Re: [WSG] A Standards Oxymoron

2009-08-22 Thread Mark Harris

Bushidodeep wrote:

F,

As in the case of clients that rigidly adhere to the notion of pixel 
perfection,
the design usually spirals into perfection on a single user-agent, with 
complete

disregard of the possible thousands in circulation.

The jobs description just seemed one to avoid.


I agree with you (though Rimantas is, as usual, technically correct - it 
CAN be achieved, but it's more work than it needs to be) and when I get 
asked for something like that I usually discuss it for a while, to see 
if they can be persuaded, then advise them to get another web-monkey 
who'll work their butt off for the minimal amount the client wants to 
pay. After 14 years at this game, I've decided that stuff just is not 
worth the effort it takes.


~mark


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Re: [WSG] Installing More than one version of IE6

2009-07-02 Thread Mark Harris

Hargreaves, Michael wrote:

Here's another option to virtual PC which I use. I haven;t used Virtual 
PC in some time so I can;t really give a good comparison.

But if it makes a difference Virtual box has no connection with Microsoft.
http://www.virtualbox.org/


I second VirtualBox (which has just released v3). I use it on physical 
OSX, Linux and WinXP machines to provide multiple virtual machines 
running different versions of Windows (3.1 through to XP - I don't test 
for Vista) and various service pack and browser variations. I also run 
(sometimes) virtual Ubuntu servers to be test hosts - wholse networks 
inside one closed system ;-)


It's awesome.


~mark


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Re: [WSG] My best practice HTML sheet

2009-06-25 Thread Mark Harris

daniel a. thornbury wrote:


Very useful!

...but I would love the PDF or ODT versions to be available so I can 
print it up to stick onto the wall for quick-reference (and to make me 
look a little smarter)...



What Daniel is trying to say, Lars, is that the links are 404ing.


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Re: [WSG] website fonts

2009-06-22 Thread Mark Harris

matt andrews wrote:

2009/6/22 Mark Harris w...@tracs.co.nz

The biggest cost I have seen in web design since 1996, when I started, is the 
perceived need to make the web like the printed page. That, and the desire to 
make it pixel-identical in multiple browsers.

Let the control go to the user, focus on getting information out there. You 
can't control everything, just make it make sense.


Absolutely.  This is probably old hat (where did *that* phrase come
from?) to most on this list, but if you haven't come across it before,
A Dao of Web Design, a short article by John Allsopp (of  Westciv
and Web Directions fame) is a must-read:

http://www.alistapart.com/articles/dao/




Yeah, John said it well. To me, that is the fundamental basis of web 
standards.


~mark


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Re: [WSG] website fonts

2009-06-21 Thread Mark Harris

Joshua Street wrote:

Adding to what Tim said,

It's possible that you're experiencing problems with Helvetica just 
because of a typo (you had written Helvitica). Also, it does not come 
with Windows Vista or Microsoft Office.




However, If your user has it installed and doesn't have Arial installed 
(unlikely, even on a Mac), then text styled with this will appear in 
Helvetica font. The reason these towo are often associated is that they 
are visually similar and readily available. If neither are available, 
the browser will display the text in whatever sans serif font first 
appears listed on the client system.


My personal feeling is that trying to specify fonts beyond serif and 
sans serif is such a crapshoot that I never bother.


~mark



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[WSG] FYI Vision Australia culls 60 jobs

2009-05-06 Thread Mark Harris

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,25438090-29277,00.html

 VISION Australia has culled up to 60 staff from its New South Wales 
offices.
Vision Australia confirmed it had reluctantly notified staff that a 
number of positions could not be sustained. Three offices in regional 
Victoria will also close, and working hours will be reduced for some 
staff in NSW, Queensland and Victoria.


The “slaughter” began at the not-for-profit organisation’s Enfield 
offices in NSW at 9am, a source told news.com.au.


Among those to lose their jobs was a blind woman who worked in its proof 
reading department, the source said...


