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The Internet

Site Review: 2002 Olympics 317

Andy King writes: "If Olympic Web sites were an event, Salt Lake wouldn't even take the bronze. Our review reveals some gnarly accessibility moguls." There's another review of the site which mentions the many accessibility problems that the Sydney Olympics had with its website. The site doesn't appear to work at all with konqueror.
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Site Review: 2002 Olympics

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  • by InterruptDescriptorT ( 531083 ) on Friday January 18, 2002 @11:42AM (#2862791) Homepage
    The biggest accessibility mogul in my mind, though it really doesn't have to do with the usability of the site per se, is the restrictive conditions put on independent Web media reporting on the games. I believe the IOC did not give credentials to most Web media and have been very active in shutting down and censoring both pro-athlete fan sites and anti-IOC sites. (In fact, wasn't there an athlete who was enjoined from posting even an Olympic diary, Weblog style, for fear of IOC reprisals? Someone refresh me on the details if this rings a bell.)

    Anyway, expect the only thing on the Web related to Olympic results of stories is the officially santioned site and NBC and the big media outlets who paid out their butts to cover the games. Everyone else is shut out. That's my accessibility mogul. (Gah--can we fire whoever came up with that expression?)
    • by Bonker ( 243350 ) on Friday January 18, 2002 @11:57AM (#2862906)
      Mod Parent Up.

      I was going to say something about this, but was beaten to the punch. As I understandd it, olympic athletes are verbotten by the IOC from keeping any kind of public journal of their experiences at the Olympics.

      I wrote a rant mentioning this after the 2000 olympics in Sydney... http://www.furinkan.net/rant/olympics.html [furinkan.net]
    • Yes. And I'd just like to add my pet peeve that happened in the last Olympics: BBC radio's streaming audio was shut down by the IOC because the BBC broadcasts Olympic information in the course of it's news reporting.

      Luckily, I also have a pretty good shortwave radio, so I could get my BBC fix from across the atlantic anyway, but it still pissed me off. I like the quality of the stream. Shortwave is unpredictable where I am.

      A bit offtopic, but you should have seen the really nasty looks I got from coworkers when I said I was glad Toronto lost their recent bid for the 2008 summer games. Now those IOC crooks won't be draining money from more worthy projects in my country.
    • No, the biggest accessibility mogul is that someone posted their site on the front page of slashdot.
    • As I understood it, a lot of the tight-fisted media control in Sydney was designed to let NBC time-shift the coverage with impunity. They felt that they would get many fewer watchers if people could see the results 12 hours (+/- a few) before they were replayed on television. This probably won't be as much of a problem at the Salt Lake games, because NBC and other monopolistic influences are very US-centric. I suppose I can't say for sure, but I think the restrictions ought to be a little easier to work with this time around.

  • http://www.saltlake2002.com/

    It looks fine to me. It's basically MSN/MSNBC affiliated news. It's not much worst than other sites such as CNN, BBC, MSNBC, etc etc.

    Is it just me or was this a stupid story to get posted to slashdot anyway?

    *yawn*
    • And praytell, what browser are you using? You should see this thing in Netscape, Konqueror, or IE on a Mac, where it errors out something awful on every single page.

      It Forces Javascript, uses font tags instead of CSS, and the links are the same color as the text, along with not being underlined. Big no-no. It might not be a problem for most of us, but if you have an older machine, you have vision problems, etc., this site is going to suck.

      Oh well, at least they did the ALT tags the first time around this time, unlike the last site done by IBM.
      • I went there with konqueror. The page was visible for a breif moment, then it looked like it decided that my browser wasn't supported and forwarded me to a blank page. I

        Let them shoot themselves in the foot. I didn't even know that the olympics were coming because I don't visit or view "major" media sites or channels.
      • The site that was done by IBM for the last games was built strictly ro a specification delivered by the IOC. The spec didn't mention alt tags, and since it would cost a significant amount of cash to put them in on a site of that size, they didn't. Put the blame where you think it rests, but like many many large IT projects that have problems, I put it at the feet of those who wrote the spec.


        To me it makes perfect sense for the spec to be developed in partnership with the experts, as well as the deliverable since most people who write specs for large IT projects don't really know what they want.

  • You guessed it... (Score:4, Informative)

    by squaretorus ( 459130 ) on Friday January 18, 2002 @11:43AM (#2862798) Homepage Journal
    Heres the address: http://www.saltlake2002.com/
  • by TheFalken ( 90520 ) on Friday January 18, 2002 @11:45AM (#2862810)
    http://www.webreference.com/new/020117.html

    http://www.brainstormsandraves.com/2002_01_13_ar ch ive.shtml#8746539

    Complete with frames and fully dependent on JavaScript for display,
    this site does at least feature ALT tags for images, unlike last
    time when IBM had to add them later at great cost.

    Beyond the fact that folks who turn off JavaScript are locked out,
    there are some other glaring, yet common usability problems.

    * Performance Problems

    Frames are used throughout the site. These should be banished as
    they slow down the display and clutter up our screens. The frames
    are written with JavaScript document.writes, with no
    alternative, ouch. View sourcing a few frames shows the site's
    been Akamaized which is good, but it's overspecified with
    font tags? This is the year 2002 people, anyone heard of CSS?
    Switching to CSS here would save mucho bandwidth.

    * Black Links

    How do users tell these are links? How can we tell the difference
    between black text and black links? They are not even underlined,
    further exacerbating the problem. Users expect blue or colored
    links, and that they at least be underlined. Some links spawn new
    windows, and some even require JavaScript to work, an
    accessibility no-no. At least the visited color is different.

    * JavaScript Bugs

    I know Shirley covered the dependence on JavaScript on her blog
    but on my Mac running IE5, *every page* spawns a JavaScript
    error. Unsupported objects, syntax errors, this does not engender
    confidence in a site. So if you are a Mac user, you might turn
    off JavaScript to get rid of the errors right? Guess what. Gotta
    have JavaScript enabled to use the site. See my problem here? I
    see this is a Microsoft ASP site, could be a sign....

    "This site requires javascript enabled on your browser."

    If you're going to require JavaScript at least test the site on
    PC and Mac platforms with recent browsers. But, I digress.

    * META/TITLE Tags

    The site doesn't use META tags. Guess they think this is a one-
    time thing and traffic won't be a problem.

    Here are some sample titles:

    Olympics
    Frame Top
    SLOC - Cover Front Page 3:11 PM ET Thursday, January 17, 2002

    This is useful if I happen to not know the current date and time.

    The site looks good, but I expect better for such a high profile
    site. The main TITLE says just "Olympics." Um, which one? 1924
    where Harold Abrahams won the 100 and Eric Liddell the 400? Can't
    you just hear Vangelis in the background? A more descriptive title
    tag wouldn't hurt here. Try it for yourself below, but be sure to
    have JavaScript enabled and don't use a Mac.

    http://www.saltlake2002.com/

    ---------

    http://www.brainstormsandraves.com/2002_01_13_ar ch ive.shtml#8746539
    Accessibility Lockout for Olympics 2002 Site -- Again?!
    After the lawsuit, resulting decision, and huge scandal over the lack of alt tags for the Sydney 2000 Olympics site, I had to go see how the Salt Lake 2002 site fares for accessibility. With Opera in hand to easily turn off images, I checked it out. Whew. This time they use alt tags on the main page, and most of them have decent description text, with just a few having a pointless "image" for the alt tag text. Not bad.

