Government Should Lead by Example
Theme: Building Digital Skills
Idea Status: +10 | Total Votes: 20 | Comments: 4
One of the most critical challenges in skills development for a digital economy in Canada is the lack of leadership by the federal government. One glaring example of this lack is found in the website operated by the Senate, which is obsolete even by 2005 standards, let alone 2010. The Senate could lead by example, by publishing the standards for design of its website. What is the Senate's policy for designing its website to work properly with each of the five browsers now popular with Canadians? This is a vexatious problem for school boards and other public agencies everywhere that could benefit from Senate leadership, but there is none.
infzy — 2010–05–12 00:22:46 EDT wrote
While I agree, be careful about telling the government to update itself for modern industry standards. Industry burrows forward with some very questionable decisions; for example, the web is a 'terrible' platform for accessibility, and is also quite difficult to develop for properly.
The Canadian governmental websites need to be world leaders in accessibility, and must provide service to the diversity of web browsers in use across Canada so that noone is left behind. It is a challenging task that requires much restraint from giving in to industry trends. The popular web browsers have a long legacy of security vulnerabilities and exploits, and Canadians should not be required to deal with that nonsense in order to interact with their government.
Nscafe — 2010–05–16 01:42:04 EDT wrote
The Government should lead by example. First by auditing their entire digital presence and ensuring there aren't any dead links. Unlike the two I just found Canadian Base Network (CBN) page from the Natural Resources Canada (Natural Resources Canada) site (I would direct link but because there's a login session involved it make the pointless to do so).
It makes it very difficult to place trust in digital economy when that's the types of examples we're given.
Does this mean always adopting new techniques? I don't think so. I think it's merely a matter of going "a standard" and sticking with it and also evolving as it does. This may mean an actual quality control group and regular "maintenance" to ensure everything works the way it should.
patrickgwelch — 2010–05–16 14:57:20 EDT wrote
While leading by example, the Government of Canada should employ standards compliant technology (browser and platform independent) that is fully compatible with accessibility technology (e.g., screen readers, etc.), embrace free and open source software, and liberally license (e.g., creative commons / public domain) the content for free access, use, and re–mixing.
infzy — 2010–05–17 00:44:46 EDT wrote
Actually, all government works should go beyond creative–commons licensing and simply release everything to the public domain. Why should anything publicly–funded not belong to the public? What is gained by restricting the Canadian peoples' right to redistribute or remix works created by our own government?
Very many of the submissions to the recent Copyright Consultation submit that "crown copyright should be abolished".