[webdev] Web Design Update: January 23, 2009
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Fri Jan 23 06:21:28 CST 2009
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 7, Issue 30, January 23, 2009.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web design
++ISSUE 30 CONTENTS.
SECTION ONE: New references.
What's new at the Web Design Reference site?
New links in these categories:
02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
07: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
11: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
++ SECTION ONE: New references.
Alt Survey via Twitter
By Gez Lemon.
Should the alt attribute be required for the img element in HTML5? Why or
why not? Gez Lemon is conducting a twitter survey/taking comments for a
W3C WAI position paper. He wants to be sure to consider all sides of the
debate and is interested in hearing opinions. If you are a twitter user
and would like to respond please use the hashtag #althtml5 .
2009: The Year Websites Become Accessible To All
By Bruce Lawson.
"For many years, the goal of making websites accessible to everyone has
been pursued generally with little enthusiasm. But now a number of
developments are conspiring to move accessibility up the agenda,
according to web expert Bruce Lawson."
Taking Symbols for Granted
By Sharon Perry.
"Following on from my post about 'Taking Symbols for Granted', where I
reviewed Jonathan Chetwynd's paper entitled 'Communication with symbols:
from the web to the internet and beyond', Jonathan has just let me know
about the launch of his Icon Chat and Search Engine at openicon.org..."
By Douglas T.
"This is a work in progress, and shouldn't be relied upon to be perfect.
If you have comments or corrections, please feel free to leave them.
Based on Comparison WCAG and Section..."
Closed Captioning Resources
By High Tech Center Training Unit.
"California community colleges have a legal responsibility to provide
equal access to video resources for students, faculty and staff who are
deaf or hard of hearing. This is often most easily accomplished through
closed captioning of video resources. If you are unfamiliar with the
captioning process, you might wish to begin by exploring the definition
of some common terms. This list of terms is provided by the National
A Larger Discussion (was RE: Inline Images and ALT text)
WebAIM Thread initiated by John Foliot.
Alt text discourse.
Is It Time for Social Networks Grow Up?
By Henny Swan.
"Site owners would do well to take into account interface design issues
for people with disabilities and the aging for reasons that go beyond
just inclusion. Disabled users are hardcore user testers with their needs
pushing the capabilities and possibilities of what technology can offer
users in general. Add to this that having grown up with the web and
social networking we fully expect to be able to use our favorite sites
later in life as we grow old these two groups are too important to
ignore. I certainly don't plan on dying young anyway..."
Accessify Gets a Long Overdue Facelift
By Ian Lloyd.
"Finally. At last..."
A Sighted Person Testing a Website With a Screen Reader (Tweet)
By Lisa Herrod (scenariogirl).
"A sighted person testing a website with a screen reader is like asking
someone who can't drive to test drive a car."
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
WaSP Community CSS3 Feedback 2008
By Elika Etemad (fantasai).
"This document summarizes and comments on feedback collected through the
Web Standards Project's Tell the CSS WG what you want from CSS3 blog
Layout Is Expensive
By Elika Etemad (fantasai).
"A lot of people complain about limitations in the layout capabilities in
CSS. Layout in CSS is a pain, and it's a pain because CSS originally
wasn't designed for coarse layout, only for linear documents. The CSS
Working Group totally understands that CSS today is totally incompetent
at doing layout. We are amazed at the hacks designers have had to come up
with and dismayed at how brittle they are. It is very, very obvious to us
that CSS needs better, easier, more powerful layout capabilities..."
European Accessibility Forum
March 27, 2009.
UPA Conference 2009
June 8-12, 2009.
Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.
Website Makeover: Focusing on Your Visitors' Major Tasks - Janice "Ginny"
June 17, 2009.
Washington, DC, U.S.A.
June 22-26, 2009.
Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.A.
July 13-16, 2009.
Los Vegas, Nevada U.S.A.
Information Architecture 1
April 9, 2009 in Washington D.C., U.S.A.