    Turning off JavaScript, though, doesn't fare so well. In fact, it makes the site totally inaccessible, as shown in the screenshot below. Uh-oh. "Javascript must be enabled to view this site" pops onto the screen, and there are no links and no alternative means of entering the site. Unbelievable.

    They could have easily included the NOSCRIPT element with a hyperlink to access the site without JavaScript.

    I must admit to being totally shocked that there's an outright accessibility block like this. Lots of people turn off JavaScript, don't have JavaScript capability, use screen readers and other alternative viewers. To totally prevent these users from using the site is not only poor form for creating a worldwide site to be accessed by anyone but especially nuts in view of their lawsuit for alt tags two years ago.

    Unbelievably, though, the above is just the beginning of the story!

    I clicked into the Spectator page. Down in the lower left of the Spectator page is this message: "Plug-ins needed for certain content: Flash, Adobe Acrobat Reader." Potential uh-oh again if accessible alternatives aren't provided.

    Making note of that, I continued on, clicking the Games Programs link in the navigation. On that page are links to a wide range of programs, including the Paralympic Winter Games. Each of these links, however, are accessible ONLY with JavaScript popup windows (without including hyperlinks within the JavaScript, which is simple to do). As another check, I disabled JavaScript in Opera, then reloaded this page. Guess what?! I got the message again about not being able to access the page without JavaScript. Amazing that I can't even access the Paralympics information. Unbelievable.

    On to the Venues page. The good news is that I could access the page without JavaScript turned on. The bad news is that some of the "Important Venue Spectator Information" is only accessible via downloadable PDF files or JavaScript popup windows, once again blocking or potentially blocking accessibility without JavaScript or without the special plug-ins for screen readers that convert the PDF files to readable text.

    To top it off, the Paralympics Venue map is a PDF document that isn't accessible friendly.

    Another factor is that the site is done in frames. Frames can have accessible alternatives with the NOFRAMES element; however, they didn't use them. When I turned off frames in Opera to try to view this new 2002 Olympics site, there was only a blank white screen with no alternative means to enter the site and no instructions. Nothing.

    I suspect I could go from page to page with lots more, and it appears that I've only scratched the surface here of some major blunders with their site's accessibility.

    I wonder how long it will take before the you-know-what hits the fan.

    Final Thoughts
    What bothers me the most is that the developers didn't make use of the Accessibility Guidelines. I have no problem with sites using frames as long as they also provide accessibility alternatives. And of course I have no problem with JavaScript, with Flash, with PDF files. Appropriate alternatives can be provided to allow anyone in the world to access this major worldwide event that represents most of the world, including the Paralympics for the disabled. This is certainly one site that demands the widest range of accessibility as possible.
    • The comment criticizing non-explicit links {"How do users tell these are links? How can we tell the difference between black text and black links?"} makes perfect sense in the eyes of those who are worried about code and not visual aesthetics. However, from a visual design perspective, I bloody-well hate explicit links; they pre-empt the intuitiveness/intelligence of the viewer.

      This is not to say that I Officially Support the Olympic Site, but rather to say that I find Falken's critique in this area narrowly drawn.
      • I bloody-well hate explicit links; they pre-empt the intuitiveness/intelligence of the viewer.

        What the hell you smoking? Is everyone supposed to hover their mouse over every goddamn word to see if it's a link or not?

      • This ain't a print medium. If you want users to click on links, you must differentiate them from text in a meaninful way, such as coloring them differently, underlining them, or both. Besides trying to make links stand out, consistency of link treatment is also key. On the Olympic home page I counted six different link treatments. Yes users can move their mouse to each element and discover what is clickable in a relatively short amount of time, but a lot of users will not bother. Its not the users' job to uncover the important stuff, its YOUR job as a designer to show it to them.
        • I cannot fathom why you had so much trouble figuring out what was a link and what wasn't on that page. The entire page was basically story titles, and it takes about half a second to figure out that they're all clickable. I'm glad that the site doesn't insult my intelligence by underlining them, because it's just ugly, not to mention silly, to have every single word on the site underlined.


          Now, if this were some article containing interspersed links, it would be a big mistake not to differentiate them from the rest of the text. And if you click on any of the articles, you'll notice that that's exactly what they do. However, complaining that they don't point out all the links on a page that is nothing but links, that just shows an unflexible and unhealthy devotion to strict rules without even considering whether they make sense in a particular situation or not. Think about it.

  • How many plugins! (Score:2, Informative)

    by The Whinger ( 255233 )
    It renders fine in Mozzy, but at the bottom of the homepage:

    Plug-ins needed:

    Flash
    Windows Media
    QuickTime
    Adobe Acrobat

    Not very viewable with Lynx ;).
    • So, what you are saying, is that people who have industry standard OSes, or the capability to put it all together, shouldn't actually get an enhanced experience, because some dumb ass thinks that all content should be exclusively textual. You know, why are we fighting for scads and grundles of bandwidth to our homes if we only need 14.4 kbps? Sheesh. Maybe we should go back to getting all our information from the local preist and do away with the concept of wide scale communication all together.
      • by arkanes ( 521690 )
        a "proper" web site will degrade gracefully and transparently in the case of a browser that doesn't support any of it's "enhanced experiences". Lynx is an excellent example, a great many blind people use it with screen readers. This site doesn't. I didn't see anything in the parent post about all communication being textual, but it SHOULD be accesible via a text only interface.

        As for abandoning wide scale communication... you need to drink less coffee and get off the crack. Or see this [dictionary.com] link.

  • by FortKnox ( 169099 ) on Friday January 18, 2002 @11:47AM (#2862823) Homepage Journal
    What do you expect. If you make a product that competes agressively, and you spent money to buy the rights to show the olympics online, are you going to cater to your product or to all?

    Sure, your conscience says "To all, because that's what the olympics stand for!" But in capitalists minds, its "Crush the competition"

    In the end, its both legal, and the way of our economy. So, basically, "tough sh*t".
    • spent money to buy the rights to show the olympics online,

      That is the crux of the problem. The offical site of the Olympics should not be a bought commodity. MSN is just doing what they normally do - providing content type in a manner that induces you to use Windows/IE.

      It's all a big money grab bag - the Olymic people are mostly concerned with making money, not with providing a venue to show the best athletes the planet has to offer.

      Otherwise, they wouldn't have a problem with an athlete having their own web site documenting their Olymic experience.

  • by Hougaard ( 163563 ) on Friday January 18, 2002 @11:49AM (#2862833) Homepage Journal
    One of the greatest features of the Sydney 2000 website, was the "... By Country" - So I could select my country (Denmark) and I would get access to all the information that involved the danish athletes.
  • by CDWert ( 450988 ) on Friday January 18, 2002 @11:49AM (#2862836) Homepage
    I was in Nevada on an extended vacation when they were hiring for the lead on this project, I thought well if they pay over 120k ill live in SLC with my family for a year. I sent in a resume for kicks and grins, we discussed pay and they said with my experience that wouldnt be a problem and was promtly called in for an interview. It wasnt in the door 60 seconds when I realized they dont have a clue . It was a NIGHTMARE of politics and group confusion. I left and thought yeah a cold day in hell before Id do that, I told them I wasnt interested and was still called back several times. POLITICS reighn supreme in SLC when it has ANYTHING to do with the Olympics, Mormons were running the show, no ifs and or buts, the labor for everything was based on nepotism. My family has ins out there and told me what was actually happening behind the scence, I didnt belive it UNTIL I went to the interview.

