[webdev] Web Design Update: April 3, 2009
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Fri Apr 3 06:08:19 CDT 2009
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 7, Issue 40, April 3, 2009.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web design
++ISSUE 40 CONTENTS.
SECTION ONE: New references.
What's new at the Web Design Reference site?
New links in these categories:
02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
08: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
14: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
++ SECTION ONE: New references.
Accessible Web Applications
By Christian Heilmann.
Chris explains how to create web applications so they are accessible.
By Roger Hudson.
"I recently reviewed a couple of PDF forms for compliance with WCAG 2 and
the inconsistent way the test screen readers handled these forms threw up
several interesting issues or questions."
Accessibility Supported Question Thread on WAI-IG:
Guideline 1.2: Time-based Media (part 1)
By Olga Revilla.
"You can use this guideline both for time-based media and synchronized
media (with another format and/or time-based interactive components),
By Described and Captioned Media Program.
"The Keys to Access guidelines for captioning and description were
developed by the DCMP based on the input and guidance of experts in the
field of accessible media, master teachers, and consumer leaders."
Audio Description and the JW FLV Player
By Terrill Thompson.
"This installment explores an aspect of multimedia accessibility that
receives far too little attention: audio description. When people think
about making video accessible, they tend to think about captions for the
deaf and hard of hearing. However, video can also be inaccessible to
people who are blind or visually impaired. These folks can often get the
message of a video solely by listening to it. However, if portions of the
content are exclusively communicated visually, these portions are
A Costly Gamble
By Suzanne Robitaille.
"Last summer, Apple found itself in a pickle with the disability
community. The state of Massachusetts was threatening to sue Apple for
failing to make its iTunes media library accessible to blind
students...Time and time again, companies spend heavily on product
development and marketing, but fail to consider people with disabilities
who might use their products..."
Captioning Media for iTunes
By Stanford Online Accessibility Program.
"Captioning Media for iTunes requires some specialized tools and a bit of
time to get right. Sadly, this process can only be done on a Macintosh
system so far, but as means and methods emerge for PC based solutions,
they will be added..."
By Automatic Sync.
"The following tutorial series will walk you through the various ways of
captioning podcast content. They have been captioned with SCC files, so
you will be able to see captioning in QuickTime, iTunes, iPods, and
iPhones if you have captioning enabled..."
iTunes U and Accessibility
"In the near future, Glendale College is going to be offering
students access to their instructors' lectures through iTunes U. Are
any of your campuses doing this?..."
Man With Small F (The Inaccessible PDF Song)
By Terrill Thompson.
"In my day job I'm a technology accessibility specialist at a university.
This song was inspired by a blind university student who came to my
office and said 'There's something wrong with this document'. It was a
PDF file, and I know that some PDF files are more accessible than others.
This particular document looked fine visibly, but audibly all the student
was hearing was random characters and phrases. When I first listened to
this, I was impressed by how rhythmic and poetic it was. My first
response of course was to diagnose the problem and figure out how to fix
it for the student. But my second response was to record what I was
hearing and make a song out of it! Inspiration sure comes from some
Device-Independent or Accessible?
By Dominique Hazael-Massieux.
"During the European Accessibility Forum in Frankfort last Friday, I took
part to a panel dedicated to the relationships between making a Web page
accessible and making it mobile-friendly, along with Henny Swan, Tomas
Caspers, and moderated by Beate Firlinger..."
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
15 Surefire Ways to Break Your CSS
By Rob Glazebrook.
"Some of the biggest CSS blunders stem from the simplest of errors.
Knowing what those errors are can save you hours of wasted labor..."
Object Oriented CSS - The Video
By John Allsopp.
"At Web Directions North, the highly talented Nicole Sullivan debuted her
'OOCSS' concept, to much interest. Yahoo Developer Network video recorded
a number of the sessions, including Nicole's..."
Why CSS Needs No Variables
By Jens Meiert.