How not to run a redundancy process (hat tip to @plasmaegg and @OfficerAnni)

Mark Harris
Technology Research and Consultancy Services Ltd.
Waikanae New Zealand
@nzlemming
+64 21 444 954


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Re: [WSG] converting CSS and XHTML to PDFs

2009-03-31 Thread Mark Harris


 On 31/03/2009, at 1:08 AM, Darren Lovelock wrote:

 Do a image screenshot using print screen and then convert that to PDF?

That would be my choice if size is not an issue -  png if it is, though 
those can be pretty big.


Pascal wrote

That results in an image sitting inside a PDF; the text is rendered 
inaccessible, and the file size of the document will be increased 
substantially.


It's not a web file - it's a file for the client. If they have 
accessibility issues, then you need to find another way, but then I'd 
question the logic of sending them layouts to check



Rae Buerckner wrote:
 You need server side software which can do this on the fly

Only if you're serving this to general users. The OP was specific about 
sending layout examples to the client, not serving to the Net at large.



[slightly OT] I've kind of given up on persuading people not to top 
post, but can people please trim their responses to the relevant bits? 
We don't need the whole thread in every post, and we *really* don't need 
an ever expanding set of footers.[/OT]


Cheers

~mark


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Re: [WSG] RE: [BULK] WSG Digest

2009-03-16 Thread Mark Harris

Glen Wallis wrote:

Am I the only person on this list who is sick of the constant and blatant
advertising for this Content Management System? Don't we have rules against
this? If so, they are not being enforced.



I thought the post was brief, informative and to the point. If everyone 
on this list with a commercial or open source product or service is 
prevented from speaking about it at all, we'd lose a lot of content. I 
don't think Sigurd's posts are over the top, any more than the numerous 
Dreamweaver, Joomla, Drupal or insert_CMS_name_here posts, and I do 
think you're over-reacting just a tad.


Cheers

~mark


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Re: [WSG] Accessibility testing

2009-02-10 Thread Mark Harris

Henrik Madsen wrote:

Now, here's the thing. This software is only for PC. I'm Mac. Not very 
accessible eh? :)


What similar software / online systems do people use and get reliable 
results (if reliable results are indeed attainable)?




I use VirtualBox (www.virtualBox.org) to run virtual Windows machines 
for this sort of thing, also for multiple browser versions. Bitter 
experience has shown me you can't rely on simulations completely.


~mark


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Re: [WSG] Frames/iFrames [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

2009-01-13 Thread Mark Harris

mary-anne.nay...@medicareaustralia.gov.au wrote:

They are using them to facilitate the menu/header/footer ite,s across a
host of applications which sit on a range of differing servers using a rang
of differing technologies. I suggested SSI's but that is not possible due
to server configuration issues. I think I am going to allow iFrames but
with some stipulations.



I thought you were a government entity? What do the government 
guidelines say about frames


~mark


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Re: [WSG] Checking My Page

2009-01-06 Thread Mark Harris

Marvin Hunkin wrote:

Hi.
well, got some suggestions, from a friend.
and now uploaded my latest files to http://drop.io/startrekcafe/
so, take a look, give me feedback, and any other suggestions, i might need, 
or if my page, style sheet, and the nav links.css, looks fine and it looks 
professional, and the fonts, colours, and the page looks fine, then give me 
some feedback.

cheers Marvin.

Marvin

I don't know what you think you have up there, but drop.io is not a web 
hosting site, it is a dropbox or collaborative filesharing site.


So, when you copy your index.html file up there, what I see is a _link_ 
to an index.html file, with links to download it, send it to someone, 
comment on it, rename it or delete it, plus some image thumbnails. It's 
not interpreting your html files as I think you want them to be (as I 
verified by downloading and viewing the index file).