    A camel is a racehorse built by a commitee, On guy says, it needs big feet for traction, another sys, it needs long legs so it can run fast, another says it need big nostrils so it can breathe well while sprinting, You END up with a CAMEL, The olympic web site is no different....
    • I take exception to your implications that the "Mormons" are running the olympics and also politics. Just what do you mean by "Mormons"? Do you have any proof of this "mormon conspiracy"?

      Is this based on facts and first hand experience? Could you give examples? As scientists, we should supply proof, and not speculation, especially in religion, when we are skeptical of their "suspension of belief" we should use the same rigorous criteria to judge our own perceptions of reality.

      Utah and the "Mormons" have a great history of contributing to both open source and the technology industry. I find your statement to be nothing more than unsubstantiated claims about something that you know very little about. Very anathema for a man who makes his living off of math, science and logic.
      • I would mod this up to FUNNY 5 if I could....

        I wouldnt say I make my life off of math, science and logic, Most of it is spent in the realm of politics, when it comes to development and large projects its about making peole happy and comfortable, to do that you need to know whats going on under the surface.

        I actually know VERY much about what I spoke, as I found out my family did as well, they have been out there for over 20 years and in a couple of different industries, 1 is construction, hence my knowledge about that facet, from their experiences with the comitte, from that aspect.

        Its OK, If you were trying to be serious, around here the masons run much more than you could ever imagine. I have nothing morraly or ethically against , mormons, jews, jehova's witnesses, what have you. I am a certified agnostic, I dont know and I dont care. I speak of the mormons a as political force not a religious one, If you deny that they are equally political as religious I cant help you.
      • I take exception to your implications that the "Mormons" are running the olympics and also politics. Just what do you mean by "Mormons"? Do you have any proof of this "mormon conspiracy"? I live in Salt Lake City.

        I don't need proof of any Mormon conspiracy. I also live here. But unlike you (obviously) I am not Mormon. Poor me.

        For anyone considering moving here: don't. The most important parts of the downtown area are speech-restricted (Really! With guards and everything!) because entire city blocks were bought from the city by the Mormon church in a back-room deal a few years back that generated tons of controversy. The ACLU has taken up the cause, but as of today, if you were to go downtown and say "I'm having a HELL of a bad day!" under your breath, you would likely be accosted by a guard. Don't even try to light up a cigarette or drink coffee downtown!

        Over 95% of all government (local, city, county, state, plus senators and congressmen sent to DC) of Utah are Mormon. Good luck getting any kind of progressive or diversity-oriented discussion going on in Utah politics; all non-Mormons have no voice in Utah government.

        At job interviews for private industry in Utah, you will be asked what (Mormon) ward you belong to, and whether you have gone on a Mormon (i.e. conversion) mission to another country yet. You will be asked if you smoke, drink, or have coffee. If you don't give the right answers, you won't get the job. You soon learn to judge immediately in your dealings whether the person you're talking to is Mormon or non-Mormon. If they're Mormon and you're non, you mentally give up and move on to the next task of the day because you realize that they've figured out you're a non and are ignoring whatever you say because it's coming from "someone with different [i.e. lesser] values."

        In most of Utah, you cannot buy real beer, but must by "special" beer with limited alcohol content, and then only on weekdays, because it's illegal to sell on weekends. When Salt Lake mayor Rocky Anderson recently campaigned to relax some of the alcohol-related laws in Salt Lake City in anticipation of the Olympics, the radio waves and print industry were loaded down with Mormon-church-sponsored controversy about how "we should show the world just what moral living is" -- a kind of "we'll convert those nasty French drunks" mentality. They took out billboards and paid for commercials. People made public service announcements explaining how "there is no such thing as responsible drinking."

        If you have children, they will have no friends in school because the Mormon parents will not let your children play with them, because "they don't have the same values we have." It doesn't matter if you are Catholic, Anglican, Baptist, Buddhist, or Hare-Krishna, you and your children are considered to be under Satan's influence if you are not Mormon. God help you if you and your children are (*gasp*) agnostics, atheists, or simply not religious. You children may even be graded down in school or sent to the principal's office for refusing to participate in religious activity during school hours.

        The only local independent paper of repute (The Salt Lake Tribune) is in the grips of battle right now with the Mormon church, which already owns the other major media outlets (including the most popular television stations in the area and the other major newspaper) and have worked out a back-room leverage deal to own the Tribune also, though there are (thank god) lawsuits going on here as well to try to keep the Tribune independent. Outcries from local non-Mormons are growing more and more faint as the Mormon church tightents its grasp on all public forums (even at the street-level, as mentioned at the very beginning of this post).

        Of course, The Church[TM] says that the 2002 olympics will *not* be the "Mormon Olympics" but everyong living in Salt Lake City knows otherwise, and the media exclusivity of the olympic games fits perfectly with the track record of Bonneville International, owned by the church, owner of most local (discussion+competition verboten) media outlets.

        Proof indeed. I live here. I don't need proof.

        • Against my better judgement, I'm gonna respond (just like you were trolling for- shame on me). Ohh- this should be fun.

          The most important parts of the downtown area are speech-restricted (Really! With guards and everything!)

          Entire blocks, huh? Just to clarify for people that might not know what happened, the mormon church bought the 1 block street between its headquarters building and 'Temple Square' and made it into a little flower garden/pedestrian park. The ACLU was pissed that there were 'no smoking' signs there, and the mormon church responded that it was a guideline that probably wouldnt be enforced. There are security guards at Temple Square to prevent vandalism and stuff, but thats about it. Oh, and if you want coffee in downtown SLC, try one of Starbucks [vicinity.com] 13 SLC locations.

          Over 95% of all government (local, city, county, state, plus senators and congressmen sent to DC) of Utah are Mormon.

          A majority of Utahns are mormon- it makes sense that the majority of the government reps are mormon too, don't you think? Simple math...

          At job interviews for private industry in Utah, you will be asked what (Mormon) ward you belong to

          What kind of job where you applying for? I've had 2 software jobs in Utah and interviewed at several other companies, and I have never been asked anything close to what you describe. In fact, it wasnt until I interviewed with a large tech company in CA that I had to take a drug test. And its funny, my offices have always had designated smoking areas and coffee pots in the break room too...

          You soon learn to judge immediately in your dealings whether the person you're talking to is Mormon or non-Mormon. If they're Mormon and you're non, you mentally give up and move on to the next task of the day

          Wow- with an attitude like that, maybe you are part of the problem?

          In most of Utah, you cannot buy real beer, but must by "special" beer with limited alcohol content

          "Special" beer? You mean 3.2 beer? I grew up in Colorado where unless you have a liqueur license, you can only sell 3.2 (or less) alcoholic drinks from 5 am to 12 midnight. Liqueur stores can sell anything, but they have to be closed on Sunday. Its the same thing in Utah. And funny you should mention Rocky Anderson- the non-mormon mayor of SLC (who is very popular, btw). And guess what? His alcohol law changes were approved- either the mormon church doesnt have as much influence as you seem to think or they were not opposing it as much as you thought (it was a combination of both, actually).

