Originally Web posted Wednesday, 4 September 2013.
Content last modified Friday, 4 December 2015 .
External links last verified Friday, 2 August 2013.

About the Sonically Pure Pages

This page is minimally formatted, to maximize accessibility.

What’s This All About?

Personal Site

The Sonically Pure Pages, the website accessible at the domain siber-sonic.com, is a personal website belonging to an individual (Sonic Purity).

Mostly Non-Commercial (so far)

I chose it to be a dot com so as not to limit my options in terms of commercial activities, though so far in practice, it has operated as a non-commercial site. To date, there has not ever been and is no advertising on the site. There are occasional hyperlinks to products or services, for purposes of connecting site visitors to said entities. No one here receives any compensation for the existence or use of these links.

In 2013 i have added a For Sale section, the first overtly commercial activity on the site (and barely commercial at that, being basically an online garage sale).

Accessibility

The intent of the creator of this site is that its content be accessible to as many people and well-behaved machines as possible. Since the site content is created and maintained by one individual in his “free” time and without compensation, there are limits to real-world accessibility testing and the creator’s skill limits.

For many years now and especially since the summer 2013 site redesign, this site’s pages have been written to comply with W3C standards. Some very old pages are still written to the HTML 3.2 or 2.0 standard, yet most are written as HTML 4.01 Transitional (yet even most of these could validate as HTML 4.01 Strict). Earlier pages use hybrid CSS and HTML styling, whereas starting summer 2013 new pages are moving to pure CSS styling. If there are accessibility problems related to color choices, these should be easily overridden by a user style sheet. If you find any color-related accessibility problems which border on horrifically bad, i’d like to at least read your findings and thoughts.

Screen Reader and Voice Browser Disappointment

I started to test the revised Summer 2013 site with Apple’s VoiceOver. Then i read up and learned that CSS 2.1 aural is basically dead and CSS 3 speech is barely supported by anyone, anywhere, anytime. Given that i can’t find any screen reader nor voice browser which acknowledges either the aural nor speech forms of CSS and runs on OS 10.4 Tiger and a PPC Mac—or really any Mac and OS X for that matter—i’ve given up. VoiceOver and the others apparently will do what they do, regardless of any CSS styles i might apply (sigh). Unfortunately, this site will remain a sight-privileged vision-normative website until the situation changes significantly for the better… if it ever does during my lifetime.

Most of my image alt tags should be legitimate, but some may be bogus (especially older ones). I will gladly consider fixing egregiously bad ones which are pointed out to me.

Please let me know if you are experiencing problems with accessibility on this site… i may choose to re-do the style sheets to provide an alternate sheet, or may consider making other changes as warranted. I’d also love to hear from you if you know of free software for any Mac and OS X version which has decent support for any flavor of CSS audio styling.

Technical Information

Many historical technical details are elaborated on the Site History page. As noted above in the Accessibility section, for many years now the site has been designed to W3C standards. Because this is a personal site, my testing abilities and interests have been and continue to be limited. So far i have lived my computing/online life with Apple products. Therefore, the reference WWW browser for design of this site has always been one particular Mac OS/OS X browser, usually with the previous browser as the “less enhanced” reference. As of summer 2013, the reference WWW browser is Safari 4.1.3 for OS 10.4 Tiger. Some features, such as some aspects of opacity on the home page do not even work correctly in this browser (but the opacity aspects do work correctly in Opera 10.63 Mac).

Design Philosophy

Ever since of learning about the design philosophy of progressive enhancement, i have chosen it over “graceful degradation”. I start with a bare-bones HTML 2 or basic HTML 3.2 or core, unstyled HTML 4.01 design on each page, then style them up with CSS to make them as nice as possible (in the eyes of someone with arguably little aesthetic taste and no design skills—think Dilbert or any other engineer doing artistic design). I feel that this makes the site as accessible as possible on as many different technology platforms as possible with very little effort on my part.

For the most part (there are some exceptions), these pages do not specify font faces, nor link colors (unvisited, visited, hover, active). If you are not liking what you’re seeing (especially the font face(s)), please consider changing your WWW browser’s defaults, as that’s likely what’s setting what you’re seeing.

Compatibility

I generally only test in my reference WWW browser and maybe one other. Sometimes i’ll test in several, such as when making a major change or learning about a new-to-me feature of HTML or (especially) CSS. No current/recent version of Firefox supports OS 10.4 Tiger on PPC Macs, so i do not test in Firefox; instead i test with the latest version of TenFourFox. I am not able to test in Google Chrome because Google keeps giving me the middle finger (Google has become Evil, truly!) for having the audacity to still be using a PPC Macintosh… in other words, there is no Chrome for my system(s). Opera 10.63 is the newest version of that pretty nice WWW browser which i can use, so i do test in it but tend to ignore bugs if i can’t find an easy pure standards-compliant fix, given that it is far from current now. I do tend to test in the most recent version of iCab 4 for Tiger/PPC Macs, to ensure that iCab smiles (and since it also uses WebKit like Safari, it almost always does). Unfortunately since i started adding gradients, the error checker in the newest version of iCab i can currently run (4.9.0) is showing what i consider spurious errors. (See the site history page for further information.)

Internet Explorer Exploder Can Go Blow Chunks!

This site has never been tested on, designed for, nor even considered the existence of any version of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer WWW browser (not even MSIE 5 Mac, which apparently was a pretty decent WWW browser in its day), or any other M$ browser by any name. If you are having problems with this site in a Microsoft WWW browser, too bad: use a different WWW browser or go away!

This strong stance is based upon all the abuse I received in the late 1990s and early 2000s as a Mac user during the worst of the Browser Wars, when people/sites arrogantly told be to go use MSIE on Winblows or Shut The Fuck Up! I’ve been turning the tables ever since, and intend to continue to do so. As MS continues to be goaded into making IE more standards-compliant (Thank You, Mozilla and Firefox!), it is likely that there will be fewer and fewer issues with this site and IE. Yet please be clear: i don’t care if 90% of site visitors come here using IE (and this hasn’t been true for years, if indeed it ever was)—I’m not implementing any hacks to work around Micro$oft’s bugs! Not Happening, ever!

“Dude: Handhelds!”

Yes, i know. I’m a no-income person who spends a lot of time at home where i can just as easily use a full-function personal computer, so i don’t own one. The summer 2013 redesign was my first attempt at supporting iOS devices per Apple’s guidelines for website developers and other general WWW information. I have brief, limited use of an iPhone 4S running the current version of iOS (6 in Summer 2013 and so far parked at 7.1.1 for reasons i won’t get into)—this is the only iOS device testing i have done or can readily do. I have no access to any Android OS devices, nor really much interest in designing for them, nor in making a duplicate site for mobile devices. Every page should now have a viewport tag, and i did my best attempting to set the tag to something reasonable for each page (viewed on the iPhone 4S). In February 2014 i finally learned the CSS image trick (see the 6 March 2014 entry on the site history page) and readjusted many of these tags on many pages to make them look better at initial zoom on the iPhone (e.g. suck less). If anyone has suggestions for easy alternate stylesheets for these devices which are cross-platform standards-compliant (a’la W3C or a similar standards body), let me know.

Contact

Flames, love/hate mail, hugs, kisses, date offers, and anything else in individual, not bulk, from real humans, not machines to: Sonic Purity

Sonic’s signatureThe Sonically Pure Pages

This Siber-Sonically Pure Page is Let iCab Smile, Valid CSS!, and Valid HTML 4.01! Transitional compliant.