Regards

~mark




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Re: [WSG] Fw: The Great Firewall of Australia

2008-11-30 Thread Mark Harris

Andrew R wrote:


And adding my 2 cents worth…
 
This is part of the grand conspiracy. The panic about porn / bomb 
instructions on the web knee jerk is a smoke screen. What the government 
wants to do is control how it’s citizen access media and hence ideas. 


This is part of the Great Conspiracy Theory (tm)

Don't ascribe to malice that which can be more easily explained by 
mistake. I'll take ill-informed cock-up over conspiracy any day, as I 
don't believe Australian politicians have the nous to manage a grand 
conspiracy.



They love the traditional mass media because it’s easy to control and 
run by cooperation that have a vested interest keeping the old 
paradigms. They hate the web, email, etc because it’s hard to control 
and hence subvert how ideas spread. Goverements all over the place have 
been trying to do this for a long time.


They hate traditional media too, when they ask hard questions.

It’s stupid, won’t work and is going to cost us millions. What will 
happen is lots of folks will subscript to OS encrypted tunnelling 
services. The outcome will be lots of encrypted web traffic which will 
be a lot worse if you’re trying to track the activities of bomb makers 
and paedophiles. And it is going to chew up money that would be more 
productively spend improving the speed of the infrastructure (and not 
slowing it down).


Ah, something we can agree on - it won't work and it will cost $


This is nearly a dumb that idea that Mr Keating had of sell exclusive 
rights to provide Australian net access to Microsoft!


Did he really? Do you have any cites for this?

Cheers

Mark Harris



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Re: [WSG] Standards and Adobe Contribute

2008-11-02 Thread Mark Harris

Dave Lane wrote:

I'm sorry, Mark, but that is not a winning strategy in business.

Dave, the business decision is not that of the web designer. While web 
design may be his business, it's not the business of his client.



As a web developer, you *must* design for maintainability.  Anything
else is a disservice to both your business and your customer.  


Not arguing, but it must also work for the client, otherwise you are 
merely building ongoing work for yourself, in doing the maintenance. 
Offer options, by all means, but the result *must* be within the 
client's capability set or it won't get used. How much value have you 
then added to the client's business by imposing your own ideas on their 
naivety?



The
customer is not always right.  The customer hires you because they
perceive you to have expertise they don't, and they trust your skill and
judgement on their behalf.  If they don't have that respect for your
ability, they're not the right customer for you. 


Fine. Say so and get out, but if you take the job, you take the 
constraints and responsibilities that come with it.



I'm not saying that
you should tell them their wrong, but you should explain the
shortcomings of the methods they request and explain the advantages of
the tools you've chosen...  if you can't do that then you probably
haven't thought very carefully about choosing tools.


That's not what Joe was advising. What he said was:
you should never let the client specify the technology,
that's YOUR job The technology you decide to deploy should
be a result of having defined the strategy and scope of a
project and identified the resources for ongoing content
and support.

which is a pretty tall ask for a web designer, not to mention arrogant. 
Do you get your mechanic to tell you how to drive your car? He's far 
more experienced with vehicles than you, so he should know, right?



Ultimately, a business must select its technologies (the smallest set
possible to do the job well), become expert in them, and then maintain
those skills for the length of their relationship with their customers.

See, it's the whole become expert with them that's the problem. They 
don't have the desire to become expert in something that is a commodity 
to them. Many companies don't have web specialists on staff. If they're 
lucky, they have a librarian, who does records management, maybe a 
little DTP and gets stuff onto the web. They don't *want* a web designer 
on board, or they'd be hiring one instead of farming the work out to you.


If that's how they see it, that's their business. Myself, I'd try to get 
them to see that it's a major strategic part of their future business 
*but* if they won't go there, I'm going to build them something they 
feel comfortable with, with an outline of what it could become, if 
appropriate. I'm not going to push a company into Web 2.0 if they 
still believe a little man sits in the printer pushing out paper.




I completely agree with Joe's statement - using an app like Contribute
is a step backwards in most cases, both for the customer and for the
web.  


