[webdev] Web Design Update: July 10, 2009
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Fri Jul 10 06:27:22 CDT 2009
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 8, Issue 02, July 10, 2009.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web design
++ISSUE 02 CONTENTS.
SECTION ONE: New references.
What's new at the Web Design Reference site?
New links in these categories:
03: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
04: EVALUATION & TESTING.
11: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
14: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
++ SECTION ONE: New references.
Accessible Information Technology and Web Bill in Minnesota with
Implementation Funds Passed and Signed by the Governor
By Gregg Vanderheiden.
"The new law requires that the state adopt 508 Standards and Web
Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Guidelines and establish an
advisory committee that will make hardware, software, products and
Websites accessible without causing an undue burden (too much cost not
technically feasible) to the state..."
Response to Questions about Accessible Lecture Capture Solutions
By Pat Brogan.
"My understanding is that most of the lecture capture systems are not
compliant because of
some of the database issues. but their output is or can be made to be
compliant through captioning. The consequences of not buying the most
compliant system can be economic penalties. This generally focuses on
the use of the tool itself--can a disabled person use the lecture
capture system? The second and more important aspect is--Is the content
the system generates compliant? For the lecture capture vendors, this
means that one can navigate with tools other than a mouse, users can
control content navigation and flow. But the big challenge is to really
make the content accessible, the audio and video need to have synced
High Tech Center Training Unit of the California Community Colleges
By The High Tech Center Training Unit of the California Community
"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..."
12 Tools To Check Your Site's Accessibility
By Sean P Aune.
"When you design any web site, one of your first goals is to make sure
you get as many visitors as you can, but have you checked the true
accessibility of your site? Can a color blind person read it? Are all
of your scripts cooperating? Your colors may look nice together, but is
the contrast different enough that it is all legible? Well, those
questions are exactly what these 12 tools are designed to help you
answer, and it certainly may never be a bad idea to run more than one
to make sure they are all telling you the same thing..."
Don't Just Tick Boxes
By Mel Pedley.
"Meeting the diverse needs of your site's visitors is likely to mean a
great deal more than ticking off individual accessibility checkpoints."
Web Accessibility and the Law
By Joseph C. Dolson.
"The state of legal requirements and protections concerning the
accessibility of websites is far from uniform. Many countries have some
form of web accessibility laws in place, but the extent of those laws
is radically variable. Furthermore, as many websites serve multiple
countries, the question of jurisdiction can become a tricky aspect of
accessibility law. It's well beyond the scope of this article to
discuss the exact limits of web accessibility law around the globe, but
I do aim to discuss the ramifications and philosophies of these laws
for your web-based business."
More Fun With The tabindex Attribute
By Becky Gibson.
"Back in November, 2007 I blogged my results of testing the tabindex
attribute in several browsers. I recently retested with the latest
versions of the browsers and included Safari 4. Luckily the recommended
methods for working with the tabindex attribute do not change. Here is
the updated version..."
Advocates for the Blind Sue Arizona State U. Over Kindle Use
By Marc Beja.
"The National Federation of the Blind and the American Council of the
Blind are suing Arizona State University for its use of the Amazon
Kindle to distribute electronic textbooks to students, saying the
device cannot be used by blind students..."
Four WCAG 2.0 Guidelines That Could Improve Readability For All
By Mary Donnelly.
"I often hear how accessibility can help everyone. One of the most
common examples I've heard is that sidewalk ramps not only help people
in wheel chairs but they also help people rolling luggage, strollers,
hot dog carts, grocery carts, etc. Along the same lines the WCAG 2.0
guidelines listed below are by far some of my favorite because they can
improve content in a web site for everyone. These guidelines should not
only be applied to accessibility, they should also be applied to style
guidelines and user interface guidelines for a site."
InDesign Accessibility Best Practices
By Andrew Kirkpatrick.
"InDesign authors often ask about generating accessible PDF files. To
help respond to this, we worked with David Blatner of
InDesignSecrets.com to combine our accessibility experience with his
deep knowledge of InDesign so that we could produce a document that
would be useful to InDesign authors interested in accessibility..."
