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  1. #26
    SitePoint Enthusiast webinista's Avatar
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    Re: can comment on pda browsing

    Originally posted by mymamasaid
    pda browsers currently do not support css, and most references to building pda-friendly sites recommend keeping the formatting to an extreme minimum.
    the idea behind using CSS is to present a visual layout to those browsers that can support it and a usable, mostly accessible, plain HTML version for browsers (including PDAs) that can't.

    there's a handheld media type in CSS that allows developers to code specifically for PDA devices, and a tty media type for terminals and teletype devices.


  2. #27
    SitePoint Enthusiast frostproof's Avatar
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    Good tutorials?

    Any good quick start tutorials out there for this css/XML site building stuff?

    I also use PHP, so if it included that angle... all the cooler.

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  3. #28
    The Legend Indian's Avatar
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    Re: Good tutorials?

    Originally posted by frostproof
    Any good quick start tutorials out there for this css/XML site building stuff?

    I also use PHP, so if it included that angle... all the cooler.

    = fp
    http://www.webmasterbase.com/article/930
    http://www.webmasterbase.com/article/345
    http://www.webmasterbase.com/article/590
    http://www.webmasterbase.com/article/602
    http://www.webmasterbase.com/article/515

    http://www.webmasterbase.com/article/43
    http://www.webmasterbase.com/article/309
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  4. #29
    SitePoint Enthusiast lhatkins's Avatar
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    Hi there.

    I am a visually impaired web designer, I've been employed to work on a Local Government website for Sensory disability so I have first hand experience of accessibility issues.

    I have designed the new pages for our social services section in CSS, this is very flexible,but the compatibility between browsers really annoys me, we have to code right back to Netscape 4.71 which can cause a few problem and Netscape and IE phase the css in different ways.

    We use BETSIE for text only version of our sites, its a nice piece of perl code available from the BBC which can convert sites to text only, removes images and java code, the use can also change the colours and size of fonts, its really handy and means you don't have to write 2 versions of your site.

    I'm really glad to see there is a thread of this forum about accessibility, when I surf around the web I come across all sorts of problems even from some big name companies who just don't think that Blind or visually impaired people will want to access their sites, flash and java are all well and good, but try sticking through a screen reader!

    As for navigation, hum I think it might be personal preference, I always go to navigation first, to see / hear what the site has to offer, then get into the content, and I've always codes sites the same way, I also use "Accesskeys" to make it easy to find there way around the menu systems.
    Regards

    ---
    Lee

  5. #30
    gingham dress, army boots... silver trophy redux's Avatar
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    betsie is a good little tool, but in my opinion (and the opinion of a 100% blind colleague of mine who works on assessing accessibility of webpages) it's only a stopgap solution. many company websites are horrible in terms of accessibility, but then just slap a betsie text only version on one of their servers and think they're done. truth is, many blind users do not want to go to a "separate" site. they do not want to be treated differently from other users. there is also still the fear that text only versions are not updated as regularly as the "main" site (which, ok, with betsie is not an issue). only a small percentage of visually impaired users truly benefit from completely text only versions (in my colleague's opinion). a better result can be achieved by standards-compliant code and alternate CSS stylesheets (e.g. a CSS which removes the display of any IMG tag completely, or sizes the font to very big sizes).
    furthermore, betsie is not a miracle cure for badly designed pages...if the (x)html code behind the pages is flawed beyond a certain point, betsie cannot parse it correctly and produces weird results (the same as what a user with lynx would get accessing the main page, pretty much).
    my £0.02, anyway
    re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
    [latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]
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  6. #31
    SitePoint Enthusiast lhatkins's Avatar
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    redux, I do agree with what you say there.

    To be fair betsie doesn't take you so another site, it just parses it to remove images, codes and make it more readable. it uses the same text as the main page thus no fear of update issues. That is the reason I like it, you don't have to code 2 different verions of the same site, with betsie you get the same site, but in text, you can change font size and colours, without the need for Javascript.

    Yes I agree its a stop gap, its not a perfect solution by any means, but its a start, no?

    I have seen some site that allow you to change the font size or folour, but this only works if you use javascript

    Yep your right, the underlying site has to be coded correctly, surely that's our job? though I'm not going to apologise for other's badly coded sites, betsite should only be used once the site is bug free.

    I agree the best solution will be a site which is accessable to everyone, but you'll end up with a site with nothing on it, as different people have different opinions on what a web page is for.