"If you follow web development fora, magazines, blogs, and W3C's
www-style, CSS variables or constants seem to be one of the top features
web developers are asking for..."
Organize Your Stylesheet Madness and Reduce It's File Size With These Tips
By Neal Grosskopf.
"The other day at work, I had some spare time so I decided to take a look
at one of our stylesheets from one of our older websites. The stylesheet
was currently over 700 lines long, which I don't consider that long and
stood at about 13kb, which again I don't find particularly large..."
Colour Contrast Check Tool Updated
By Jonathan Snook.
Jonathan updated this took for WCAG 2.0 and added HSV sliders.
Accessibility: Are You Reaching Everyone?
May 8, 2009.
Cerritos, California, U.S.A.
Etre Get Together 2009 (with Lou Rosenfeld and Steve Krug)
May 20-21, 2009
London, United Kingdom.
Flash Accessibility Webinar Recording
By Andrew Kirkpatrick.
"The Paciello Group held the Flash accessibility and WCAG 2 webinar
today. You can view the recorded event with captioning online. The
Paciello Group will be posting the slides..."
Creating Accessible Components in Flash and Flex
By Alaric Cole.
"It's been in the works for a while, but I finally had the chance to
focus on making ASTRA components more accessible. Accessibility is not
something many developers look at, but it's slowly gaining ground. For
many developers, even figuring out how to enable the built-in
accessibility of Flash components is a job. But when you create custom
components, implementing accessibility is another job entirely.
Accessibility doesn't come for free..."
Creating Accessible Components in Flash and Flex (Part 2)
By Alaric Cole.
"In this article, I'll go over the steps needed to enable accessibility
for a custom component..."
Adobe Flash Accessibility Design Guidelines
"Providing captions for video solves accessibility challenges for people
who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, but people who are blind or who have low
vision or other physical disabilities need the video playback controls to
be keyboard accessible and to function properly with assistive
technologies such as screen readers and screen magnifiers. Flash CS4
Professional offers improvements to the FLVPlayback video component that
make the default player controls accessible automatically, without any
coding required by the developer..."
Contributing WAI-ARIA landmark roles to open source CMS themes
By Peter Krantz.
"Sometime new technology suffers from a chicken and egg problem. For
example, if no websites start using WAI-ARIA there will be few incentives
for manufacturers of assistive technology or browsers to include support
in their products..."
Patterns for WAI-ARIA landmark roles in existing HTML
By Peter Krantz.
"This is a short summary of some methods to add WAI-ARIA landmark roles
to existing web pages, e.g. an existing template package for a content
ARIA for Google Calendar, Finance and News: In praise of timely
By T.V. Raman.
"From time to time, our own T.V. Raman shares his tips on how to use
Google from his perspective as a technologist who cannot see -- tips that
sighted people, among others, may also find useful."
Are We Losing the Declarative Web?
By Philip Fennell.
"I saw something the other day that I was both intrigued and bothered by
in equal measure. 'Mozilla and the Khronos Group Announce Initiative to
Bring Accelerated 3D to the Web'..."
Accessible Web Design CEO Joseph Dolson (Interview)
By Kerry Murdock.
"Millions of Internet users are blind, deaf or are otherwise unable to
use a website in a traditional manner. Ensuring that a site functions
well for these users is called accessibility, and our guest for this
interview is an expert on that topic. Joseph Dolson is CEO and founder of
Accessible Web Design, a St. Paul, MN based firm that designs and
consults on accessibility matters. He joins Practical eCommerce's Kerry
PHP and the Cloud
By Vito Chin.
"Cloud computing refers to the utilization of shared, elastic resources
and processing power accessed via the Internet. In some ways, it hails
the reversion to the golden age of time-sharing but with significant
improvements to the distribution philosophies underlying the delivery
infrastructure. So, analogously, we now have the shared wonders of Hyde
Park, where everyone and anyone can chill on the bench, throw some
Frisbee, instead of having to financially pool money to buy a private
park to shoot rabbits..."
