[guispeak] Re: Potential Problems ahead for Earthlink Webmail Users

  • From: "Darrell Shandrow" <nu7i@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <guispeak@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 5 Mar 2005 17:43:44 -0700

MessageHi Christopher,

Oh, brother!  The description leads me to believe that this EEW webmail client 
application is going to be completely inaccessible to the blind, thus locking 
out blind Earthlink customers!  Has anyone contacted Earthlink for their take 
on the issue yet?

Darrell Shandrow - Shandrow Communications!
Technology consultant/instructor, network/systems administrator!
A+, CSSA, Network+!
Check out high quality telecommunications services at http://ld.net/?nu7i
Information should be accessible to us without need of translation by another 
Blind Access Journal blog: http://nu7i.blogspot.com
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Christopher McMillan 
  To: guispeak@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
  Sent: Saturday, March 05, 2005 5:30 PM
  Subject: [guispeak] Potential Problems ahead for Earthlink Webmail Users

  Earthlink Enhanced Webmail 

  ARTICLE DATE:  03.03.05
  This Flash-based WebMail client avoids many of the pitfalls of typical 
Web-based mail offerings, but we'll have to wait for the final version to see 
if it delivers on its promise. 

  Interface that's virtually indistinguishable from a desktop e-mail client. 

  You'll need to run Macromedia Flash to use it.

  EarthLink Inc.

  By  Neil J. Rubenking 
  Hard on the heels of AOL's Web mail update announcement, EarthLink has 
revealed its plans for EarthLink Enhanced WebMail (EEW). Where AOL's updated 
software is based on DHTML, EarthLink's is built entirely using Flash. The new 
software will be released to EarthLink members in May. PC Magazine previewed a 
functional prerelease version.

  The typical Web mail experience is a bit too much like surfing the Web. Just 
about any action requires a full refresh of the page, and it's easy to 
accidentally navigate away without completing a message. AOL's new Web mail 
system improves on this by using DHTML and dynamic behaviors; Google's Gmail 
also uses DHTML. EarthLink took a different direction, building EEW as a 
complete Rich Internet Application in Macromedia Flash using tools from Laszlo 
Systems. The result is a Web mail application that's almost indistinguishable 
from a stand-alone e-mail client. Once the app is loaded, you never see a page 
refresh. You can write messages, resize panels or switch views all without 
leaving the application.

  EEW pre-fetches new mail in the background, so messages are already 
downloaded by the time you click them. When you send a message, even one with a 
large attachment, there's no waiting—sending also happens in the background. 
The user interface strongly resembles that of a standalone client. You can drag 
and drop messages into folders, double-click items to open them, resize 
columns, and click on column headings to sort. It takes advantage of Flash 
animation, too. An error like omitting the recipient's address gets a slide-out 
warning right in the application rather than a popup error message. When you 
tab between fields, a quartet of markers visibly zoom into place to identify 
the active field. Clicking an Add Contact button slides open a page in the 
Address Book, preloaded with the sender's name and e-mail, and capable of 
holding full business and personal details.

  Of course EarthLink subscribers get all the other benefits of an EarthLink 
mail account. Spam and virus blocking are supplied, and the EEW client includes 
a button to mark any spam that makes it into the in-box. Each account comes 
with 100 MB of storage (rising to 1GB in the third quarter). EEW works under 
Windows, Mac, Linux and Solaris, and can be used in Internet Explorer, Mozilla, 
and Opera. EarthLink users have a lot to look forward to. 

   More e-mail clients:

  Copyright (c) 2005 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved.  

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