          If you have children, they will have no friends in school

          I don't have any kids, so I don't know first hand what the schools are like. I do know several public school teachers, though, and they would strongley disagree with your charactization. And what kind of religious activity during school hours are you talking about? Thats illegal in Utah just like the rest of the country and it doesnt happen. Christmas vacation is called 'Winter Break' here too.

          I think you get my drift...
    • I was the lead technical architect/developer of the 8th IAAF World Championships in Athletics web site [edmonton.com]. The event, though considerably smaller in scale than a full blown Olympics, is still a hotbed of organizational politics. Inevitable given the nature of these sorts of events.

      What you say about "design by committee" is entirely true; it was very difficult to walk the fine line of balance between wants and needs. Those with the most clout usually got their way unless you could present an extremely convincing argument. Needless to say, a lot of time was spent losing debates rather than constructing the product.

      The first priority of the site, before the actual event, was to drive people to ticketmaster. Priority number two was "please our sponsors" and keep them happy. Number three was providing actual interesting content. And number four was considerations such as accessibility.

      Personally, I didn't have a major problem with that. Sure, I wished that the commitee was a bit more visionary, but in the end the site accomplished exactly what it set out to do. I suspect that the Olympic site operates under a similar set of priorities and if it satisfies them, will ultimately be judged a success.

      However, it is quite curious that their standards are so high. You'd think that they'd realise that the more people that could get to the site, the more opportunities they'd have to influence people to buy tickets. Oh well, that isn't my call.

      To be honest, my experience was entirely worth it. It really tested my people skills, even if it didn't tax my technical skills. Fortunately, it all came up roses in the end, even if I'm very concious of the flaws in the end result.

      Personally, I'd say that you might've passed up on a golden opportunity.

  • by PorcelainLabrador ( 321065 ) on Friday January 18, 2002 @11:50AM (#2862848) Homepage
    Actually, I hear that every 50th page served by their website shows two young men in suites carrying the Book of Mormon and asking if you like to discuss your religion with a virtual representative...

    Of course, I shall be watching closely as my three wives are competing in the synchronized swimming competition.
    • Contratulations! As the 50,000th maker of a polgamy joke, you are entitled to a free glass of root beer at any Brigham's Pancake House in the Salt Lake area. (one per customer, while supplies last, no gentiles please).
      • Now that hardly seems fair. Shouldn't he have to make multiple polygamy jokes?


        :)


        ob polygamy oddity: A few years ago, doing legal research in a different law library, I wanted a search that would only give me a couple of hits. I would have used "cannibalism," but I figured Alfred Packard never had an appeal, and this was (I think) before Dahmer--so there would be no hits. So I used "polygamy," expecting a couple of prosecutions to pop up. What I got was a couple of fairly recent law review articles by *women* proposing polygamy as a soultion to the work/family conflict. All from BYU, iirc.


        ob weird polygamy 2: at common law, polygamy was a capital crime (as were all felonies). So, to solve the problem of two women claiming the same husband, the solution was to hang him . . .


        hawk

        • The best polygamy tie-in yet is Polygamy Porter, made by the Wasatch brewers in Park City.

          Read about it in the NY Times a couple of months ago. Their advertising includes gems like

          "One is not enough!"

          and

          "Pick up a six-pack for the wives!"
  • by jabbo ( 860 ) <jabbo AT yahoo DOT com> on Friday January 18, 2002 @11:52AM (#2862868)
    They're not even making any money off the site AFAIK, unlike some sites that don't work (airline sites mostly) without IE5.5 and a lot of good luck.

    IMHO it could be a lot worse, as well as a lot better. Usability nuts seem to forget how businesses actually work (which is to say, barely, on most days).

    I run Linux full-time at home on my laptop, and use Windows full-time at work (mostly because Windows Media doesn't run natively in Linux, and Real is not representative under Linux of how it runs in Windows -- and our streaming media clients are the biggest source of support calls). Normally I just expect incompetent web design. By my standards, the SLOC website is not half bad, just wickedly slow.

    YMMV...
  • The modern Olympic games are just a friggin' waste of TV time, and just one more thing in human culture that has been taken over, lock, stock and barrel by megacorporations and their sponsorships. Yeah-- like these athletes really got that way by sucking down Big Macs. Riiiiiiight.

    The last time the games really mattered was in 1936, when Jesse Owens beat out Hitler's alleged Master Race competitors. It's been all downhill since then. All that's left now is a corporate-sponsored hollow shell. I'm surprised they haven't destroyed the last bastion of tradition and redone the torch to look like a big Bic or Zippo.

    Face it, the most Olympic-related fun you can have nowadays is by dusting off your old Commodore 64/Atari/Apple II/what-have-you and loading up the old Epyx "[season] Games" titles.

    ~Philly
    • The reason the Olympics still matter to viewers (as opposed to TV channels) is simple - most people enjoy watching a bit of bob-sleigh and ski jumping every now and then. A couple of weeks of watching people in lycra run / jump / slide / skid / crash and burn on the snow is quite enjoyable to dip in and out of.
      • And this lets me introduce one of the reasons why I think that the number of viewers of the olympics, both summer and winter, are falling.

        If I'm a casual viewer, I can look at any sport and very quickly know what is to be measured and how a winnner can be a winner. If it's downhill skiing, then it's the fastest person. If it's long jump then it's the person who jumps the longest. If it's weightlifting it's the person who lifts the most. Simple concepts that even the least sports knowledgable can identify. However, in recent years, there have been more and more non sports introduced. These have judges who cannot give an objective measurement about the event, and have to give their opinion. That means that the average person cannot look at the competition and understand the event, and the judges are free to give a biased result - no-one can argue with a judge's opinion. Eliminate skating, except for speed skating. Eliminate diving. Eliminate syncronized swimming. Eliminate EVERYTHING which cannot be objectivily measured, and get back to only sports.

        • This brings up a long-standing debate I have with several friends over what is a sport, and what is simply a competition.

          Obviously the first thing to get thrown out is anything that is solely based on the opinion of judges. There has to be some emperical measure of a winner or loser. Say goodbye to figure skating, ballet/freestyle skiing, and snowboard half-pipe.

          The second requirement is that a sport has to involve athletes, and athletes have to exhibit a whole heck of a lot of physical prowess. Out goes baseball, curling, and chess.
          Some argue that a game like baseball is based on the opinion of "judges", in that umpires make the call for everything that happens. Strikes, balls, calls at the plate, etc. I say baseball isn't a sport for the second requirement, however.

          Then you get into the wierd sports that are a combination of emperical and judged values, like mogul skiing and ski-jumping. They could be easily tweaked to make them 'real' sports.

          Just because it's a competition, and it's physically demanding, doesn't make it a sport in my books.
          • Some argue that a game like baseball is based on the opinion of "judges", in that umpires make the call for everything that happens. Strikes, balls, calls at the plate, etc.

            Every sport has this, however they are giving their opinion of the events, not the quality of the events. Given the right technology the opinion can be removed, and the result proven. Tennis used to have a line judge who would decide if a ball was in or out. Now they have electronic eyes which can measure it.

          • The second requirement is that a sport has to involve athletes, and athletes have to exhibit a whole heck of a lot of physical prowess. Out goes baseball...

