Tuesday, July 7

Gmail out of beta?

Greetings. I read earlier today on several Google related blogs that many of their applications are out of their beta cycles. This includes Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar, and others. Given that Gmail has been "in beta" since 2004, it's about time. My big question now is this: if Gmail is out of beta, when will those who use the Basic HTML interface start seeing some of the enhancements, new features, and "Lab only features" that have been in the Standard interface for some time now? Granted, many of the Lab only stuff is what I call "fluff." For instance, I don't have a lot of use for colored labels since I cann't see the colors. However, there are some Lab only things that I could find uses for and would find helpful, such as applying more than one label to a post at one time. I'd be interested in hearing from anyone from Google or Gmail that could answer this? Or, here's something, how about combining the Standard and Basic HTML interfaces and making one big interface that has enough glitz for the sighted people, but that also is accessible with plenty of headings and other HTML elements to enhance navigation with a screen reader or other AT product? I understand the benefits and uses of having a separate site that's "accessible," however why not be inclusive as well and accommodate everyone equally? After all, that's one of the big goals with many disabled people, to be treated on equal grounds as those who are "normal." So, how about it Google?

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