If it works for them, it's their call. A simple site set up by someone 
who knows what they're doing can be managed just fine with Contribute. 
It's not likely to win any awards (and it probably won't do a lot for 
their bottom line) but we don't always get to paint the Mona Lisa. 
Sometimes, we just put the colour on the canvas and move it about a little.



CMSs, if chosen wisely (and the open source ones are better than
anything proprietary, so it'd be foolish not to go down the open source
path), implemented by *knowledgeable* developers with an appreciation
for web and software best practice (e.g. standards compliance, source
code control, change control procedures, etc.) and the will to adhere to
it, with ongoing maintenance in mind.


Your point assumes knowledgeable people doing the maintenance. My point 
says, if they're asking for Contribute, they're short on knowledgeable 
people. I agree completely about the OSS thing (obviously) but you need 
to remember that, for Joe Sixpack, OSS may still be the big scary thing. 
You've got to be ready for OSS and understand what you're doing before 
you'll bring it into your business. I know that doesn't make rational 
sense, but people do behave irrationally, especially about technology. 
Contribute comes with a brand that they know and they feel comfortable 
with that.



Those who don't feel responsible for learning about and adhering to best
practice should look for another line of work.


Well, it's their business, isn't it? And, as a supplier, it's yours to 
supply what they need within the constraints they specify. It's also 
your job to give them something they will use. Drupal may be simple for 
thee and me to manage, but the boss's PA will be very wary when faced 
with the options contained within.


The road is littered with the remains of web development 

Re: [WSG] Standards and Adobe Contribute

2008-11-01 Thread Mark Harris

Joe Ortenzi wrote:
Contribute is not about content management as much as it is about 
allowing an in-house web team to share tasks without a proper CMS 
deployed. Thus your coder can code and the content writer can write but 
it can be all wrapped within a team. This is, frankly, Web 1.0, and your 
time and their money is better served by getting a simple CMS deployed 
that meets with their scope and strategy and will be easier to manage 
for everyone, client included.




With respect, this is so much bollocks.

The manner of deployment is always the client's choice. If you can offer 
her something better, by all means offer, but it's arrogant to tell the 
client you have to do it this way.


Many clients won't have an in-house web team - they'll have one person 
to whom maintaining the website is only 1/4 of their job. Some outfits 
are still coming to grips with how they should be using the web and need 
baby steps.


While it's a designer's job to help educate them, you can't drag them 
kicking and screaming into something they're not ready for.


Regards

Mark Harris


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Re: [WSG] JavaScript clarification please

2008-10-27 Thread Mark Harris

Anthony wrote:

My sentiments exactly.


On 27/10/2008, at 3:46 PM, Breton Slivka [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:



I'm afraid I will have to throw up
my hands and give up on you. You are a lost cause. you cannot be
reached.



Oh, good. Can we return the list to web standards now?


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Re: [WSG] WCAG2 in general

2008-09-30 Thread Mark Harris

Steve Green wrote:

Does anyone think that WCAG 2.0 will improve the user experience? Or do you
take my view that it only benefits developers, and that the user experience
will be worse in future?


This is my view as well.

Mark Harris


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Re: [WSG] Is it a good practice to have 'Back to Top' link?

2008-09-29 Thread Mark Harris

Robin Shi wrote:
 
Oh I did miss the point. You were talking about those small screens and the users really don't like scrolling. In that case, what if put the tabs on the bottom of the page?


No, I think his point was that the tabs would be at the top of the page 
and the user would still have to scroll back to make use of them, unless 
the page was not long enough to take them out of view.


Unless you were using frames, and the tabs were outside the content frame.

Which would be a Bad Thing(tm).

Cheers

mark


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Re: [WSG] Multiple Language Domains

2008-06-13 Thread Mark Harris

Paul McCann wrote:

I have a few worries though, currently both domains point to the english 
language version of the site, this will be changed so cymruni goes to 
the Welsh language side. Although the language is the same and its 
possible for people to flip between the two languages is it possible 
that google will see the site as duplicate content?