            Hah.

            One could argue that baseball is more of a sport than others that would meet your criteria as it combines many skills that are indivudal events. Baseball players, especially at the pre-professional level, are in excellent shape, and the sport takes tremendous prowess and smarts.

            If nothing else, hitting a baseball delivered by a skilled pitcher is one of the single hardest tasks in all of sport.

            Your argument is empty.

        • True fact. Demo sport for Salt Lake 2002: Bridge.

          I kid you not, and as a card-carrying member of the American Contract Bridge League, I'm ashamed that this travesty ever occurred.
    • by gowen ( 141411 ) <gwowen@gmail.com> on Friday January 18, 2002 @12:26PM (#2863086) Homepage Journal
      The last time the games really mattered was in 1936, when Jesse Owens beat out Hitler's alleged Master Race competitors. It's been all downhill since then.
      Whilst I agree with the thrust of your thesis, you can't track the decline that far back. The problems really started in 1976. The Montreal games were a financial disaster (it is rumoured that the city still hasn't fully settled the account). The 1980 games were marred by the (justified) US boycott due to the previous war in Afghanistan, but I enjoyed them (hey, a Brit won the 100m for God's sake, and Coe and Ovett larged it big style on the track.) But the Russians were prepared to take the economic hit as they thought a successful games w/o the Yanks would be a propaganda coup. The commercialisation really took off in LA in 1984. Desperate not to lose money, the city authorities did a great job finding sponsorship, in the absence of the communist block the US won everything not nailed down (except the women's 3000m, but thats another story) and everyone got rich. No surprises then, that thats been pretty much the format ever since.

      Besides, for political impact, Tommie Smith's 1968 protest was the equal of Jesse, to my mind.
      • >The problems really started in 1976. The Montreal games were a financial disaster (it is rumoured that the city still hasn't fully settled the account).

        About that quote, on a side note:

        We're still paying taxes for the Olympic Stadium that is falling in rumble bits by bits. The montreal Expo baseball club isn't working anymore (i.e. very very low attendance) and it's the tax payers that are suffering from this terrible debt. Since January 1st, they've forced all the cities on the Ilsand to become only 1 big city, politics wants to to think that it's better for the economy, in the real world, it's more like all the surrounding cities were richer and better managed while montreal was going down in debts, that decision was forced upon the other cities, which strongly opposed to that because their citizens knew this meant transferring money to montreal's hole, and reduction in quality of services and probably tax increases.

        The mayor who started this fusion project didn't get re-elected, the mayor who fought to get the olympic games in montreal was a visionnary, he really brought a lot to the city (yeah, and debts too :) ) but the subsequent mayors didn't do a good job at managing the money and investing it at the right places, so the olympics were a financial catastrophy, yes, but it was great to map montreal in the world, in that respect, it was a success, people tend to think only at one side of the medal, it's always easier to blame the predecessor than to innovate or do something simple to fix/patch the mistakes. It's like that minister who cutted millions of dollar in health ressources and got her office remade for 300,000$, these people aren't seeing past their mendate, the guy who brought us the olympics, expo 67 and the subways, did, the others after had 25 years to do something about the debt and/or repay it, they never payed anything until recently, so no wonder it's a HUGE bill. This is just plain bad administration.
      • I'm not sure that 1980 games boycott was justified. They just gained nothing. The USSR didn't give a damn and stayed in Afganistan for 8 years more.

        Well, ask those unfortunate US sportsmen what do they think about the boycott. The boycott violated their constitutional right to compete in the Olympics. And when some groups tried to get to Moscow on their own, they were stopped. There was a memo issued that any U.S. Olympian attempting to compete in Moscow would lose his passport and be considered an ex-patriot.

        Now, the questions is, should we boycott the 2008 Beijing Games?
    • Well it's the Winter Olympics. Of course it's gone downhill. Boom boom.
    • by JordoCrouse ( 178999 ) on Friday January 18, 2002 @12:38PM (#2863158) Homepage Journal
      The modern Olympic games are just a friggin' waste of TV time

      I know - and TV time is just soooo valuable these days. I would hate to have Springer canceled just to watch a guy that has trained his entire life win a gold medal which just happens to be the higest honor his sport can bestow.

      Living in Salt Lake City, I have been a large critic of the Organizing Committee. I agree with everything they say about the Mormon Olympics, and the bribery scandal, and the liquor laws, and the transportation snafus, and any other politcal goat fuck that has popped up over the last 6 years.

      But also, as my brother was a competitive ski racer (and my mother was a hell of a ice skater in her day), I have a real appreaciation for the hard work and pain that many of these atheletes endure for their entire lives just to get one shot at olympic glory. Thats a huge commitment, and it is important for the games to be televised , and to give these guys the 7 and 1/2 minutes of fame that they deserve. When the games actually start, all the politics and evilness will subside and we may be able to share a little bit of triumph with our athletes.

      If you don't want to watch, thats fine - the games will be televised with or without you, but you shouldn't attack the meaning that these 2 weeks have in the lives of the athletes. No matter how commercial or screwed up they are, these are still the friggin Olympic games.

      • Priorities (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Rupert ( 28001 )
        I follow rowing. Rowing is still an entirely amateur sport. It is an athletic endeavour requiring great skill, strength and endurance. It fits the olympic ideal in every way. Yet every olympics since LA84 has attempted to reduce the number of crews attending, or eliminate some events entirely, to make way for new "sports" such as synchronized swimming.

        Only fools train all their lives for one shot at olympic glory. You do it for the fun inherent in the sport, or for the competition, or whatever. But when the IOC can simply eliminate your event because it's not telegenic enough, you have to focus on something else.
    • I personally think the Olympics started their downward slide the very same moment they started allowing pro athletes to compete. I think it started with track&field events, and has snowballed from there (if I'm wrong, please correct me!)

      Still, you have got to admit that this is still the world's premier sporting event. The best of the best in the world competing over the course of two weeks. It's a damned shame that the corruption of the IOC can sometimes overshadow the work and accomplishments of these athletes.

      (BTW... Go Jasey-Jay!)
      • was originally to keep the riff-raff out, to leave a pure sport for the gentlemen. You wouldn't want to be elbow to elbow sweating with the middle (or even lower!) class, now would you?


        :(


        hawk

  • This is the first year that IBM didn't do the site, so it's not suprising that these probems exist.
    • IBM got out of the olympics business because it isnt worth the investment.

      Nobody makes a big deal if the site can handle millions of hits; is usable; has accurate info. But if something goes wrong, you can bet that everyone will be talking about how bad it is, and how IBM screwed up.

      There is a small chance of failure, but a very high cost (negative PR and spin-doctoring to undo it) when failure occurs. There is a high chance of success, but little rewards to reap in the end. It's just not worth the risk.
  • by Dephex Twin ( 416238 ) on Friday January 18, 2002 @11:56AM (#2862899) Homepage
    But is it really newsworthy? I mean, how many sites are there out there that have similar problems?

    (Hint: lots.)

    I think there's a broader problem here.

    mark
    • Yes their are many many sites that have very similar problems, but in my opinon (and from the looks of it many others too), a site that is intended for a world wide audince should make considerations for the wold.

      If msnb.com (or insert site here) wants to do some funky magic to make a site that might not work on my Kongueror or Mozilla browser that is fine with me I will just not go to that site after all many sites have news. It is when the offical site for the 2002 olympic winter games makes no considerations for even things such as language devides I feel it is wong.

