[webdev] Web Design Update: June 27, 2009
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Sat Jun 27 02:27:59 CDT 2009
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 7, Issue 52, June 27, 2009.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web design
++ISSUE 52 CONTENTS.
SECTION ONE: New references.
What's new at the Web Design Reference site?
New links in these categories:
02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
03: EVALUATION & TESTING.
09: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
14: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
++ SECTION ONE: New references.
Adopting WCAG 2
By Roger Hudson.
"It is six months since the release of WCAG 2.0 and I thought it might
be interesting to see how extensively it has been adopted as a bench
mark for determining web content accessibility. Over this time, I have
felt that the rate of adoption has been relatively slow and the number
of countries and other regulatory authorities now using WCAG 2 is lower
than I expected. Of course, this could just be the result of me having
overly optimistic expectations..."
Screen Reader Testing is Back in Style
By Jon Whiting.
"In the earlier years of web accessibility (pre-1999 to 2004), screen
readers were buggy and temperamental..."
National Federation of the Blind and American Council of the Blind File
Discrimination Suit Against Arizona State University
"The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) and the American Council of
the Blind (ACB) filed suit today against Arizona State University (ASU)
to prevent the university from deploying Amazon's Kindle DX electronic
reading device as a means of distributing electronic textbooks to its
students because the device cannot be used by blind students."
Interesting Legal Challenge
By Kelly Ford.
"...if an organization who has an obligation to meet a certain level of
accessibility is going to deploy technology from another source, how
much responsibility does that organization have to ensure accessibility
of the technology being deployed?..."
LiveDescribe Audio Description Work
"My name is Katerina and I'm an Acting student at Ryerson University.
This summer, I will be working with the Centre for Learning
Technologies at Ryerson on their LiveDescribe Program. This Blog will
record and follow my process and experiences as an audio describer for
the visually impaired. Using the LiveDescribe program, I will be
creating audio descriptions for videos of TV episodes, films, etc.
These audio descriptions are and will be available online as they are
created at www.livedescribe.com. Keep checking back here for new video
details, discoveries, and so forth..."
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
Handy Tips for Creating a Print CSS Stylesheet
"Print stylesheets often come as a secondary thought on many websites,
after all, who prints a webpage anyway?! Despite their slightly
infrequent use, a print stylesheet can really help polish the printed
document for when it is used. It doesn't take too long to create, so
let's take a look at some handy tips that you can put into practice on
your own site..."
+03: EVALUATION & TESTING.
Small Decreases in Viewing Can Decrease the Probability of Being
Clicked by More Than 50 Percent
"For a long time, proponents of eye-tracking have said that the amount
of viewing a link receives directly effects its likelihood of being
clicked. Well, it turns out that this is particularly true in the case
of search results..."
September 15?16, 2009.
Fourth International Conference on Digital Information Management
November 1-4, 2009
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, U.S.A.
Are we Losing the Declarative Web?
By Philip Fennell.
what is it not? I don't think its purpose is to create content, but
The Wisdom of Community
By Derek Powazek.
"It's one of the most important concepts on the web today-perhaps the
most important for social media-but it's one of the least understood.
When James Surowiecki wrote The Wisdom of Crowds in 2004, he explored
the stock market and other classic social psychology examples, but 'web
2.0' was still nascent. It's time to connect his ideas to the social
web, where they can reach their full potential..."
Skip Navigation Links
By Jim Thatcher.
"Web developers can do a lot to facilitate the process of navigating a
web page with the keyboard - without a mouse. That is the subject of
this article - which is updated from the 2004 version..."
When to Use Sitemaps?
By Stefan Mischook.
"...Sitemaps are really useful when there is a lot of content in a web
site - if you have a really simple site, it is probably overkill..."
404 Best Practices
By Chris Coyier.
"A 404 error on the web is what a web server responds with when it is
tasked with serving up a resource that it can't find..."
Call for a Doc Push
"Guys and gals, in the old days we had a very close tie between the
code and the documentation. As the project has grown the two have
drifted apart. I think this is mostly because the phpdoc team has done
an amazing job keeping up with the code changes and writing awesome
documentation. This has made us a bit lazy and complacent. I would like
to encourage everyone on this list to spend a little bit of time
looking at the parts of the documentation that cover things you are
familiar with. Or even just going through some of the doc bugs and
helping out in general..."
A Set of Objects in PHP - Arrays vs. SplObjectStorage
By Matt Butcher.