If there's 2 languages, surely the *language* is not the same, although 
the content covers the same items? AFAIK Google indexes the words and 
the words will be different.


Also we are having trouble getting the alias to append the lang=cy to it 
on first visit. My thought was to make the ourwales domain the prominant 
one, and set up a folder with a 301 redirect in it which says 
cymruni.org has moved permanantly to ourwales.org.uk/lang=cy that way we 
have only one domain indexed.



Talk to the people who run www.direct.gov.uk - they do this quite well.



2, How have/would you implement a problem like this?


Umm, why would I implement a *problem*?   ;-)


Cheers



mark


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Re: [WSG] MA in web development

2008-06-11 Thread Mark Harris

aboehmer wrote:
 It could contain a pile of subjects, depending on how far you want to 
take it. Here just some ideas:


 HTML/CSS
 Multimedia (Video, Flash, Podcasts, etc)
 Basics in Programming (PHP/VB, etc)
 Usability
 Accessibility
 Search Engine Optimisation
 Basics in Graphic Design (Photoshop, Illustrator, etc)
 Introduction to Networks/Hosting environments

This is all Bachelors level, IMHO, the bare bones of what a web 
technology degree should provide.


 You could even chuck in some electives of Business subjects.
 Masters students would probably want to get their head
 around Project Management as well...?

I would think, for a Masters level degree, you'd start at the business 
end - why stuff is done, rather than how. The how should be at the 
undergraduate level.


My list would be along the lines of:
* Information Architecture
* Business needs analysis
* Process analysis
* System architecture
* Business life cycle
* All phases of project management and documentation
* Business negotiation skills
* Web standards development
* Usability standards development


What is this hinted university thinking of or already offering at the 
undergraduate level?


mark



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Re: [WSG] Should we design for 800x600 screens?

2008-06-09 Thread Mark Harris

Jermayn Parker wrote:


If the users are technical you would not bother designing for 800 x 600
screens


Hmmm? I wonder if that's strictly true, given the surge in ultralite 
notebooks like the ASUS EEEPC. My new one ( a 900 - c'mon NZCouriers, 
just deliver the thing!) will have 1024 as a default but my wife's 1st 
gen Linux one has a much smaller screen and (I think) has a max 800x600 
res - I know a lot of geeks who've picked up one of these as a 
travelling tool because they're just that much easier to manage on a 
plane or in a briefcase.


I was using Her one last night to check on some details about a program 
we were watching on TV and getting very frustrated at having to scroll 
sideways to see the sidebar on the right.


Other small-form user devices will have similar issues. I think I used 
my Palm Tungsten PDA a whole 1 time to surf and then decided to use 
something else with a decent screen size.


And then there's the people who have nice big screens but have reduced 
viewports because using the web is only part of what they do and they 
really need to see as much of that spreadsheet as they can



if the users are internal and they work on smaller screens, you would.


As someone else said, fluid design is the way to go, when you know you 
can't control every user's technology and/or preferences. And it'll work 
better in the future when the technology changes again.


cheers

mark



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Re: [WSG] Breadcrumbs showing organisational structure and usability

2008-06-07 Thread Mark Harris

Stuart Foulstone wrote:

Flaming is definitely off topic!


Flaming? Hardly. Robust discussion, definitely


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Re: [WSG] Breadcrumbs showing organisational structure and usability

2008-06-06 Thread Mark Harris

libwebdev wrote:


My organisation manages around 7000+ pages for 100s of departments,
using a CMS. Mine is the only department outside the CMS, just because
we can.

We have been persuaded (read: bullied) to redesign our header to
exactly match that of the parent organisation. I have no problem with
that per se, but theirs includes breadcrumbs, and we don't want 'em.



