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GTalk: Round 2

So I was just thinking about this. Some things related to stuff I am supposed to do at work. One of the things I do is to give general advice about web accessibility. This got me thinking about the actual implementation of this from a general user standpoint, accessibility standpoint, and an adpative technology standpoint. If you know anything about the leter two you will know that they can overlap, or considered basically the same. I will try to break them down as best as I can.

General User: What I am getting at is how Google Talk works in a browser. Will it be something inside that window, or will each conversation be it a new window like normal Instant Message clients these days. This next part could be tied to accessibility. But let’s say all these are in your Gmail window. If an user has a number of conversations going, will that clutter up the whole screen if it’s in-browser.

Accessibility: How accessible will this be? Will our friends at W3C be happy? In the past people who knew shortcut keys were considered know-it-alls and the sort. Now these shortcuts have been promoted more and more, so now the average user knows more than just control + a,b,c,p,q,v. So having Gmail having hotkeys, just exposes it more. I am one of those users that rarely users the mouse, so will I be able to switch between my e-mail and a conversation without touching my mouse? I wouldn’t like having to grab the mouse to change.

Adaptive Technology: So we all love this AJAX and Web 2.0 stuff, no extra loading, slick transitions and such. But what about people that use such programs like ZoomText or Jaws® for Windows®. ZoomText allows parts of the screen to be zoomed in on from 1x magnification to 36x. Now don’t say that’s a waste because some people with really low vision need it huge. So if I had 5x magnication and somebody had to switch using a mouse, that may be quite troublesome. Especially if conversations get auto-focus. That means the cursor automatically gets moved to the reply field after a person says hello to you. Jaws® for Windows® is the top, or one of the top, screen readers for users that are blind. Some applications Jaws had troubles with reading certain elements. Read: Hence why Flash is a no-no.

I was all excited about Google Talk in Gmail, but then I thought about some things, and got curious to see what happens. Hopefully this will be a cool add-on to Gmail, and not just something people push aside.

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21 Responses

  1. chat windows can be turned into single windows which gmail users can move. well at least that’s what i’ve gathered from other posts i’ve read.

  2. Single windows like plain windows, or moveable elements inside a [the gmail] window – like meebo?

  3. Google Talk – Free Long Distance

    google talk free long distance
    If you have Internet access, take a look at Google Talk, it just might save you money. All you need is a computer with Windows, a working microphone, an Internet connection and Google Talk and you have yourself a money s…

  4. Will our friends at W3C be happy? I don’t have any friends at W3C, and if I did, I wouldn’t care if I made them happy or sad. W3C is to Web 2.0 is more like what XML is to XHTML (insta-geek statement 🙂 W3C is low level, baby.

    I know this hasen’t anything to do with your post, but I just don’t like the Web 2.0 association given to W3C. W3C makes specifications, but so does http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss and that is way more Web 2.0.

  5. That is the problem with people that have the same mindset as you displayed above. There is people that have to have services transported to like Outlook or Thunderbird to get these things, but is it fair? no. So it sucks that people don’t really think about a broad term, they just want it to be pretty.

  6. Ryan, the single window is a new pop-up window that can also be “popped-in” to the bottom-right corner of your Gmail tab/window

  7. I’ve already had a 2 people message me on gTalk from within gmail.

    I had no idea what they were talking about until today when I logged into my email and saw the new features.

    I’m not sure if they are switching a few people over at a time or what.

  8. Anand- Yes I learned that after looking over the pictures more.

    Kristin- You are like the 5th person that I have heard that is integrated into the site. They are pushing it out so many at a time. I just hope I don’t have to wait the 6 months that I had to to get web clips into my main account.

  9. I heard that by changing language settings to English-US in Gmail, one can instantly activate this chat feature.

    You could give it a try. It’s pretty useful a feature to have.

  10. I have it in English-US already

  11. Well, then lets sit back and wait till big-G decides to switch your account.

  12. No worries, just means no chatting at work

  13. I just got this feature, pretty useful but most of my friends have no idea about this and don’t stay logged on to Gmail. And it’s a very basic chat application with no features. If google goes on this big and incorporates MSN & Yahoo! Chatting, then Gmail will knock the competition head down.

    I think almost everyone I know has got this so far, so should have you?

  14. Yes thats why I like the client. Needs a few features [non graphical] just wish more people to use it.

  15. It’s pretty simple alright. But I like the little animated emoticons they’ve put up.

  16. Animated emoticons? in Google Talk? That’s new. =\

  17. Multiple conversations are not a problem, since conversations can be “poped out” into their own windows and the animated icons are cute (mouse over them for a replay) … the whole setup works really well. Even window/tab title changes … “X is typing …”, “X said …” etc. … very nifty.

  18. Alex are they connected at all? In the client version you can tab to your next conversation.

  19. If you haven’t already noticed…. You have the number 1 blog on coComment. 6 more comments than Scobleizer – Microsoft Geek Blogger Cogratz!!!

  20. Yeah the two of us have been going back and fourth. Thanks guys! Feel free if you think I should do a write-up about something.

  21. […] One word, frames. As part of my job, I help my boss with web accessibility checking. For those of you that do not know what it is, it is where you check for valid code, proper conventions, screen reader friendly, and things like color schemes. You can check out this page for a some more information. On this post, for example, I talked about concerns I had about the in-browser implementation of GTalk in GMail. […]

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