May 21, 2009 in London United Kingdom.
June 26, 2009 in San Francisco, California, U.S.A.
July 31, 2009 in Sydney Australia.
Information Architecture 2
April 10, 2009 in Washington D.C., U.S.A.
May 22, 2009 in London United Kingdom.
June 27, 2009 in San Francisco, California, U.S.A.
August 1, 2009 in Sydney Australia.
Ajax and Accessibility, Part Two
By Alastair Campbell.
"In the second of a two-part opinion piece, Alastair Campbell explains
Freedom Scientific Web Cast on ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Application)
"Freedom Scientific's Chief Technical Officer Glen Gordon explains ARIA
and its benefits. Jonathan Mosen then demonstrates some applications with
ARIA enabled for improved accessibility."
Free Chapter: 'Advanced Techniques' from Nicholas C. Zakas's Professional
By Eric Miraglia.
Crimes Against Hypertext
By Andrew Tetlaw.
"...Poor linking practices are common ? editorially and visually ? and it
has a direct negative impact on usability..."
Avoiding Search Engine Optimization Madness
By Gerry McGovern.
"Optimize for the searcher, not the search engine. Focus on your
customers, not on the technology..."
Code Readability Part 2, Code Structure
By Shawn Straton.
"I've had the pleasure of maintaining a legacy application developed by
people who were past deadline the second they had their assignment handed
to them in the past and it can get really interesting rather quickly when
you see how sloppy you can get when you are in such a hurry. Here are
some guidelines I've given myself to ensure that the structure is correct
at the end of the day."
50 Extremely Useful PHP Tools
By Smashing magazine.
"This post presents 50 useful PHP tools that can significantly improve
your programming workflow. Among other things, you'll find a plethora of
libraries and classes that aid in debugging, testing, profiling and
code-authoring in PHP..."
+07: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
How Can I Validate (X)HTML + ARIA?
By Steve Faulkner.
"An issue with the use of WAI-ARIA in HTML documents is that they don't
validate. When you run a HTML document containing ARIA attributes through
the W3C Validator it shows errors in the results for any ARIA attributes.
More importantly it does not inform me of errors in the ARIA code, for
example, if the role value used is incorrect in reference to the WAI ARIA
Elevate Web Design at the University Level
By Leslie Jensen-Inman.
"Web education is out of date and fragmented. There are good people
working hard to change this, but because of the structure of higher
education, it will take time. As part of a year-long journey to discover
where we are in web education and where we need to go, Leslie
Jensen-Inman interviewed 32 web design and development leaders. The
consensus: technology moves too fast for college and university curricula
to keep up. How, then, can educators create a sustainable foundation for
Brighter Horizons for Web Education
By Aarron Walter.
"No industry can sustain itself if it doesn't master the art of
cultivating new talent-an art that requires close ties between
practitioners and educators. Yet web design education consists mainly of
introductory Flash classes and the occasional 90s-style HTML table layout
tutorial. How drastic is the web design education gap, and what can be
done to close it? Designer, developer, and web design educator Aarron
Walter of The Web Standards Project surveys the state of the curricula..."
Designing Around hAccessibility
By Andy Clarke.
"At the moment I'm writing a script for a DVD tutorial on microformats
that I will be recording for New Riders at the end of February. While
designing some shiny new examples for the hCalendar event microformat,
I've been revisiting the problems and discussions of accessibility that
surround the date design pattern and thinking about possible design
By Sam Ruby.
"...Simply put, there needs to be a recourse if a person or a group
disagrees with a decision made by the editor of the WHATWG document. That
recourse is forking. I realize that is a very high bar, and will say
that is intentionally so. Simply put, specs don't write themselves... I
don't care how good you think your idea is, either you need to step up
and directly write the spec text yourself, or accept that you need to be
HTML5: Put Up or Shut Up
By Shelly Powers.
"...Quite simply, that is the most absurd set of statements I have ever
read. What Sam is saying, if you don't like it, fork, or shut up..."