"Technically Women comprises a group of women from all walks of
business. This blog presents our unique views on how technology is
shifting our world. The women are business owners, marketers,
evangelists and leaders. The idea for Technically Women stemmed from a
?'women and leadership?' piece penned by Dennis Howlett, which brought
several of these women together to share their unique views on the
current state of business. We decided to keep the conversation going
and bring in some additional voices..."
+03: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
CSS Effect: Space Images Out to Match Text Height
By Zoe Gillenwater.
I've been on my soapbox a lot lately, so I decided it was time to step
down for a bit and do a nice, non-controversial CSS tutorial..."
Handheld Media Type, RIP?
By Jens Meiert.
"Website authors don't use handheld as it's barely supported; mobile
device suppliers don't support handheld because it's barely used..."
CSS Fundamentals: Containing Children
By Jeffrey Way.
"I've received multiple requests for simpler CSS tutorials that teach
the tricky fundamentals. This will serve as the first entry in a series
that will receive new additions sporadically each month. Today, we'll
be reviewing the overflow: hidden, and clearfix tricks to force a
parent div to contains its children."
CSS line-height - A Simple Step-by-Step Presentation
By Russ Weakley.
"Here is another presentation I gave at a company training session
recently - this time on CSS Line-height (which is far more complex than
it first appears). A simple, step-by-step presentation on CSS
line-height covering how to apply various line-height values, as well
as line-height and the inline box model..."
By Adrian Lazariuc.
A brand new web gallery.
Using the Golden Ratio in Liquid Web Page Designs
By Alejandro Gervasio.
"At first glance some basic principles of graphic design like the
Golden Proportion and the Rule of Thirds seem to have nothing to do
with web design..."
The Rule of Thirds and the Golden Ratio Are Not the Same...
By Ross Johnson.
"...If you pay attention to design then I am sure you have read
countless articles on typography, grids, the rule of thirds and the
golden ratio. What Laura and I ended up discussing was the constant
reference to the rule of thirds being a 'easy version of the golden
ratio, despite the fact that they are completely different rules and
have different uses..."
+04: EVALUATION & TESTING.
Testing in the Wild, Seizing Opportunity
By Dana Chisnell.
"When I say 'usability test,' you might think of something that looks
like a psych experiment, without the electrodes (although I'm sure
those are coming as teams think that measuring biometrics will help
them understand users' experiences). Anyway, you probably visualize a
lab of some kind, with a user in one room and a researcher in another,
watching either through a glass or a monitor..."
Focus Groups vs. Usability Testing - What, When and Why?
By Alistair Gray.
"Focus groups and usability testing are two very useful but very
different user research disciplines. This article will look at the
difference between focus groups and usability testing, the pros and
cons of each and when in the development process you should use them."
Building Respect for Usability Expertise
By Jakob Nielsen.
"Enemies of usability claim that because "the experts disagree," they
can safely ignore user advocates' expertise and run with whatever
design they personally prefer..."
Tips For Effective DIY Participant Recruitment for Usability Testing
By Abhay Rautela.
"In case you are not using the services of a professional recruitment
agency, or do not have an internal recruitment team that can help you
acquire participants for usability tests, here are some tips to help
you begin with finding those participants successfully."
Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS '09)
July 15-17, 2009.
Mountain View, California
International Conference on the Applications of Digital Information
August 4-6, 2009.
London, United Kingdom
International Conference on Computer Science and Information Technology
'09 (ICCSIT '09)
August 8-11, 2009.
August 24-28, 2009.
September 15-18, 2009.
New Tutorial on Flash Accessibility
By Andrew Kirkpatrick.
"...The tutorial introduces Flash accessibility topics, and is
accessible for screen reader and magnifier users, and includes closed
captions for users who are deaf or hard-of-hearing and audio
descriptions for blind or low-vision users..."
By WebAIM Thread.
Accessible Drag and Drop Using WAI-ARIA
By Gez Lemon.
"This article is intended for people who create rich internet
applications with drag and drop functionality and want to make them
The WAI-ARIA Windows Screen Reader Shootout
By Marco Zehe.