Who pays your bills? Golden Rule is that the guy with the gold makes the 
rules. Suck it up. Because we can is not a valid reason to do 
anything. You are part of the organization, yes? Therefore you should 
fit within its structures and strictures, whether you like that or not. 
If they are wrong, document it and prove it, otherwise it sounds like 
petulance to me.



I'm wondering what the consensus is here on their usefulness. I've
always been under the impression that the purpose of breadcrumbs was
to indicate to the user where they had been. However, the ones we are
being urged to implement do no such thing; they simply display our
organisational structure. This means that on every one of our 200-odd
pages, the breadcrumbs will appear like so (we are the library):

Parent Org  Clinical Services  Library   Current page

The only thing that's going to change is the current page. To me,
that's not a breadcrumb trail at all.

Am I wrong in my thinking? Is this a common usage? How does this
benefit the user at all?


Yes it is useful to the user because:
- it gives them an easy way to get back to a senior hierarchical level 
_without_ having to go back through the history. Or perhaps they hit 
your page from Google (most likely) and haven't already been through 
your hierarchy - they get a quick view of the authoritativeness of the 
page and where it fits in your organizational structure;
- the users are used to seeing breadcrumbs and using them. Your 
preferences should not impact their use - you're presenting information 
for them to consume and so should design for their needs.




I'm questioning it because of usability issues, which is how I tie it
in with web standards. If this is considered off-topic, I apologise,
and replies should come directly to me rather than the list.


Let's be honest, lib - you're questioning this because _you_ don't want 
to do it and you're looking for something to wave at the people who want 
you to do it that says 98% of web gurus agree with me so yah boo sucks, 
we're not doing it. Don't cloak it with usability or web standards.



Cheers

Mark Harris
Technology Research and consultancy Services Ltd
New Zealand


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Re: [WSG] Wiki's and standards

2008-06-05 Thread Mark Harris

Rob Enslin wrote:

Hello WSG Group,

Our company have asked me to look into potential Wiki software for our
corporate community (intranet-style). The person driving the Wiki has
suggested using Jive's Clearspace (
http://www.jivesoftware.com/products/clearspace).

With web standards in mind:

1. Has anyone used Clearspace and have any comments?
2. Any standards-related issues when rolling out a corporate Wiki solution?
3. Any other favoured Wiki software they could recommend and why?

Any thoughts, comments or ideas would be great.

The NZ Govt Webstandards wiki uses MediaWiki 
(http://webstandards.govt.nz/index.php/About_this_wiki) and that seems 
to be pretty good. I'm sure they've set it up to comply with (at least) 
the NZ Govt Web Standards and Recommendations but you can ask them at 
[EMAIL PROTECTED]  ;-)


Cheers

mark


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Re: [WSG] Marking up company logo

2008-05-29 Thread Mark Harris

Adam Martin wrote:



I think if people start think UO rather than SEO then the answers to 
most questions become a lot clearer - UO is a term I coined just the 
other day - UO = user optimisation.




How excellent! I'm sure we can build a whole consulting industry around 
that!


;-)

cheers

mark


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Re: [WSG] Clarification: Is RTF accessible?

2008-05-27 Thread Mark Harris

Jessica Enders wrote:
I should clarify that I'm not a Microsoft-basher! The only reason I 
mentioned it is that ownership of a standard might be considered, by 
some, to compromise accessibility.


Also, if it helps, I'm thinking about RTF for /forms/, not general text 
documents. I think this makes the situation a little bit messier.


Finally, I would definitely recommend semantic HTML as a first choice - 
we're just looking at the other options that might be available if it 
isn't.



RTF is a lot like PDF - owned by a company but generally regarded as an 
open standard (I think Adobe might have formalized that at some point). 
RTF has been around so long (and is essentially so simple) that there 
just aren't any hidden bits to trip you up, as far as I am aware.


When I developed and managed the NZ Government Web Guidelines (now 
showing in its latest incarnation at http://www.webstandards.govt.nz/), 
I specified RTF as acceptable after much consultation with accessibility 
advocates, so I think you'll be pretty safe specifying it.


