[webdev] Web Design Update: February 14, 2008
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Thu Feb 14 06:43:35 CST 2008
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 6, Issue 34, February 14, 2008.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web design
++ISSUE 34 CONTENTS.
SECTION ONE: New references.
What's new at the Web Design Reference site?
New links in these categories:
02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
09: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
12: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
++ SECTION ONE: New references.
Bobby is Gone
By Mike Cherim.
"If you've been following the news, you know IBM bought Watchfire for
their web security software. This stuff happens all the time and rarely
are we directly affected. This time, though, we will feel the loss.
Rather, anyone who used to use the Bobby 'WebXact' accessibility
evaluation tool will feel the loss. It's a temporary condition, though,
at least according to IBM..."
Too Much Accessibility - The Rise and Fall of the LONGDESC
By Bim Egan.
"In the last two months I've come across more examples of the LONGDESC
attribute in use, than I've seen in as many previous years. Due to this
apparent rise in its popularity, this seems like a good time to look at
when the LONGDESC can be useful, and when it's just a waste of code..."
Configuring Links in Screen Readers
By Mike Davies.
"Screen readers are highly configurable pieces of software. There has
been no wide-scale research into what configuration preferences are
more popular, or even if there's a one true configuration that screen
reader users gravitate towards. The big danger with building accessible
websites is to assume that there's a default configuration, and chose
solutions that enforce the expectation of a particular configuration.
We can make some sensible design choices without resorting to
Inaccessible Label-Wrapped Form Inputs
By Mike Cherim.
"...wrapping a form input with its label - can seriously impact the
accessibility and usability of a web form. Like hiding an input under a
Making the Grade - The Candidates and Accessibility
By Kathryn Hill.
"I saw this post over on Daily Kos by slinkerwink who posts about how
Barack Obama's web videos are captioned and the other presidential
candidates' videos aren't. So, that got me thinking, and I did some
research. The results have made me decide to make a report card,
grading each presidential candidate on their accessibility to the
The title Attribute - What is it Good For? (resurrected)
By Steve Faulkner.
"While working at vision australia I presented at Web Essentials 05 on
the HTML title attribute, which lead to a right royal fisking by Joe
Clark. I also conducted research on screen reader support and how it
(title attribute) was accessed by user's..."
Quick Tips To Make Accessible Web Sites. Why?
By Alexis Brion.
"Why should you make your website accessible for the impaired people?
You've probably heard a lot of bla-bla already, like that you are gonna
get a place in heaven if you make your site accessible. But that's not
the only advantage of it..."
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
By Eric Meyer.
"After I published the latest iteration of the reset styles, Paul
Chaplin pointed out that my simplification of the quote-suppressing
rules actually broke the intended effect in Safari, Gecko variants, and
so on. This happened because I assumed support for quotes: none, and it
just isn't there in most browsers. Apparently, I was testing int he
future that day."
CSS Tools: Reset and Diagnostics
By Eric Meyer.
"...a permanent home for my reset styles. It takes up residence in a
new 'CSS' subsection of the Toolbox section of the site, along with my
efforts to create a generic set of diagnostic styles. In the case of
the resets, I'll increment the version number and date whenever I make
changes, and probably maintain an archive of previous versions. Not
that I expect that to happen with any frequency, but you never know..."
The Incredible Em and Elastic Layouts with CSS
By Jon Tan.
"...This article will walk you through creating a basic elastic layout;
what exactly an 'em' is and how to calculate them, how to use ems to
create an elastic layer for content with scalable text and images,
including basic vertical rhythm..."
Detailed Look at Stacking in CSS
By Tim Kadlec.
"Using the z-index to affect stacking order in CSS is a much deeper
topic than it may appear at first. The idea seems quite simple, but if
we take a look we can see that there is actually quite a bit going on
here that warrants a closer examination..."
Come On My Selector, Part 3 - Bug Me Not
By Niels Matthijs.
"With the present and future of css selectors explained, there is only
one area untouched. The land of buggy implementations. While all
browsers have problems handling certain css selectors (especially some
borderline cases), there is only one king in the land of css selector
bugs. And he makes the lives of us everyday css implementors a lot
harder than it's supposed to be. Guess which browser we're talking
CSS Reset and Quirky Quotes
By Paul Chaplin.
"I read Eric Meyer's Reset Reloaded late last year, and have been
toying with a reset.css of my own. Eric recently posted an update to
his version, and the following caught my eye..."
Book-Style Chapter Introductions Using Pure CSS
By Rob Glazebrook.
"...today's tutorial will show you how easy it is to create book-style
chapter (article, whatever) introductions using nothing but pure CSS ?
no XHTML was harmed in the making of this tutorial. We'll use two types
of selectors which I haven't talked about yet here: adjacent sibling
selectors and pseudo-element selectors. I'll explain each type briefly
before we get started..."
New Dreamweaver CS3 Video Tutorials
By Stefan Mischook.
"After a few years of (I must admit) pure laziness, I finally started
to work on a new set of Dreamweaver CS3 video tutorials..."
Advanced Usability Testing
June 3-4, 2008.
Washington D.C., U.S.A.
Woman's World 2008 Conference
Perspectives on Technology and the Construction of Gender
July 3-9, 2008.
July 9-11, 1998.
O'Reilly Open Source Convention 2008
July 21-25, 2008.
Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.
MERLOT International Conference
August 7-10, 2008.
Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A.
10th ACM Conference on Computers and Accessibility
October 13-15, 2008.
Just Say No To Flash
By Eric Tribou.
