[webdev] Web Design Update: December 28, 2007
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Fri Dec 28 06:24:02 CST 2007
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 6, Issue 27, December 28, 2007.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web design
++ISSUE 27 CONTENTS.
SECTION ONE: New references.
What's new at the Web Design Reference site?
New links in these categories:
02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
05: INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE.
09: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
12: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
++ SECTION ONE: New references.
When 'Inaccessible' Isn't
By Jon Whiting.
"...We are often asked if a certain accessibility technique will make
content more accessible. Sometimes our reply is that it will certainly
not make it any less accessible. So we will continue to encourage true
table headers, labels, headings, etc., because it will usually make
things better, especially if you remember that there is more to
accessibility than screen reader users. It will never make things
Learning From Screen Readers
By Jon Whiting.
"I recently finished a tutorial on using JAWS to evaluate web content.
This article provides an overview for beginners on how to use screen
readers to evaluate the accessibility of web content..."
Leveraging Mashups For Accessibility
By T.V. Raman.
"More recently, my Google officemate Charles L Chen and I have been
injecting accessibility into Web applications. As an illustration of
the ideas underlying 2^W coming to life in running code enabled via
AxsJAX, we recently AxsJAX-ed the XKCD comic strip. Here, we bring
together the XKCD sketches with the associated transcript to create a
mashed-up view where the user gets to listen to the transcript while at
the XKCD site. You can most easily experience this for yourself by
installing a self-voicing plugin for the Firefox browser."
ALT Attributes for Images
By Matt Cutts.
"In case you missed it, a short while ago we posted a video about how
to use ALT attributes for images..."
New Toolbar Adds Accessible Features
By Jonas Klink.
"Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer launched version 5 as a public
Participation and Activity Limitation Survey
By Statistics Canada.
"An estimated 4.4 million Canadians - one out of every seven in the
population?reported having a disability in 2006, an increase of over
three-quarters of a million people in five years, according to a new
Accessible Christmas Alphabet
By Mel Pedley.
"C is for Client side scripting, progressive you'll agree..."
The Fallacy of Too Much Accessibility
By Mike Davies.
"There is no such thing as too much (or overdoing) accessibility, and
its ludicrous to suggest that too much accessibility actually reduces
the accessibility of a site. The second statement is an obvious
contradiction, making a site accessible does not mean making it less
accessible. What we are seeing is a non-understanding of web
accessibility, which is leading to results that don't improve the
accessibility of the site..."
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
Slightly Broken, But Not Beyond Repair
By David Storey.
"Disclaimer: The following post is my personal opinion, and not
necessarily those of my employers. My colleague, Chris Mills provided
feedback and suggestions for this post..."
CSS Opacity in Mozilla,IE, and Opera
By Michelle Goodrich.
"W3C Says, Opacity can be thought of conceptually as a postprocessing
operation. Conceptually, after the element (including its children) is
rendered into an RGBA offscreen image, the opacity setting specifies
how to blend the offscreen rendering into the current composite
Prince: Print CSS that Works!?
By Darrel Austin.
"Joe Clark posted a link to an interesting video over at Typophile..."
What To Do With Dreamweaver's Invitation To Attach More Than One Style
By Virginia DeBolt.
"Do you use Dreamweaver's built-in layouts and sample pages to start a
new design? Then this information is for you..."
Creating Your First Website, Part 5: Publishing Your Website
By Jon Varese.
"Learn to publish your site to a remote server."
April 21-22 2008.
Seventeenth International World Wide Web Conference
April 21-25 2008.
2008 Usability Professionals Association Conference
June 16-20, 2008.
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A.
+05: INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE.
Common Mistakes of Site Structure
By Paul Boag.
"Although information architecture work is highly skilled and best left
to the genius of people like Garrett Dimon the reality is that
everybody from designers to website owners find themselves working on
it. So what are the most common mistakes and how do we avoid them?..."
Using WAI-ARIA Roles and States with the YUI Menu Control
By Todd Kloots.
"A new YUI example demonstrates how to use the WAI-ARIA Roles and
States with YUI's Menu Control. In this article, YUI Menu author Todd
Kloots and Yahoo! accessibility guru Victor Tsaran introduce the
WAI-ARIA Roles and States, explain how they dovetail with Menu, and
provide a detailed account of the user experience with two different
AJAX Usability Checklist
By Frank Spillers.
"This Ajax Usability Checklist is a bonus guide that accompanies my
AJAX Usability Seminar, I am offering it in the form of this post as a
bonus for readers- thanks for your support! The Web is changing fast.
New standards are emerging, new approaches to coding such as
Scriptaculous, AJAX, Ruby, Flash/Flex, Silverlight and others are
creating a leap-frog situation where many new websites, web apps and
portals are implementing next year's User Interface elements..."
base2: An Introduction
"I've been working on base2 for a couple of years now and it is finally
ready for a beta release. With base2 I aim to solve various problems
the language at the same time..."
By Brian Fling.