"Firefox 3.5 has been released, and now it's time to take a look at
what features of WAI-ARIA are being supported by which Windows screen
By Craig Buckler.
values which can be set to true or false. In addition, everything in
truthy or falsy. Handling truthy and falsy values can be a little
quirky, especially when comparing variables. Understanding some of the
more bizarre rules can help when debugging complex client-side
By Rob Gravelle.
"Closures are the answer to the problem of how to bind variables to
functions that are called at a later time. Today's article will explain
what closures are, outline some common dilemmas, and present ways that
closures can be utilized to overcome them..."
By Chrysanthus Forcha.
What exactly is a regular expression and how is it handled in
this first part we'll introduce the topic of regular expressions often
abbreviated RegExp and delve into objects patterns and variables..."
Interview With Tim Berners-Lee, Part 1
By Richard MacManus.
"...we cover the emergence of Linked Data and how it is being used now
even by governments..."
Interview With Tim Berners-Lee, Part 2
By Richard MacManus.
"...we discuss: how previously reticent search engines like Google and
Yahoo have begun to participate in the Semantic Web in 2009, user
interfaces for browsing and using data, what Tim Berners-Lee thinks of
new computational engine Wolfram Alpha, how e-commerce vendors are
moving into the Linked Data world, and finally how the Internet of
Things intersects with the Semantic Web..."
The Great Big Grand Web
By Gerry McGovern.
"The Web has happened in a really big way, and most organizations
have not adapted to the way it has changed the world. But they
Search Matters: The Mystery of Filtering by Sorting
By Greg Nudelman
"What is the difference between filtering and sorting for a search
query? Any SQL developer would be happy to tell you that a sort
translates to a SQL ORDER BY statement, while a SQL WHERE clause
performs a filter. However, for most users of consumer-facing ecommerce
applications, the difference between a sort and a filter presents a
mystery they understand dimly, if at all. The distinction between
sorting and filtering blurs, because of a phenomenon I've called
filtering by sorting, which leads to all sorts of interesting search
user interface implications."
PHP Security: Fortifying Your Website
By Joel Reyes.
"...Though many programmers and developers may be implementing PHP in
their websites, the issue of PHP security is often overlooked when
building a site..."
"PhpSecInfo provides an equivalent to the phpinfo() function that
reports security information about the PHP environment, and offers
suggestions for improvement. It is not a replacement for secure
development techniques, and does not do any kind of code or app
auditing, but can be a useful tool in a multilayered security
Internationalization in PHP 5.3
By Stas Malyshev.
"PHP 5.3 has recently been released and one of the new features in core
is the internationalization extension. It allows you to support a
multitude of languages and local formats much easier than before,
without having to learn all the tiny the details of local formats and
+11: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
HTML5: The DOCTYPE Declaration
By Virgina DeBolt.
"This article is the first in a series of brief discussions about the
proposed specifications for HTML 5. View the Working Draft for HTML 5
at the W3C."
Practical HTML 5
By Bobby van der Sluis.
"My current train of thoughts on how you can best author HTML 5
websites today by using a phased approach for your transition..."
Impasse on HTML 5 Video
By Bruce Lawson.
"The video element is the one that seems to excite n00bz the most when
I do introductory talks about HTML 5, yet it was always the element
that seemed to me to be furthest away from cross-browser
interoperability. Originally, the specification (being an Open
Standard) said User agents should support Ogg Theora video and Ogg
Yes, You Can Use HTML 5 Today!
By Bruce Lawson.
"The blogosphere was jerked into excitement when Google gave a sneak
preview of its new service, Google Wave. Only the select few have an
account, but there's an 80-minute video about it on YouTube for the
rest of us. The service is an HTML 5 app, and so HTML 5 has gone from
being too far away to care about to today's hot topic..."
Adobe and HTML5's Canvas
By Jonathan Snook.
"I had an epiphany and I hope somebody at Adobe has been paying
attention to the HTML5 developments. Adobe is well positioned to take
advantage of emerging browser features, most specifically canvas..."
HTML 5 Parsing
By John Resig.
"One of the biggest wins of the HTML 5 recommendation is a detailed
specification outlining how parsing of HTML documents should work..."
HTML 5 and CSS 3: The Techniques You'll Soon Be Using
By Mads Kjaer.