But you're right - HTML is better.

Cheers

Mark Harris
Technology Research and Consultancy Services Ltd
(Like Rae, I saw the light and got out :-)


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Re: [WSG] Fwd: using fieldsets and legends (outside a form) for adding structural markup

2008-05-22 Thread Mark Harris

Thierry Koblentz wrote:



Does that mean we should drop the ABBR element because IE can't handle it
properly?



Better to just drop IE

;-)

mark


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Re: [WSG] a list apart expired

2008-05-13 Thread Mark Harris

Matthew Pennell wrote:

On Tue, May 13, 2008 at 11:55 AM, Francisco Antunes [EMAIL PROTECTED]
wrote:


Can someone who know Zeldman let him know that the domain is expired:
http://www.alistapart.com/



He's asleep at the moment. :)

Do Happy Cog 'run' Magnolia as well? That lapsed too, I seem to remember.

We should have seen this coming. After the IE8 fiasco, itobvious that 
the big Z is hanging up his standardista boots and running off to be a 
pig farmer


(That was a joke, for the humour-impaired)

mark
wonders if he *dares* to back-order Zeldman's domain...


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Re: [WSG] :: CSS Code Formatting ::

2008-05-12 Thread Mark Harris

Korny Sietsma wrote:

I'd be interested in the thoughts of folks here.  A simple template
would have the advantage of (possibly) working well in css editors and
tools; but there also seems to be some buzz around tools like Sass
that take some more repetition out of the CSS.


Is SASS a standard? Nope. Will it work without HAML? Nope.

Then my thought would be that it's going to have issues  somewhere (I'm 
not familiar with it beyond a quick skim of the link you provided plus a 
glance at Wikipedia so I can't say where exactly)




Or is there something else we should look at?  Really, mostly we are
just looking for ways to avoid too much repetition - it'd be good to
avoid endlessly repeating colour codes and font sizes all over the
place, when we have a server-side language available that could build
our css for us.



U, I don't think you've fully grasped the nature of CSS, which is 
designed specifically NOT to have you endlessly repeating colour codes 
and font sizes all over the place by declaring the styles as classes 
and using IDs to determine where to apply those classes.


Anything that's generated server-side is going to  send unnecessary 
overhead down to the browser. Letting the browser do the parsing and 
rendering (which is what it has a rendering engine for) seems much more 
sensible.


Additionally, if you're not supplying properly formatted CSS, but 
something preformatted at the server, how is the browser going to 
understand it? How are assistive technologies going to understand it?


I may be missing something here but SASS has the feeling of a solution 
looking for a problem, or a programmer wanting to get his credit for 
adding something to RoR (which is the tech du jour). That's probably 
unfair, but I've been doing accessibility testing all day and I'm kinda 
grouchy


mark





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Re: [WSG] [OT] Full flash websites

2008-05-08 Thread Mark Harris

Michael Persson wrote:
 I find it bad to have to rebuild my computer to have the opportunity 
to have
 a deascent set of standard browsers. Does my clients have the same 
setup??


Ummm, aren't you building sites for your client's customers to use? It's 
the internet you have to match browsers with, to make sure everything 
works. And you don't have to rebuild your computer - that's the point. 
It installs as an application and then you build the base installation 
you want (e.g XP SP2) and clone it to give you platforms to test all 
sorts and versions of browsers.



 I dont mean to be bad but having the most normal installation is for 
me the target

 and to have a smilar setup as a standard website visitor is my goal..

Well, if there was such a thing, I don't think we'd need web standards. 
The reason most of us are here is because there isn't a standard 
installation and we have to be able to cope with anything.



 I think that IE6, FF, Safari and my colleagues MAC FF and Safari 
should cover my

 most visitors installations...


But which versions of FF and Safari, and which version of OSX? Is the 
mac Intel or PPC? Is the PC running Vista? Will Aero make a difference 
to base IE look and feel? i'd suggest that you need to think about these 
things.


