[webdev] Web Design Update: November 14, 2008
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Fri Nov 14 06:25:23 CST 2008
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 7, Issue 20, November 14, 2008.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web design
++ISSUE 20 CONTENTS.
SECTION ONE: New references.
What's new at the Web Design Reference site?
New links in these categories:
02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
04: EVALUATION & TESTING.
10: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
15: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
++ SECTION ONE: New references.
My WCAG 2.0 AAA Implementation
By Mike Cherim.
"A while back I mentioned I made a AAA web site that conformed to the
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.0. The site was
for California disability rights attorney, Lainey Feingold, who works
primarily with the blind and visually impaired community on technology
and information access issues. She is nationally recognized for
negotiating accessibility agreements and for pioneering the
collaborative advocacy and dispute resolution method known as
Structured Negotiations. That's from her site -- a site which is one of
just two AAA implementations (the other being Vision Australia)..."
Writing Good alt Text
By Roger Johansson.
"I do quite a bit of quality assurance work, specifically looking at
the accessibility and web standards use of websites. In many cases I
make remarks about the use of alternative text for images and other
Are Accessibility Statements Useful?
By Leona Tomlinson.
"Leona examines recent thinking on accessibility statements and where
they can still be a benefit to users.
Keyboard-Accessible Google Maps
By Patrick Lauke.
"Google Maps is a powerful, free tool for adding maps to a site.
Unfortunately, out of the box, these maps are reliant on mouse
interaction; therefore, they are completely inaccessible to those using
only the keyboard for Web interaction. In this article, we'll examine
the problem and, step by step, make our way toward a possible
By Joe Clark.
"I have been saying for a couple of years that the PDF/Universal Access
Committee (slash in original, sadly) is a happy ship, stewarded by an
erudite and urbane chair and staffed by a small core of constituents
with good skills and an actual sense of humor. The goal is a standard
for PDF accessibility that extends beyond the simplistic dictum 'Only
use tagged PDF. "
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
What Would a New CSS Validator Look Like?
By Olivier Thereaux.
"A couple of weeks ago I attended, along with a few hundred other W3C
participants, the yearly Technical Plenary meeting: a week's worth of
meetings, encounters, ideas and exchanges. For many of us, this is the
most exciting and exhausting time of the year: it takes quite a lot of
stamina to survive through a week intellectual and geeky stimulation
from breakfast to bedtime..."
5 CSS Tips Every Web Developer Should Know About
By Jens Meiert.
"Of all the many tips this site already shares, these might still be
special, so let's quickly scan them that might be considered essential
for every web developer when it comes to Cascading Style Sheets. Main
focus: Maintainability, differently."
Are You Making These 10 CSS Mistakes?
By Glen Stansberry.
"Working with CSS can seem like a constant battle. Browsers are always
changing they way they read the code (*cough* Internet Explorer
*cough*), and it seems that there are lots of tiny little CSS
'gotchas'. While it's an incredibly powerful language, it can easily be
used incorrectly, which will doom your development to a lifetime of
CSS3 box-sizing Attribute
By Helen Emerson.
CSS3 is going to include a new attribute called box-sizing so we can
choose whether the width set on an element will include borders and
padding or whether borders and paddings will be added to the width.
Is Your (Website's) Underwear Showing?
By Jeffery Zeldman.
"It's astounding how many web designers forget to specify a background
color on their site..."
Optimizing by Color: How Color Can Affect Site Activity and Performance
By Boudewijn Vahrmeijer.
"...At LeerWiki.nl, I have tested how different color schemes affect
visitor behavior with regards to site goals, in order to optimize my
use of color. This article outlines my research process and results..."
+04: EVALUATION & TESTING.
Making Decisions About User Research
By Donna Spencer.
"Importance to the business: Just how important is the
project/application in meeting organizational/business goals?
Importance to users: What will happen to users if you mess up. Will
they be harmed, or will they just go elsewhere? $$: How much is the
project going to cost? (i.e. how much will be wasted if you mess up)"
February 5-8, 2009.
April 30 - May 1, 2009.
New York, New York, U.S.A.
May 20-22, 2009.
Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.
Providing Alternative Content for SWF Files
By Bobby van der Sluis.
"Traditional publishing mechanisms for rich media content created for
Adobe Flash Player often rely on the twice-cooked method to embed SWF
files into HTML pages. One major drawback of this method is that it is
based on old-fashioned, vendor-specific markup that doesn't comply with
modern web standards and also doesn't allow you to nest fallback
content inside of it..."