      Just my 2 cents though I suppose
  • Argh! I notice the URLs end in ".asp", which means it's running Microsoft stuff! Why is it that practcally every *big* site that uses Microsoft technologies feels compelled to add a whole whack of content that is unsupported by non-IE browsers? (I think I just asked a rhetorical question here.)

    It appears that when people start developing web sites with MS technologies, a crucial part of their bran turns off ... the part that should tell them there are other bowsers out there, and in a world where not everyone has a 1.6 GHz Pentium or an AMD 1800 CPU, half a gig of RAM, 20 GB of hard disk, the latest copy of Windows, and a partial T1 connection to the internet, they should make allowances for people at the lower end of the spectrum ... perhaps text mode only with lynx or w3m.

    Or is that going too low?
  • I find it funny that the reviewer's site uses one of those annoying and browser-crushing floating backgrounds that doesn't scroll when you go through the page....
  • by gonerill ( 139660 ) on Friday January 18, 2002 @12:03PM (#2862949) Homepage
    I have several images in my mind:



    1. A most excellent business magnate in charge of enforcing the Americans with Disabilities act.



    2. A old, twisted central-Asian warlord concerned with copyright law.



    3. A combination of (1) and (2). Possibly resembling Jack Valenti.

  • I just tried connecting using Netscape 4.72 for Linux, and got the following:


    Microsoft VBScript runtime error '800a000d'

    Type mismatch: '[string: ""]'

    /x/inc/get_guid.asp, line 10


    If this site crashes when a bunch of geeks reading slashdot hit it at once, what will happen when the browsers of the world are focussed on it?
    • What makes you think the browsers of the world will be focused on the site?

      I'll be tuned to whatever station is carrying the games, my newspaper and CNN...oh yeah and i'll be in McDonalds everyday to see if i can take home the gold of a Big Mac by bringing in my winning gamepiece.
    • Heh, I often see that when connecting to the "techsupport & status" pages of bellsouth internet services, my ISP.

      That's not the slashdot effect my friend. That's the dumbass effect, and it's all on their end.

    • I do not think that the site crashed under the Slashdot effect. I tried loading the page using Netscape 4.78 for Solaris. And I got the exact same error message:

      Microsoft VBScript runtime error '800a000d'
      Type mismatch: '[string: ""]'
      /x/inc/get_guid.asp, line 10

      However, just before getting this error displayed in the main window, I saw a little JavaScript warning in the status bar. So there are problems in their code, and maybe someone is trying to fix these errors as we are writing this...

      Reloading the page two minutes later shows some content, but there are still some JavaScript warnings. I opened the JavaScript console in Netscape by typing "javascript:" in the location bar, and I saw the following errors displayed in the window:

      JavaScript Error:
      http://www.saltlake2002.com/x/inc/get_guid.asp,
      line 1:
      syntax error.
      <html>
      ^
      JavaScript Error:
      http://a799.ms.akamai.net/3/799/388/cf806351e98dbd /www.saltlake2002.com/x/js/stdframe.js,
      line 131:
      bShowAds is not defined.

      Their JavaScript code is far from perfect... They probably tested it only with MSIE and were happy with the result, so they published the site. Don't they know that other browsers and other operating systems exist?

  • Oh come on... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by maniac11 ( 88495 ) on Friday January 18, 2002 @12:10PM (#2862982) Homepage Journal
    Not only do I question the "Site Review" category as "Stuff that matters," but the article seems overly nitpicky to me.

    Come on folks, Frames are not only accepted and common, but part of the w3 spec [w3.org] since 1997. JavaScript? The DOM has been standardized for at least as long and JavaScript support has been available (funky, but basically available) since 2.0 browsers... PDF? Well, a fine solution for encapsulated, printable documents (like maps?!!)

    I'm all for accessibilty, but this site doesn't seem to be unfairly limiting to me... unless you're using lynx...
    • Re:Oh come on... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by skaiser ( 552025 )

      I don't feel it's sufficient that most but not all people can access the Olympics site. That could be said about sidewalks without ramps for wheelchairs, too -- most people can step up the step fine, so why bother with ramps. Some people just don't get it until they're the ones in the wheelchairs. Yet others are donating their Saturdays to pouring the cement and paying for the supplies, too. Seems to be the way the world goes around.

      The point in my initial review [brainstormsandraves.com] that Andy King [webreference.com] then picked up for WebReference.com is not at all that they're using frames, Flash, JavaScript, and PDF -- those are all fine. The developers didn't also follow the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines [w3.org] to include the NOSCRIPT tags, the NOFRAMES tags and other recommendations that would provide the alternate means of accessing the site.

      The reason I wrote about this site in particular is because of the Olympics being such a major worldwide event and its even greater importance for anyone in the world to be able to access. If the developers had included the elements I mentioned above and in my review (and Andy's too), people who've turned off JavaScript (and there are plenty of them out there), using screen readers, Lynx, or other devices wouldn't be completely locked out as they are now.

    • You can't bookmark framesets. I personally like them for some things, but you can't bookmark them. You may be able to bookmark individual parts but not the entire frameset. And by using Javascript to write the frames, well, gheeez, how in the heck are you going to bookmark that? Just plain lame.

      As for Javascript, it's a memory leak, it allows popup ads, it is a security risk, and it eats up my processor time. Sometimes I'll have 20 windows open at once. Animated GIFs are bad enough, but javascript mouseovers are atrocious and do nothing to enhance any web site. All style and no substance. 99% of javascript use is strictly for mouseover flash and does nothing for usability. Parameter checking on forms submission is ok, but until I click that submit button, pah!

      Popups for some links, I have no problem with that, but you don't need javascript for it, TARGET does fine, unless you think it's important to specify the size, but then you'll get that wrong unless you know my browser font settings.
      • A conference I was attending used it to total the registration fees onthe client side.


        Aside fromthat,every single use of javascript I've seen simply should not have occured. THey're either lazy, incompetent, showing off, or downright anti-user.


        and yes, I do *prefer* lynx; I like my information straight, not gussied up with eye-candy.


        hawk

  • by DrNibbler ( 547534 ) <sean@@@seanreiser...com> on Friday January 18, 2002 @12:11PM (#2862992) Homepage Journal
    Is that many people don't have broadband at home yet. Heck, the recent slashdot poll had 19% of slashdotters using dialup. That number has to higher for the Jane Imacs and the Allen Oscar Littles. Now between the Flash, Video (Quicktime and Windows Media?), and Actobat files this has got to be a bandwith hungry sight. Unless they feel most people will be viewing this at home they are probably shutting people out.
  • Entertainment (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Animats ( 122034 ) on Friday January 18, 2002 @12:15PM (#2863019) Homepage
    I can't get that excited about "accessability" issues for what's basically promotion for a TV program.
  • Languages? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cascino ( 454769 ) on Friday January 18, 2002 @12:18PM (#2863039) Homepage
    Usability issues aside - with the Olympics being, you know, an international event, you'd expect translations of the page in at least the common European languages plus Japanese and a few others, right?
    Whoever had the foresight to exclude all languages other than English and French [saltlake2002.com] is a complete moron, and stands to further propogate the idea of the self-serving American (i.e.: "everybody should speak English!"). To make matters worse, the French site follows none of the English site's design conventions (perhaps a good thing!) and has the personality of a dehydrated camel - there are no images on the site's content pages, for example.
    Also, not to be troll, but honestly, guys... when the top story on the front page is a lambasting of the usability of a website, it's a good thing to provide a link of some sort to the site, ya know?
    • Re:Languages? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by bravehamster ( 44836 ) on Friday January 18, 2002 @01:42PM (#2863608) Homepage Journal
      Their reasoning behind this is probably because the only two official languages of the Olympics are, you guessed it, English and French. That's what you get for letting a Frenchman create the modern Olympics. It really has nothing to do with "self-serving Americans". If you went to the Olympics, you'd see that all the signs are in English and French. Don't like it? Blame the IOC, not the people who made the website.

