[webdev] Web Design Update: November 16, 2012
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Fri Nov 16 06:59:00 CST 2012
Resending as first message was truncated.
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 10, Issue 21, November 16, 2012.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web
design and development.
++ISSUE 21 CONTENTS.
SECTION ONE: New references.
What's new at the Web Design Reference site?
New links in these categories:
02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
03: INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE.
06: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
09: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
++ SECTION ONE: New references.
Making Learning Technologies Accessible
"These guidelines explain how to: Make educational Web media
accessible to people with disabilities..."
Playing with Longdesc
By Karl Groves.
"According to the the HTML 4.01 Specifcation from the W3C his
attribute specifies a link to a long description of the image. This
description should supplement the short description provided using the
NVDA Screen Reader Now Recognises Long Description
By Media Access Australia.
"Free screen reader for Windows, NVDA, has been updated to recognise
'longdesc', an attribute used by web developers to describe the data
that is visually presented in images such as graphs and diagrams. To
access the long description, press 'NVDA'+'d' once the screen reader
announces it is there..."
Accessibility is Part of UX (it isn't a swear word)
By Leonie Watson.
"People often go a bit wobbly when accessibility is mentioned. Visions
of text only websites, monochrome designs and static content swirl in
their heads. Teeth are gritted, excuses are prepared, and battle
How Accessible Are Google Apps?
By Greg Kraus.
Greg's Accessing Higher Ground conference powerpoint slides.
Selling Accessibility - Embracing the Dark Side
By Karl Groves.
"In which I say a whole bunch of things that are unpopular..."
Does Section 508 Apply to Freeware?
By The Section 508 Blog.
"It is important to remember that Section 508 standards apply not only
to the procurement of Electronic and Information Technology (EIT), but
also to its use. This means that freeware is subject to Section 508
standards even if acquiring it did not require formal procurement..."
Universal Design IRL
By Sara Wachter-Boettcher.
"We talk a lot about building a web that's accessible to anyone-a web
that serves more of us, more fully. But are our own events and
conferences as inclusive as the web we're all working toward? Sara
Wachter-Boettcher explores how we can improve the design of our own
Accessible WordPress Themes
By Rian Rietveld.
"The main goal of this project is that all people should be able to
use and maintain a WordPress website. Started by Rian Rietveld from
RRWD web development in the Netherlands.
This site is to share research on WordPress and accessibility and
hopefully more people will also share their findings here..."
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
The CSS Problem
By Jens O. Meiert.
"CSS is growing too large while CSS 2 has not nearly been understood
by authors. This non-sustainable growth is a big problem for CSS..."
Related Thread on the www-style list:
By Chris Coyier.
"I've long sized text only in px. Even when it was patently uncool to
do so - the days in which smart people cared about the fact that text
set in px couldn't be resized in IE 6-8. I've switched over to using
ems now. I haven't moved every single project over yet, but my mind
has switched. Why? I finally found some compelling reasons that I now
Responsive Background Images with Fixed or Fluid Aspect Ratios
By Rolf Timmermans.
"It is possible to make any HTML element scale its height proportional
to its width. Elements with a percentual padding-top attribute will be
scaled based on the their width. To make background images scale in
modern browsers you can add background-size: cover. To make the aspect
ratio change gradually when resizing, also set the height attribute.
Based on two sizes with a different aspect ratio the correct height
and vertical padding can be calculated."
Stylin' Fonts and Text in CSS
By Charles Wyke-Smith.
"In this chapter, you'll learn about fonts and text, and the
respective CSS properties you can use to style them. You'll also learn
about the wonderful world of Web fonts, which download to your user
along with your pages..."
Adapting Your Site to Different Window Sizes
By Matt Rakow.
"Modern browsers like the latest versions of Internet Explorer,
Firefox, Safari and Opera support the width and height properties of
the W3C Working Draft CSS Device Adaptation, which as of 1 November
has evolved to an Editor's Draft. This gives Web developers a simple
tool to control automatic content scaling across various window
dimensions. In particular, it enables sites to easily adapt to
browsing on touch-enabled tablet devices in the snapped view and in
+03: INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE.
Information Architecture's Two Schools of Thought
By Nathaniel Davis.
"Most of or clients and colleagues perceive information architecture
in a way that resembles either a classic or a contemporary view."
Accessible Forms With ARIA Live Regions
By Leonie Watson.
"When a form is used to update information on the page, it can be
troublesome for screen reader users. Unless the screen reader is
focused on the relevant bit of the page, the update goes by
un-noticed. ARIA live regions are a simple way to improve the
experience for screen reader users..."
Using ARIA to Enhance Web Application Accessibility
By Jared Smith.
Jared's Accessing Higher Ground conference slides.
Hand Code or Frameworks?
By Ed Merritt.
"Hand coded markup is still essential. Preprocessors, frameworks and
libraries are there to make your lives easier, but they are not
intended to replace coding skills..."
How Should we Handle Responsive Images?
By Dan Sheerman.
"...Don't optimise for specific devices, but do optimise..."
Mobile First - The Revolution is Well Under Way
By David Storey.
"...A little over a year ago, I wrote a post about how countries in
Africa were at the foothills of a mobile web revolution. Nigeria had
just started seeing more web traffic on mobile devices than
traditional desktop, and more countries were on course to follow that
lead. This post looks at what progress has been made since then, and
what the trends look like going forward..."
Interview with Robin Berjon, HTML5 editor
By Bruce Lawson.
"At the recent Apps World expo in London, Doctor Bruce spoke on a
panel with Robin Berjon, recently appointed W3C HTML5 editor. He took
the opportunity to ask Robin some questions..."
+06: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
Web App Mistakes: Condemned to Repeat
By Mike Davies.
"...The Web is ubiquitous. Native apps need the Web, the Web doesn't
need native apps..."
HTML5 figure and figure caption Elements
By Ryan Boudreaux.
"...This demonstration and review will encompass the <figure> element,
the <figcaption> element, the nesting of multiple figure elements, and
the benefits for users who access content defined with the two
On HTML5 and the Proposed main Element
By Ian Devlin.
"...One of the elements that some claim to be missing is a main
element that would indicate the main content of a document. This might
be about to change..."
The main Element
By Mat Marquis.
"...we've been keeping a close eye on the main element extension spec
championed by Steve Faulkner, which aims to provide an element that
delineates the primary content on a page, independent of HTML5's
Meet the datalist Element
By Tiffany B. Brown.
"One of my favorite parts of HTML5 forms is the datalist element.
Opera added support in version 9.0. Support in Firefox and Internet
Explorer followed. Today, datalist finally landed in a Chrome beta
Preview the Proposed HTML 'Picture' Element
By Scott Gilbertson.
"The Responsive Images Community Group - a group of developers helping
the W3C create a web standard for handling images across devices - has
a new demo page showing off how the proposed HTML <picture> element
By Marc Drummond.
"We have an inbalance on the web. Our standards are just guidelines.
Somehow, web developers are supposed to take the time to follow
standards, but browser manufacturers? Heck, they can put out whatever
kind of cruddy browser they like, and developers are just supposed to
go test their designs against hundreds of devices. Bugs in browsers?
That's something developers have to work around..."
In Defence of Polyglot
By Sam Ruby.
"I see that Henri Sivonen is once again being snarky without backing
his position. I'll state my position, namely that something like the
polyglot specification needs to exist, and why I believe that to be
[Section one ends.]
++ SECTION TWO:
+09: 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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