"In this tutorial, we are going to build a blog page using
next-generation techniques from HTML 5 and CSS 3. The tutorial aims to
demonstrate how we will be building websites when the specifications
are finalized and the browser vendors have implemented them. If you
already know HTML and CSS, it should be easy to follow along..."
Accessibility for the HTML5 <video> Element
By Silvia Pfeiffer.
"In this paper, we describe existing implementations for putting
subtitles and captions alongside the HTML5 <video> tag inside Web pages
and a proposal for standardizing such approaches, which will make them
interoperable and easier to be processed by automated tools..."
Decoding the HTML 5 Video Codec Debate
By Ryan Paul.
Ogg Theora, H.264 and the HTML 5 Browser Squabble
By Prince McLean.
HTML 5: Ogg Theora Vs H.264 In The Battle For A Web Video Standard
By Devin Coldewey.
HTML 5 Drops Open-Source Video Codec
By David Meyer.
247 Web Usability Guidelines
"Although designing usable systems requires far more than simply
applying guidelines, guidelines can still make a significant
contribution to usability by promoting consistency and good practice.
We use this list of guidelines in our consultancy work. For best
results, remember to interpret the guideline in context - this requires
a bit more thought but ensures you will get a lot more from your
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About the Future of XHTML
By Philippe Le Hegaret and Ian Jacobs, W3C.
"When W3C announced the HTML and XHTML 2 Working Groups in March 2007,
we indicated that we would continue to monitor the market for XHTML 2.
W3C recognizes the importance of a clear signal to the community about
the future of HTML. While we recognize the value of the XHTML 2 Working
Group's contributions over the years, after discussion with the
participants, W3C management has decided to allow the Working Group's
charter to expire at the end of 2009 and not to renew it..."
By Jeffery Zeldman.
"The web's future isn't what the web's past cracked it up to be. 1999:
XML is the light and XHTML is the way. 2009: XHTML is dead-kind of..."
An Unofficial Q & A about the Discontinuation of the XHTML2 WG
By Henri Sivonen.
"... many of the comments on Zeldman's post indicate that there are
people who are badly misinformed about the matters surrounding this
announcement. To help remedy that, here's some quick Q&A for getting
In Defense of Web Developers
By Jeffery Zeldman.
"...XHTML is not dead (XHTML 2 is dead, thank goodness), and HTML 5 is
not here yet. Between now and 2022, we have plenty of time to learn
about HTML 5 and contribute to the discussion-and browser makers have
13 years to get it right..."
By Jeremy Keith.
"...The death of XHTML 2 does not mean the death of XHTML syntax. If
you want to continue to close all tags and quote all attributes, you
can do so. You can either use the existing XHTML 1 spec or you can use
HTML 5. That's right; HTML 5 allows you to use whichever syntax you are
most comfortable with..."
HTML 5 and XHTML 5 - one vocabulary, two serializations (Editor's First
By Karl Dubost, Editor.
"This document provides summaries about the two serializations of the
HTML 5 [HTML5] vocabulary specification. It documents the differences
between the two serializations and their associated mime types. It's
intended to be readable as a 'standalone' document."
By Jens Meiert.
Goodbye XHTML 2
By Bruce Lawson.
W3C, You Ignorant Slut
By Shane McCarron.
By Bruce Lawson.
XHTML 1, HTML 4, or HTML 5?
By Michel Bozgounov.
XHTML 1.0 Transitional vs. HTML 5
X/HTML 5 vs. HTML 2
Setting the Standards: HTML 5 vs. XHTML 2
By Eric Anderson.
XHTML 2 Dies a Lonely Death, Makes Room For HTML 5
By Scott Gilbertson.
Introduction to RDFa II
By Mark Birbeck.
"In part I of this series, we looked at how semantic features normally
confined to the head of an HTML document can be used to add semantic
richness to the elements of the body. Along the way, we defined six
rules of RDFa. In part II, we'll learn how to add properties to an
image, and how to add metadata to any item-and we'll add a few more
rules to that list."
[Section one ends.]
++ SECTION TWO:
+14: 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.]
+ SUBSCRIPTION INFO.
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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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