"One of my projects, QueryPath, performs many tasks that require
maintaining a set of unique objects. In my quest to optimize QueryPath,
I have been looking into various ways of efficiently storing sets of
objects in a way that provides expedient containment checks. [...]
Recently I narrowed the list of candidates down to two methods: Use
good old fashioned arrays to emulate a hash set or use the
SPLObjectStorage system present in PHP 5.2 and up..."
+09: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
Why Saying 'HTML5 is Not a Standard' Matters
By Larry Masinter.
"Let's focus on the goal: insuring that everyone "on the web" can
An Open Letter to Mozilla Regarding Their Use and Promotion of HTML5
By Kroc Camen.
"HTML5 video is coming, and a million web developers up and down the
web will be soon looking for advice and sample code to make use of
Request to Strengthen the HTML5 Accessibility Design Principle
By Laura Carlson, Debi Orton, Jason White, John Foliot, Joshue O
Connor, Patrick Lauke, Shelley Powers, Steve Faulkner, Catherine Roy,
Gez Lemon, Leif Halvard Silli, Philip TAYLOR, Robert J Burns, and Roger
"...We request that the accessibility design principle be disambiguated
and strengthened by replacing it with the following definition text and
Comic Update: Who Really Is the Wizard of HTML5?
By Kyle Weems.
"Perhaps we shouldn't craft HTML5 solely on Google's say-so. If the
data-harvesting Ian performs can't be independently verified, then
perhaps we shouldn't accept it as fact. It's just not prudent. We
definitely shouldn't use it as a substitute for actual experts in
discussions like accessibility (which I spoke about last week). If Ian
can't accept that limitation or provide access to the raw data, then we
need to consider whether a conflict of interests exists and whether he
should remain as the editor. With him doing such a poor job of playing
well with others (whether they be individuals, experts, or other WC3
working groups) while relying on private information from his employer,
how can he be expected to create a HTML5 that meets not just his needs,
or Google's needs, but everyone's needs?"
"a tool for checking foreground and background color combinations of
all DOM elements and determining if they provide sufficient contrast
when viewed by someone having color deficits. All the tests are based
on the algorithms suggested by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)."
Whatever Happened to font-stretch?
By Richard Rutter.
"The font-stretch property was introduced in CSS 2.0 over ten years
ago, but was culled in the transition to CSS 2.1. It now languishes in
the CSS 3 Fonts module. The property instructed browsers to select a
'normal, condensed, or extended face from a font family'. Its removal
from CSS 2.1 was due to a complete lack of implementation by browsers.
Unfortunately this leaves us with a gaping hole regarding font
Why Browser Zoom Shouldn't Kill Flexible Layouts
By Zoe Mickley Gillenwater.
"All the major browsers now have zoom functions built in, which may
make it seem like there's no longer any need for liquid or elastic
layouts. Not so..."
Reusing the User Experience
By Peter Hornsby.
"Developers often report a sense of deja vu when creating software-a
sense they've already designed or coded a function. Of course, the
feeling that he or she is doing unnecessary work is particularly
frustrating when a developer is under pressure! The reuse of software
components can help to address this problem. Components are proven,
reusable units of design and code that meet a specific need. As such,
they enable a developer to think about solving problems at a higher
level of abstraction, making the development process more efficient.
For example, rather than writing a function to print a file, a
developer can find and reuse a pre-existing component that meets the
Glossy Monitors Look Good But Can Hurt
By Rupert Goodwins.
"Reflections and glare on high gloss monitor screens and their relation
to the angle of the monitor screen, could cause the operator to adopt
awkward postures when viewing the monitor screen and using related
equipment. These reflections on the screen can be from internal and
external sources such as the overhead lighting and/or position of
Visual Decision Making
By Patrick Lynch.
"If it takes only 50 milliseconds for users to form an aesthetic
opinion of your site's credibility and trustworthiness, are designers
who create visually compelling sites simply wasting time and treasure
on graphic indulgences? Patrick Lynch doesn't think so."
Stop Password Masking
By Jakob Nielsen.
"Usability suffers when users type in passwords and the only feedback
they get is a row of bullets. Typically, masking passwords doesn't even
increase security, but it does cost you business due to login failures."
Introduction to RDFa
By Mark Birbeck.
"In part one of a two-part primer on RDFa, learn 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. Mark Birbeck shows us
[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.]
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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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