By James Edwards.
"Okay, before we begin, let me come clean and admit that the title of
programmer can do to change that. In all browsers?apart from Google
how it is. However, what we can do is simulate multi-threading, insofar
that it gives rise to one of the benefits of a multi-threaded
environment: it allows us to run extremely intensive code."
The Speaker Interviews - Russ Weakley
By Mike Brown.
"The first of our speaker interviews is with Russ Weakley. Russ is a
designer, one of the world's leading experts on HTML and CSS, and
co-founder of the Web Standards group and mailing list. He's been an
influential figures in the development and spread of web standards
Clarifying a Web Standards Workflow
By Molly E. Holzschlag.
"During a session this week at the fantastic MexicoWeb2.0, an attendee
asked me if I had any recommended process for working with Web
How to Expose PHP's Private Parts
By Troels Knak-Nielsen.
"I've been tinkering with dumping PHP objects, and have found myself
constantly running into a brick wall. The output from print_r and
friends is fine in some contexts, but for larger structures, it would
be nice to tidy the output up a bit and wrap it in some HTML..."
+10: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
Content Drives Demand
By Sam Ruby.
"Mark Pilgrim: 'The <section> element is a very straightforward HTML 5
feature that you can't actually use yet.' Jeff Schiller: 'These days,
Internet Explorer is the last browser I look at... as long as all my
textual content is actually visible, then that's just fine by me.' With
apologies to Mark (and I truly understand where he is coming from), it
seems to me that we would all be a lot better off if less people
listened to him and more listened to Jeff."
This Week in HTML 5 - Episode 12
By Mark Pilgrim.
"...It has been suggested (1, 2, 3, &c.) that HTML 5 is trying to bite
off more than it can metaphorically chew. It is true that it is a large
specification, and it might benefit from being split into several
pieces. But it is not true that it includes everything but the kitchen
The Road to HTML 5: getElementsByClassName()
By Mark Pilgrim.
"The feature of the day is getElementsByClassName(). Long desired by
this function does exactly what it says on the tin: it returns a list
of elements in the DOM that define one or more classnames in the class
attribute. getElementsByClassName() exists as a method of the document
object (for searching the entire DOM), as well as on each HTMLElement
object (for searching the children of an element)..."
12 Principles For Keeping Your Code Clean
By Chris Coyie.
"...Let's take a look at some poorly written HTML, discuss its
problems, and then whip it into shape! Bear in mind, we are not passing
any judgment on the content or design of this page, only the markup
that builds it. If you are interested, take a peek at the bad code and
the good code before we start so you can see the big picture. Now let's
start right at the top.."
By Robert Nyman.
elements in a web page, and when it finds a HTML element with inline
Typography and Renaissance-Era Eroticism
By Brooke Marshall.
"Hold on tight, people: I'm about to take you way, way back..."
Real Type on the Web?
By Jeffery Zeldman.
A proposal for a fonts working group is under discussion at the W3C.
The minutes of a small meeting held on Thursday 23 October include a
condensed, corrected transcription of a discussion between Sampo
Kaasila (Bitstream), Mike Champion (Microsoft), John Daggett (Mozilla),
Hakon Wium Lie (Opera), Liam Quin (W3C), Bert Bos (W3C), Alex
Mogilevsky (Microsoft), Josh Soref (Nokia), Vladimir Levantovsky
(Monotype), Klaas Bals (Inventive Designers), and Richard Ishida (W3C).
How Reliable is Your Customer Feedback?
By Gerry McGovern.
"Listening to customers is not enough. You must listen to the
Do Not Steal My SVG Semantics
By Karl Dubost.
"...I had the curiosity of looking at the source code? All my beautiful
squares and circles were gone. All shapes were only defined by paths.
Some shapes are rightfully defined by paths, but it should not be the
case for all of them. I became curious about this issue..."
SVG Wireframe For Your Website Design
By Karl Dubost.
"Very often, when you are negotiating a new Web site for your
organization or company, the Web designer will hand over a Photoshop
mockup of your Web site. Personally, I have a tendency to ban this
practice. I prefer to receive a solid xhtml/css mockup and sees how it
is handled in different devices..."
[Section one ends.]
++ SECTION TWO:
+15: 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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