    My opinion, the internet, or web, is an information resourse, library, etc, others see it as entertainment, which is where I think some site designer tent to loose the plot.
    Regards

    ---
    Lee

  7. #32
    gingham dress, army boots... silver trophy redux's Avatar
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    maybe to elaborate more on my previous post:

    i wasn't blaming betsie's shortcomings, i was blaming developers who believe that betsie will take care of accessibility for them...

    as an accessibility-conscious developer (some people at work even go as far as calling me an accessibility evangelist, but they often call me all sorts of things anyway), i see it as my responsibility to do my best to create a single solution that works for as broad an audience as possible, regardless of potential disabilities, technical limitations, etc. if i had to code something that can only be made accessible by sticking betsie on the server, i'd feel like i have failed somehow...

    betsie is only as good as the pages it gets served. garbage in = garbage out. now, many companies/developers think that simply adding betsie makes their site compliant...but it doesn't. there can still be instances where a horribly coded page is garbled by betsie. considerations about accessibility of webpages need to be integral part of the design/development process, and not something "slapped on" at the end ("and now, let's just install betsie and be done with it"). sure, as an interim, quick fix solution to legacy content, that might work...
    and if you need to make sure your code is well formed and does not cause problems in betsie, it's not such a huge step towards making the actual page accessible as well.
    things such as offering the ability to the user to increase font size and colour can be easily implemented with alternate stylesheets (and, in some browsers, users can define their own custom styles that override any page styles) without ANY need for javascript. other alternatives which are still accessible and offer style switching can be done server-side...

    I agree the best solution will be a site which is accessable to everyone, but you'll end up with a site with nothing on it, as different people have different opinions on what a web page is for.

    My opinion, the internet, or web, is an information resourse, library, etc, others see it as entertainment, which is where I think some site designer tent to loose the plot.
    i understand where you're coming from, but in my opinion this is really an issue of site purpouse, content and structure, rather than accessibility. i'd also like to add the proviso that i make a distinction between informational sites and entertainment ones, as they have a different focus. any user should be able to access the same information, but that's not to say that, as an example, a site should not offer a flash game for sighted users that can operate a mouse. now, if that flash was an actual piece of information (e.g. a scrolling text passage for instance), i'd strongly advocate to either drop the flash and code it into html, or at least offer an alternative version...

    i hope this unfocussed reply/rant did make some kind of sense...i apologise, but my brain has been fried at a long meeting this afternoon
    Last edited by redux; Feb 12, 2003 at 08:48.
    re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
    [latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]
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  8. #33
    SitePoint Enthusiast lhatkins's Avatar
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    Yep redux that is clear, no problems there.

    Don't start me off with the Flash issue, it looks pritty but it totally useless to visually impaired users, and where to this brainacs put the "skip intro" link, ya in the flash page, flash games, well ok, flash websites, just don't do it!

    I do the same as you redux, when I design sites, I make them as accessible as possible, they don't look as flash as my colleagues who like using flash, java script, but at least mine are, IMHO, accessable, though I still have a lot more to learn.

    As for meetings, ya tell me about it seems that is all the Local Government seem to do, surprising they ever get anything done.
    Regards

    ---
    Lee

  9. #34
    SitePoint Wizard
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    lhatkins, I just looked at your own site and I notice you are using a drop down menu, is that not a bit awful when it comes to screen readers? I'm not trying to be critical, just curious as I've never tested one!

  10. #35
    SitePoint Enthusiast lhatkins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daz
    lhatkins, I just looked at your own site and I notice you are using a drop down menu, is that not a bit awful when it comes to screen readers? I'm not trying to be critical, just curious as I've never tested one!
    Yes Daz your quite right, maybe I should be setting an example with my HOME site, but then that site is used for testing new ideas, and not really used as a commerical platform, I work 9 to 5 doing strict web accessble design and my HOME page is somewhere where I can let my hair down a bit and let rip.

    Your right I do use a lot of javascript on my site, but again I need to know to program java for my job so I need somewhere to test, just to muck about and try things. Screen readers would probably ignore my menu system completely and you'd be suck on the main page, yes very ironic that my site has lots of visual content and that I don't see very well, but the web is visual there isn't muchI can do about that.

    Also I'll add to my defence I did start working on my website before I leant anything about accessability on websites!

    I have and am doing other commerical sites and will be coding them in an accessable way.
    Last edited by lhatkins; Mar 3, 2003 at 09:59.
    Regards

    ---
    Lee


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