By Shelley Powers.
"I have spent too much time worrying about specifications managed by
people who, frankly, don't have a lot of respect for what I have to say.
I am not a browser developer, specification author, nor do I fit within
the narrow parameters of 'people who are seen to be contributors...'."
By Sam Ruby.
"What I wish to do (on the list! what you do on your own blog is up to
you!) is dampen the first kind of interaction, and encourage the third.
I'm still very far from where I would like to be on this. If I ever solve
this issue, we should be able to reap the benefit of many more voices.
Perhaps that's not enough to get you to point out a specific issue in the
spec and describe how it could be addressed. If not, then I'll simply
figure out what the next barrier is, and address that. Maybe that will
never be enough, but I am committed to try."
Pinky and the Markup Brains
By Shelley Powers.
"What ended up being the ultimate irritation of my brief foray into HTML5
land, is that I found out, after careful perusal of my original use of
Skip Navigation Builder
By Ian Lloyd.
"...This tool lets you quickly create one or more skip links on a page,
many versions of Internet Explorer in use that do not allow us to apply a
focus pseudo class in CSS..."
ARIA Slider Generator
By Ian Lloyd.
"This tool is reverse-engineered from this ARIA slider example by the
Paciello Group. I'm not convinced about its usefulness - it was an
experiment, more than anything - but I'm keen to produce some more tools
which may make the process of creating ARIA-compliant page
elements/features more simple. If you have an idea for an ARIA tool that
I could build, please drop me a line."
Quick Page Accessibility Test
By Ian Lloyd.
"Here's a handy little tool that uses a bookmarklet/favelet to give a
quick analysis of any web page, highlighting definite issues, warning
about possible issues and also highlighting areas that could benefit from
some ARIA enhancements."
Extending Web Browser Functionality - Greasemonkey for all web browsers
By Robert Nyman.
"Ever felt that you have had the need to enhance your web browser, or the
functionality of some web site you frequently visit? Here I will explain
how to do that..."
New Standards in Usability
By David Travis.
"2008 saw the release of several international usability standards, many
within the influential ISO 9241 series. Two of these standards focus on
accessibility and another provides guidelines for usable web sites. This
article explains why usability standards are important and summarizes the
13 new parts of ISO 9241..."
By ESW Wiki.
"RDFa is a syntax that allows for embedding RDF information into (X)HTML
documents via attributes. The best starting point to explore RDFa is the
official RDFa page at the SWD-WG Wiki..."
By Jakob Jenkov.
"SVG is short for Scalable Vector Graphics. It is a graphic format in
which the shapes are specified in XML. The XML is then rendered by an SVG
viewer. Today (2009) most web browser can display SVG just like they can
display PNG, GIF, and JPG..."
RDFa is to Structured Data, Like Canvas is to Bitmap and SVG is to Vector
By Shelley Powers.
"...This then returns us to my earlier supposition: To not support
RDF/RDFa as the de facto implementation of complex, structured data is
not consistent. To continue to do so demonstrates that perhaps other
issues are at play in regards to RDF/RDFa. Such inconsistencies are not
in the best interest when developing a new specification meant for
widespread use on the web. If, as I believe, the inconsistency reflects
an underlying bias against the concept behind RDF, which is that true web
semantics is based on structured data, not natural language processing,
or not exclusively based on natural language processing, then I believe
it's important to highlight such bias, and deal with it accordingly."
[Section one ends.]
++ SECTION TWO:
+11: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
Cascading Style Sheets Information.
Evaluation & Testing Information.
Information Architecture Information.
Miscellaneous Web Information.
Sites & Blogs Listing.
Standards, Guidelines & Pattern Information.
[Section two ends.]
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+ SIGN OFF.
Until next time,
Laura L. Carlson
Information Technology Systems and Services
University of Minnesota Duluth
Duluth, MN U.S.A. 55812-3009
mailto:lcarlson at d.umn.edu
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