"Yet one more example of the inherent security issues brought about by
embedded tech in your browser like Flash and JAVA. This is why noscript
continues to gain in popularity."
Generate a Table of Contents with the DOM
By Stuart Langridge.
"It's often useful for a long page to contain a table of contents, to
make it easy for people to jump to the bit they care about. Here's a
way of making your page automatically have one which is correct and
Yummy Podcasts (@media 2007 London podcasts)
"For a taste of @media, why not try sampling some tasty podcast treats?
Great presentations from @media 2007 by the likes of Jesse James
Garrett, Nate Koechley, Jon Hicks, Dan Cederholm, Richard Ishida, and
Hakon Wium Lie can be downloaded and listened to in the warm and fuzzy
privacy of your own headphones..."
Videos of Interaction 08 Presentations Now Online
"About half of the presentations of the recent Interaction 08
conference are now online..."
Dave Shea on Dave Shea
By An Event Apart.
"Dave Shea is the creator of the fabulous CSS Zen Garden, the co-author
(with Molly Holzschlag) of The Zen of CSS Design (New Riders, 2005) and
one of twelve great speakers appearing at An Event Apart New Orleans on
Andy Clarke Gets Transcendent
By An Event Apart.
"Andy Clarke is the author of Transcending CSS (New Riders, 2006) and
one of twelve great speakers appearing at An Event Apart New Orleans on
For the Love of All That is PHP, Use Constants
By Christian Montoya.
"Let me show you something cool..."
What's New in PHP 5.3?
By Ben Balbo.
"PHP 6 is just around the corner, but for developers who just can't
wait, there's good news -- many of the features originally planned for
PHP 6 have been back-ported to PHP 5.3, a final stable release of which
is due in the first half of this year..."
+09: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
Authoring HTML 5
By Karl Dubost.
"...We really need to come up with a document for HTML 5 authors. I
have written it a few times. This document needs to be written by Web
designers, Web design agency workers, freelance, etc. It is not about
creating a new language. One first step would be to extract all the
content model of HTML 5. Lachlan Hunt (Opera) had started to put
together what could be such a document: The Web Developer's Guide to
HTML 5. It would be cool if a group of people were ready to work on
this. Read carefully, working, here means editing a document,
collecting comments, improving it, etc. If you feel so, join the HTML
Using Standards Doesn't Make it Right
By Joe Dolson.
"...Standards enable software to interoperate. Standards increase the
ability of various programs to cope with what is fed to them. And,
fundamentally, that's all they do. Standards, by themselves, are not in
any way equivalent to 'appropriate' or 'good.' Web standards enable one
program to understand what has been notated in another program. An HTML
document may be an incredibly simple and basically inert program, but
it is essentially a software program..."
Ogg Vorbis/Theora Language Removed From HTML5 Spec
By Pierre-Luc Beaudoin.
"Sad news for HTML5, while Ogg Vorgis/Theora were not necessary to make
HTML5 work, a standard codec is needed to make some part of HTML5
useful - the part I worked on for WebKit/Gtk+. This point has been
repeated over and over: all browsers implemented HTML5 needs to have a
5-A-Side Jargon Busting
By Jack Pickard.
"...I have three main thoughts on the subject. These are the first two.
1. Blinking flip! (or words to that effect) Some people will look for
any old excuse to have a kick at Microsoft, won't they? 2. I'm glad
that a lot of people ? on both sides of the argument ? are able to
remain reasonable about it. That's how we should do things. I worry
that the third may come over as a little controversial. I think it's a
Five Painless Usability Fixes
By Peter J. Meyers.
"...here are 5 usability fixes that are relatively painless but can
have a big impact..."
3 Simple Usability Tips For Developers
By Jesper Ronn-Jensen.
"... basic knowledge of usability can often be of big benefit to most
developers. So have simplified and boiled down to these 3 simple
25 Ways To Improve Your Site In 5 Minutes
By Andrew Faulkner.
"A while back I wrote 25 Ways To Improve Your Site Today. Many people
thought it was useful. I'm trying again now with a twist. I'm offering
you, dear reader, tips to improve your site in various ways - each one
only taking approximately 5 minutes."
Turn Usable Content into Winning Content
By Colleen Jones.
"This article offers key resources that illuminate the creation of
usable content and some tips for creating persuasive content I've
garnered from my own experience..."
Where the Heck is My Focus?
By Jeff Atwood.
"The web is quite mouse-centric. Ever tried navigating a typical
website without your mouse? I'm not saying it can't be done-- if you're
sufficiently motivated, you can indeed navigate the web using nothing
but your keyboard-- but it's painful. There's nothing wrong with the
point-and-click navigation model of the mouse, although it can
degenerate into mystery meat navigation if you're not careful. I don't
expect web designers to create keyboard-centric websites; the mouse is
a natural and intuitive enough way to navigate web sites. But so is the
keyboard, in certain circumstances. What frustrates me is when web
developers fail to pay attention to the most rudimentary of keyboard
support in their designs..."
Print and Web are Different
By Vitaly Friedman and Sven Lennartz.
"...Print and Web are different...there are a number of fundamental
principles which are often being used in both media..."
W3C XML 10 Years
"On 10 February 1998, W3C published Extensible Markup Language (XML)
1.0 as a W3C Recommendation. W3C would like to thank the dedicated
communities ? including people who have participated in W3C's XML
groups and mailing lists, the SGML community, and xml-dev ? whose
efforts have created a successful family of technologies based on the
solid XML 1.0 foundation..."
[Section one ends.]
++ SECTION TWO:
+12: 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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