The ABC's of PHP Part 4 - How Variable Am I?
By Peter Shaw.
"To many beginners the subject of variables is usually pretty scary, and
often a reasonably difficult concept to grasp, the reason for this
however is usually because most modern languages require some kind of
indication as to what type of data a variable will hold, this in turn
often confuses beginners because they don't know what type of data
relates to what kind of type..."
Select a Certain Number of Words from a String
By Tiffany B. Brown.
"An alternative to subset() that selects entire words rather than a
specified number of characters. I used this on a recent project where I
needed to create a meta tag description from text and HTML stored in a
+09: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
Accessibility Dependencies of the Successor to HTML 4.01
By Gregory Rosmaita.
"This document accurately reflects the acknowledged Accessibility
Dependencies of HTMLx..."
Standards are for Catholics
By Brian Kelly.
"...are there policy makers and authors of standards and specifications
who really do feel that must means must, whereas the developers interpret
must as should? Is the problem that we have a non-interoperable mix of
Introduction to hCard, Part two: Styling hCards
By Christopher Schmitt.
"In the first part of this tutorial, I showed you the basics of the hCard
microformat - what it is, how you implement on in HTML, and what tools
are available to extract tem form web pages. Now that we know how to
create hCards, let's go through a couple of examples that demonstrate how
we might style hCards with CSS to make them fit into the visual design of
a web page..."
This Week in HTML 5 - Episode 26
By Mark Pilgrim.
"The big news for the week of March 16th is this announcement from Ian
Hickson: 'I've now split out the Server-sent Events and Storage APIs out
of HTML5, and I've removed the text for Web Sockets, which was split out
earlier. By popular demand I've also done some tweaks to the styling of
NVDA - A Free, Open Source Screen Reader
By Roger Johansson.
"Testing your work with a screen reader, especially if you're building
something that is more advanced than a basic info website, is likely to
help you create a more accessible website..."
"organizes and standardizes your CSS - selectors, sub-selectors and
properties - in a structure that makes it easier to define page areas and
see how they relate to each other..."
Web Typography Panel at SxSW
By Richard Rutter.
"...thought I'd jot down some of the topics we discussed, and some we
talked about beforehand but didn't have time for..."
Season of Usability 2009
Season of Usability is a series of sponsored student projects to
encourage students of usability, user-interface design, and interaction
design to get involved with Free/Libre/Open-Source Software (FLOSS)."
Defining User Experience
By Luke Wroblewski.
"A while back, Michael Cummings at UX Design asked me what my definition
of "user experience" was..."
Increasing Online Giving to Non-Profits and Charities
By Jakob Nielsen.
User research finds significant deficiencies in non-profit organizations'
website content, which often fails to provide the info people need to
make donation decisions.
Intuition and Usability
By Kevin Godby.
"Yesterday in class, the use of the word intuitive came up. In HCI, when
people talk about an interface being intuitive, what they really mean is
that it's learnable?that is, the interface can be learned in a very short
period of time. After that short learning period, the interface seems
natural, easy to use, and so obvious. If this learning period is short
enough (or not obvious), then we blithely claim that the interface is
Great Websites Work Beautifully
By Gerry McGovern
"...The Web reflects a society that is maturing. It is a more
questioning, probing, skeptical, probing society. Is it totally rational
and logical? Absolutely not. Of course, we like our websites and products
to look beautiful. But it is much more important to the Web customer that
websites and products work beautifully."
Enough UX Chumbaya!
By Dave Malouf.
"Interaction Design is NOT Information Architecture..."
Resources for Learning SVG
By Virgina DeBolt.
"Shelley Powers from Burningbird sent out a tweet this morning that IE
8.1 is going to include support for SVG. If you haven't started paying
attention to SVG yet, now is the time..."
[Section one ends.]
++ SECTION TWO:
+16: 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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