"As web geeks, we have a thick skin towards jargon. We all know that
'Web 2.0' has been done to death. At Blue Flavor we even have a jargon
bucket to penalize those who utter such painfully overused jargon with
a cash deposit. But Web 2.0 is a term that has lodged itself into the
conscience of the masses. This is actually a good thing..."
A Gift Idea For Your Users: Respect, Yo
By Brian Oberkirch.
"If, indeed, it is the thought that counts, maybe we should pledge to
make more thoughtful design decisions. In addition to wowing people who
use the Web sites we build with novel features, nuance aesthetics and
the new thing, maybe we should also thread some subtle things
throughout our work that let folks know: hey, I'm feeling ya. We're
simpatico. I hear you loud and clear..."
Video On The Web - The Interviews
By Karl Dubost.
"The Video On The Web Workshop is finished. A report is being prepared
with the outcomes of the workshop. In the meantime, three video
interviews have been published by videolectures.net..."
The Flamenco Search Interface Project
By Marti Hearst.
"The Flamenco search interface framework has the primary design goal of
allowing users to move through large information spaces in a flexible
manner without feeling lost. A key property of the interface is the
explicit exposure of category metadata, to guide the user toward
possible choices, and to organize the results of keyword searches. The
interface uses hierarchical faceted metadata in a manner that allows
users to both refine and expand the current query, while maintaining a
consistent representation of the collection's structure. This use of
metadata is integrated with free-text search, allowing the user to
follow links, then add search terms, then follow more links, without
interrupting the interaction flow."
+09: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
Complacency - One of the biggest enemies of HTML 5 (and I guess
standards development in general)
By Justin Thorp.
"People generally don't know what's wrong with HTML 4 or why HTML 5 is
better so they don't pay attention or get involved. The thing is we
need HTML 5..."
By Karl Dubost.
"...Listen and share. It is a community, a team work, it means a lot of
patience, accepting to not have everything you want, but collectively
to move forward."
Dissatisfaction with HTML WG
By Dean Edridge.
"I don't see what the point is in having 1000 or more people involved
in this work if only one person is in control of what gets added to the
spec? What's the point in having people put their ideas on the table if
at the end of the day Ian comes to the table and only picks up the ideas
he likes? I don't believe that such a process as important as this
should be controlled by just one man. Many ideas have been put forward
but rejected because they don't fit into Ian's view of what the web
They Shoot Standardistas, Don't They
By Joe Clark.
"I've been following the development of HTML5 under the auspices of an
ostensibly benevolent dictator, Hixie, with Maciej as court jester.
When it comes to accessibility, the entire WHAT ('TF') WG seems to
selectively exercise one of its design principles, paving the
cowpaths...On the plus side, pace Zeldman, HTML 4 and XHTML 1.0 will
continue to work just fine into the foreseeable future. On the minus
side, paying even this much attention to HTML5 is a waste of time. It's
one of the many changes I'll be making for '08."
Commenting on Joe Clark's "They Shoot Standardistas, Don't They?"
By Ben 'Cerbera' Millard.
"...Having interacted with a few of the WHATWG contributors over some
months, I am convinced they are genuine. Their [approach] can seem
quite alien to the world of accessibility enthusiasts (such as myself)
and accessibility experts (such as the names I've mentioned) but it
follows sound engineering principles. They started with a clean slate
and are gradually filling in the gaps, accepting all the help they can
get. If the community can't provide the necessary research, they'll do
Supporting Standards that Support Accessibility
By Joe Dolson.
"...At the root of things, my stance is that I am unwilling to support
a standard which specifically excludes features which are needed in
order appropriately provide best-practice accessibility. HTML5 is still
a long way from being done; and even further from being implemented (if
it ever is,) but the removal of such attributes as the header from
table markup, the inclusion of defined non-semantic elements such as
b1, and the 'WYSIWYG exemption' on the font element strike me as
decisions badly in need of reconsideration."
IE8, Opera, CSS and Standards Getting in a Tizzy
By Bruce Lawson.
"There's been a bit of a kerfuffle lately over the Opera complaint that
Microsoft is a monopolist that doesn't uphold Web Standards. I'm glad
that I'm not the only one who believes that it's perfectly feasible for
Microsoft and Opera to continue to work with each other on CSS,
regardless of their current spat..."
Squashing a Persistent Myth
By Joe Clark.
"...The use of px units, when viewed with IE6 or IE7, leads to fonts
you can't resize (unless you turn off some seriously buried
preferences). Every other browser on every platform can enlarge or
reduce fonts in any CSS unit, including px. It's true that pt makes
sense only for print stylesheets, but px is a 'relative' unit, as I
keep reminding people..."
Write Better: Online Readability Testing Tools Compared
By Christian Watson.
"There are a number of readability testing tools available on the web.
I was recently looking for a good online readability tool to use and as
I was reviewing them I thought it would be helpful to write up my
research. I found 12 tools worth checking out. My comparison of them is
[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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