      By using the official languages only, they avoid several problems. If they used only the "major" languages of Europe, complaints from other peoples of the world would rightfully come rolling in. Similarly, I doubt they have the budget or the resources to make a translation for everyone. By sticking to the official languages, they're avoiding any sign of favoritism or any Euro-centric or Amero-centric prejudices. Or at least they can plausibly deny such prejudices. ;)

  • by mrroot ( 543673 ) on Friday January 18, 2002 @12:19PM (#2863041)
    Operations: Technology of the Games [saltlake2002.com] contains the following paragraph regarding the website:

    Internet: Visitors to www.saltlake2002.com or www.olympics.com will reach the official website for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, where they'll find the latest news and sports information (including the most comprehensive Games results) as well as important business applications. Olympic fans can also visit the website to purchase event tickets via Tickets.com as well as buy official 2002 Olympics merchandise. This site is being produced, hosted and distributed by MSNBC.com and MSN. As the official online content supplier for the Games, MSN will provide consumers with simple access to exclusive Games content and standings. MSN will also use its advertising products and promotions to market the website across MSN. Behind the scenes, broadcasters, press, and other accredited visitors to the Games can place online orders for mobile phones, PCs and other equipment and services for use during their stay in Salt Lake City. SchlumbergerSema is supplying the website with a variety of Games and results information from the competition venues. Qwest will continue its provision of Internet access services and web-based applications. Other contributors to the website include Monster.com, eBay, and Harris Interactive.
  • by night_flyer ( 453866 ) on Friday January 18, 2002 @12:19PM (#2863047) Homepage
    and the olympics are on the other side of the globe? the only way we could watch them is by staying up till 3:00 in the morning?

    http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=02/01/18/0742 25 4&mode=thread
  • by mrroot ( 543673 ) on Friday January 18, 2002 @12:22PM (#2863065)
    ...why not buy one of their Unix Servers [saltlake2002.com] or Cisco Routers [saltlake2002.com].
  • With all the hub-ub that has been made about electronic security on the Olymipic network and how paranoid they are, it's a shame that the site itself looks so rank because what is the point of a site staying up if no-one wants to look at it?
  • Olympic web designer's viewpoint:
    The site can be viewed with Internet Explorer? Good. The site can ONLY be viewed with Internet Explorer? Who cares - see 1)

    My viewpoint:
    The site can only be viewed with Internet Explorer? Who cares- I don't give a fetid rodent's rectal tissue about the Olympics.

    Since the Olymics has degenerated into a professional athlete hawking commercial interests adfest rather than a celebration of what people can do, I've lost interest. Does it suprise anyone that they cannot make a good web site?
  • by Dr.Dubious DDQ ( 11968 ) on Friday January 18, 2002 @12:47PM (#2863243) Homepage

    Here's the reason the page doesn't display in Konqueror (part of page source follows - don't worry, it's short).

    <script language=javascript src=/x/inc/get_guid.asp></script>
    <script language=javascript src="http://a799.ms.akamai.net/3/799/388/aa5324979 fa989/www.saltlake2002.com/x/js/xtd_funct.js">& lt;/script>
    <script language=javascript src="http://a799.ms.akamai.net/3/799/388/cf806351e 98dbd/www.saltlake2002.com/x/js/stdframe.js">&l t;/script>
    <noscript>Javascript must be enabled to view this site.</noscript>

    Note that this is almost ENTIRELY the content of the page. So, in short, it's a combination of hideous web design and one of the handful of javascript-related features (loading javascript from an alternate location via "src=") that isn't yet implemented in Konqueror.

    Whatever happed to the "KISS" principle?...

  • nice resemblance (Score:3, Informative)

    by tijsvd ( 548670 ) on Friday January 18, 2002 @12:50PM (#2863261) Homepage
    Compare this [saltlake2002.com] with this [nbcolympics.com]. It's clear that not too much work was done, the site was just copied from the NBC site. As stated in the review, it has the same dull titles: "NBC Olympics" became "Olympics".

    It is really sad that the IOC couldn't hire an independant site builder to create the site here.

  • W3 Validator (Score:5, Interesting)

    by singularity ( 2031 ) <nowalmart@@@gmail...com> on Friday January 18, 2002 @12:55PM (#2863307) Homepage Journal
    After attempting to get W3.org's HTML validator to check the entire page, I finally just checked the main frame. Notice that I had to force HTML 4.01 Frameset, since the document does not include its own DOCTYPE.

    Results can be found at this link. [w3.org] Needless to say, the site failed miserably, even with Frameset set.

    iCab's built in HTML checker found 238 errors in the main frame alone, not to mention the dozens of errors in the surrounding frames.

    Note that I am not suggesting that the writers are ever going to write strict HTML [w3.org] or XHTML [w3.org] (although they should for accessability), but that writing *such bad* HTML that some browsers choke on it is simply unacceptable *for anyone*, especially a web page like the Winter Olympics site.
  • by Dave21212 ( 256924 ) <dav@spamcop.net> on Friday January 18, 2002 @01:09PM (#2863401) Homepage Journal


    In prior years, the olympics.com sites were handled by IBM. They did a great job, considering the way that the web and the Internet were growing through those years. Here's a report they created discussing the their "User-Centered [ibm.com]" design approach. For a cool example of a portion of the site targeted for the people at the events, check out the details of the regional weather site [ibm.com] they did.

    They broke several Internet world-records [zdnet.co.uk] each year (most hits in a day, hits per minute, etc) they ran the technology using the Lotus Notes Domino servers [ibm.com] on RS/6000. The story I heard was that IBM had faced all the tech challenges it wanted to, and that the inter-personal challenges were making their involvement in upcoming olympics less attractive (ie NBC being a pain). I remember at the time that I chuckled to myself "lets see who else thinks they can pull this one off!"

    Now that Microsoft is involved (remember when they blocked non-IE browsers [slashdot.org] from their MSN site?) I'm not surprised at the results so far.

    p.s. The fact that the site is not international, here in the year 2002, is an absolute shame! Hell, the 1998 site was at least in English French AND Japanese !
  • After a few seconds, it mysteriously redirects to http://www.saltlake2002.com/x/f/frame.htm?u=%2Fx%2 Ff%2Fframe.htm%3Fu%3D%252F, which doesn't render.

    My guess is that their validation and testing process was limited to MSIE. We must remember, though, that the site is intended to promote the reliability of MS Windows 2000.

    Anybody want to bet on how long it will take until 1)The media notices that the site has died under the load, and 2) the site is hacked?

