top of each other. Netsurf displays it properly, and this is a free browser project put together in the programmers spare time. The same is true with the Outpost Gallifey forums at http://www.gallifreyone.net/forum/ Oregano totally fails to even come close tor rendering the page properly, once again Netfetch renders the site the way the designer intended.

Oregano is not cheap at ?99 for a new copy or ?50+ for an upgrade. The two exampes I have sited are average modern web sites that do not go overboard with Flash or other animations. Until RISC OS has a browser that copes with average modern web sites, thenit will get nowhere.

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Andrew Poole Message #93092, posted by andypoole at 16:33, 11/7/2004, in reply to message #93091
andypoole
Mouse enthusiast
Web
Twitter

Posts: 5556
JWCR: Do you want to repeat that, I didn't quite catch it ;)

It shouldn't be up to the person viewing the website to make their computer work with a particular website, the people making the website should make it so that it works properly in the first place.

Andy.

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Matthew Somerville Message #93093, posted by Matthew at 16:41, 11/7/2004, in reply to message #93092
Matthew

Posts: 520
andrew: The DDA states (and made explicit in its Code of Practice) that websites providing a service have had to not discrimiate against disabled people (i.e. be accessible) since 1999 - http://www.disability.gov.uk/dda/ has information.

JWCR: It might display pretty poorly (and there are improvements that could be made), but at least the content on 20six.co.uk is still accessible to any browser, unlike Odeon's. I am very impressed by NetSurf's capability, but if people are willing to pay that amount for Oregano, they can charge that much. I don't want this to become a browser argument. :)

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Martin Penny Message #93094, posted by mdpenny at 18:53, 11/7/2004, in reply to message #93093
Member
Posts: 4
Give me nice, plain, simple, vanilla HTML any day - and none of this "designed for ..." or "best displayed at ... by ..." cr*p either.

I don't know if there's been an Iconbar vote on Web page design - as in "Should Web pages include Java/Flash/..." - of late; perhaps it could be the next poll...? :)

--Martin

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Andrew Duffell Message #93095, posted by ad at 22:01, 11/7/2004, in reply to message #93094
ad

Posts: 3255
Sites should work with any browser that can render HTML. Javascript and CSS should be additional but not necessery to view the content.
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Paul Vigay Message #93096, posted by pvigay at 09:15, 12/7/2004, in reply to message #93095

Posts: 200
I agree with Matthew's first comment. The Odeon website is badly designed, badly written and consists more or less exclusively of bug-wridden Javascript.

For reference, Apple Mac users are denied access to the site too - which is a far bigger potential audience loss than RISC OS users.

I've just tried it on Safari (the only web browser supplied as default with Apple Macs), Firebird, Firefox, Mozilla, Camino and Opera and it fails to get past the first page on ALL of them.

Therefore, it's hardly surprising that Oregano can't cope with such a badly designed site. Even the latest version of Mozilla can't cope!

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Andrew Duffell Message #93097, posted by ad at 10:37, 12/7/2004, in reply to message #93096
ad

Posts: 3255
I have contacted them saying that I can't get their site to work, and I still await a response.
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Peter Howkins Message #93098, posted by flibble at 13:53, 12/7/2004, in reply to message #93097
flibble

Posts: 888
I'm not sure the DDA applies here. They are hardly discriminating against disabled people if able bodied people can't get in either.
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Andrew Message #93099, posted by andrew at 00:29, 13/7/2004, in reply to message #93098
HandbagHandbag Boi
Posts: 3439
I suppose it could be a valid claim though. I mean does the DDA specify that you /have/ to own a PC/Mac? Or is trying ever browser on RISC OS reasonable effort (if you do have to prove reasonable effort that is) which is surely fair.
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Phil Mellor Message #93100, posted by monkeyson2 at 16:02, 14/7/2004, in reply to message #93099
monkeyson2Please don't let them make me be a monkey butler

Posts: 12380
Now on El Reg: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/07/14/odeon_disabled_website/
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Simon Wilson Message #93101, posted by ksattic at 22:05, 14/7/2004, in reply to message #93100
ksattic
Finally, an avatar!

Posts: 1291
Now on Slashdot too.

I always find it funny/disturbing reading the comments by some people. One guy wrote a serious email saying that it would only take a couple of days to put a Flash version of the site up that would be accessible to everyone. Sheesh. Some guy with some sense wrote back asking what the hell is wrong with writing sites in plain old HTML!

Then there was the comment by someone saying Matthew Somerville's site could be collecting credit card details...until Matthew pointed out that it stated very clearly on his website that bookings could *not* be performed.

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David Llewellyn-Jones Message #93102, posted by flypig at 17:07, 15/7/2004, in reply to message #93101
Member
Posts: 17
There's also now been an article about this in today's Guardian Online:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/online/story/0,3605,1260988,00.html

Hopefully the publicity will have some effect and the Odeon will allow Matthew's site back up (or even better, make their own site work!).

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Phil Mellor Message #93103, posted by monkeyson2 at 00:12, 19/7/2004, in reply to message #93102
monkeyson2Please don't let them make me be a monkey butler

Posts: 12380
Good article from the Beeb too:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/3899685.stm

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The Icon Bar: News and features: RISC OS users barred from Odeon cinemas