    "Eddie the Eagle wins gold!"
  • by fleener ( 140714 ) on Friday January 18, 2002 @01:52PM (#2863682)
    If you are wondering, "How the hell did a web site this crappy get built?" then the good news is... you too can be a web designer.

    I have a friends who made web development their successful career after getting frustrated by bloated, unfocused motion picture (and other corporate) web sites. Their thought process went something like this... "Someone made a load of dough building this site. I know nothing, but I could still run circles around this design. Damn, I'm changing careers."
  • by mr_don't ( 311416 ) on Friday January 18, 2002 @02:52PM (#2864019)

    This is from:

    Burn the Olympics page [burntheolympics.org]

    Ten reasons to BURN the Olympics: A call to action

    The Olympics are about money

    The Games are "given" to the city that shells out the biggest bribes, tax money that could be better spent on community programs to help those who need it the most. While big business profits from increased tourism, the public is stuck with a bill for 1.3 billion.

    The Olympics are for the rich

    The IOC feeds us lies about bringing growth and sporting arenas for the citizens of Salt Lake. However, the venues built for the games are later only used by the super-elite and wealthy. The Olympics squander public funds to host an event that most people can't even afford to attend.

    The Olympics are sexist

    Baron de Courbertin, founder of the IOC, was a French chauvinist who hated women. He felt that "The Olympic Games must be reserved for men." Since then (1896), women have slowly been included in more events, but there are still far more men's competitions.

    The Olympics promote spectatorship

    The Games do not help aspiring athletes, but instead get us to watch TV. The Olympics want people glued to their televisions so they can absorb advertisements. By placing athletes on pedestals, people are disempowered by being convinced that they must buy things to get closer to the gold.

    The Olympics are about corporate sponsorship

    Corporate sponsors and the media make billions from selling people worthless consumer junk, and they are salivating over this opportunity to pitch their products to billions worldwide. The Games are no longer about sports, but just another medium for marketing.

    The Olympics destroy the environment

    With the massive temporary influx of people coming to Utah this February, and Salt Lake's lousy public transit, the roads will be packed with cars. Ski resorts and other outdoor event sites are built in places where trees
    and animals should be living, not swarming with yuppies.

    The Olympics fuel nationalism

    The image of the Games that is being pushed by the IOC of countries getting together in times of peace is completely false. The actual dynamic perpetuates nationalistic feelings and bitterness. What the people need is worldwide solidarity, not worldwide competition.

    The Olympics celebrate globalization

    Like the WTO or FTAA, the Olympics place private interests above all other concerns. Public money is diverted to generate profit for multinationals. Protecting people and the environment are second to investment dollars in the eyes of state officials. Not only this, but the Olympics turn it into a celebration.

    The Olympics create a police state

    The Utah Olympic Public Safety Command (UOPSC) and the Olympic Joint Terrorism Task Force (OJTTF) are in place to take away your right to free speech, expression, and movement. They are already working to stop legal protests through new laws and arrests. With the actions against the World Trade Center and Pentagon, we will now be seeing a police state of the nature that most activists in North American have never witnessed.

    The Olympics drive out "undesirables"

    The homeless will be swept off the streets and kept out of the city where they might bother shoppers. SLOC's plans for the homeless include housing them in the State Fair horse barns or letting them "camp" in freezing weather on Antelope Island. Protesters will also be out of view from tourists.

    Come to Salt Lake City

    Join tens of thousands of undesirables to take a stand against the 2002 Winter Games. Activists will be converging in Utah to expose and oppose the true capitalistic nature of the Olympics. Housing and ride shares are being compiled, if you need or can offer either, contact us.

    Who we are and what we do

    This information is provided by Build Underground Resistance Not the Olympics (BURN the Olympics). We are working to educate, agitate, and organize for the Salt Lake City Olympics in February of 2002. BURN the Olympics has been initiated by radicals who are not resigned to sit back and watch our city turn into a playground for the rich. We plan on using diverse tactics to tackle the multinational death machine that is killing the planet.

    Contact us

    Email: olympics@anarchist.co.uk [mailto] Our PGP key can be be found here [burntheolympics.org]

    Mailing address:

    Subvert
    PO Box 1112
    Salt Lake City, UT 84101

  • This was something that I would expect when you outsource web development to people that focus on looks rather than how it functions technically. There are hundreds and thousands of web development houses in the US. A good majority of these are focused on getting the best looking sites that fit the specs with the least amount of man hours. This is why they often take shortcuts, such as using frames and templated javascripts.

    The way that many of these outsourced projects work is that the look and feel is outsourced to one company that focuses entirely on the graphics and the layout. Once that is done, it is sent to a implementation and backend development company. Often, these two companies are separated, but the look company has greater control because the group that hired the two is part of marketting. This often creates a problem because the looks company is coming from a paper media background and expect the web to function the same way. They often ignore web standards, such as NEVER USE FRAMES, so that it would look "nice." When it does finally hit the web, it loses a lot of the expected functionality that typical web users look for.

    Secondly, to cut costs, the implementation companies often take templated code for the project. Depending on the code, it is rather inefficient and troublesome on other browsers than the ones that they focus on.

    Lastly, while I was typing this, I had to exit out of the website. The javascript was taking up 40-70% of my resources (running P2 233).

    example of inefficient code (from the Olympics site):
    [script language=javascript] document.write("[title]" + ((location.host.indexOf("nbcolympics")>-1) ? "NBC Olympics" : "Olympics") + "[/title]"); [/script]
    [Note: I've replaced the > and
    If I were a company hiring someone to do a website, I would focus on their technical know-how rather than their artistic experience. Artistic experience is important up to and until implementation. If a site is poorly implemented that decreases the value of the artistic experience. If it is highly implemented, it often hides and shields the lack of "prettiness"
  • from the 100-click-dash dept...

    As opposed to the 100-klick-dash dept., which would be interesting...

  • I was told that the idea of the Olympic and the charter is to ensure that sport is available to everyone, or as many people as possible. By limiting the sources of information, the accessibility of sport is decreased and this is therefore against the olympic charter.

    This was what I was told around 5 years ago.
  • Salt Lake 2002 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by i_am_nitrogen ( 524475 ) on Friday January 18, 2002 @05:31PM (#2865090) Homepage Journal
    I've been reading over some of the comments here, and I must say that I am appalled at the unjustified criticism and uneducated stereotyping being thrown around. Salt Lake City [slc.ut.us] is not an inbred hick town, Mormons [mormon.org] don't have horns, and Utahns [utah.gov] are not polygamists (Those that are do so in violation of federal law and are the exception, not the rule. Besides, all the polygamists live in their own cities with unfinished houses to dodge taxes.), and the term "Mormon Olympics" is simply uncalled for. I am speaking as a former resident of Salt Lake City and current resident of Utah, and a Mormon [lds.org] all my life. Isn't this (Open Source) community supposed to be open minded and unjudging (except toward Microsoft products, of course ;p)? Shame on you all. Learn a little bit about a group of people before you go up and down criticizing it for things that aren't even true.

    The fact that the website runs IIS and is incompatible with Lynx says nothing about the character of the people who live in the state. Not everyone is an incompetent MCSE (I, for example, have written several useful [freshmeat.net] projects [sourceforge.net]).

    Surely I will get moderated down for this post.

    -nitrogen

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