 Of course i check the websites in IE7 also but i buld everything in 
IE6 and goe from

 there wihout hacks and cheats...

That's great for your IE audience but I really think you need to look a 
little wider.


Your call, though.

cheers

mark


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Re: [WSG] Full flash websites

2008-05-06 Thread Mark Harris

kate wrote:

No disrespect to Sven but that must be the pits to take the very long learning 
curve:
Create the Flash:
Then along comes 'A Visitor' and disable all your hard work..*doh


Sorry? You're blaming A Visitor for not being able to obtain the 
information you are supposed to giving them?


::boggle::


[sigh]

mark


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Re: [WSG] IE8 beta's a nightmare

2008-04-29 Thread Mark Harris

James Jeffery wrote:


What developer on this planet is going to take advantage of a feature thats
been put into IE and not Mozilla, or any other browser engine for
that matter. Thats like giving one user one thing and another user another.



But- but- but- *everybody* uses Windows!  Why would you use anything else?


It's precisely because this happened over the last 10 years or so that 
lists like this exist.


James, meet clue. I think you may get on well together.


cheers

mark


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Re: [WSG] JS Image Slider

2008-04-29 Thread Mark Harris

Andrew Freedman wrote:

James Jeffery provided the following information on 30/04/2008 12:27 AM:
that will mean that users without CSS will get a bunch of images in a 
list


You have users that block CSS??

I have never come across that.  Can you give an instance as to where and 
why you would cater for these visitors?


Perhaps not block, but who substitute your css for one of their own 
which is better for their browsing experience. It may be a high contrast 
big text version to help with poor vision, it may be something that 
expands the clickable field around an object (by increasing external 
padding - to be honest, I don't even know if that's possible) if they 
have mobility issues, or they may just have a fascination for purple and 
beige as their link colours. I don't think you can ever assume that a 
user is going to use your css as you intended.


I turn off css all the time when I'm testing for accessibility - always 
have.


mark


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Re: [WSG] my apologies

2008-03-20 Thread Mark Harris

dwain wrote:

i apologize to the group for the telecommunications post.  i thought that i
saw my congressional senator's address in the to: space.
humbly apologetic,
dwain


Understood

Good letter, though  ;-)

mark


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Re: [WSG] Standards compliant CMS?

2008-03-13 Thread Mark Harris

With respect, last time I looked, the WSG-CMS list was over there 



From the Guidelines:
The mail list does not cover:

* Non-Web Standards related issues and support
* Discussion of server-side scripting beyond that directly involved 
with Web Standards
* Discussion of content management/web publishing system issues 
beyond those directly involved with Web Standards (there is a CMS list 
for that purpose, Log in and go to Edit your login details and mail list 
subscriptions and set your preferences to Full CMS list or CMS list 
in digest mode)
* Detailed software support such as using a browser, installing a 
server, installing any tools etc.

* Product and service advertisements of a purely commercial nature
* Employment opportunities

http://webstandardsgroup.org/mail/guidelines.cfm

Not that I'm decrying the questions but we have a resource specifically 
for CMS discussion so let's use it


Cheers

mark


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Re: [WSG] Standards compliant CMS? [OT]

2008-03-13 Thread Mark Harris

Sarah Simmonds wrote:

Michael: Thanks for pointing that out, I didn't know we had a list
specifically for CMS's. I'll direct my query there :)

Cheers,
Sarah

On 3/14/08, Mark Harris [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

With respect, last time I looked, the WSG-CMS list was over there 



Y'know, I can sort of understand people mis-hearing Mark as Mike on 
the phone or in a meeting (I get that a lot), but how do you mis-read 
mark as Michael?!?


Oh, well...

MARK


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Re: [WSG] SEO, fact or fiction

2008-03-09 Thread Mark Harris

tee wrote:


On Mar 7, 2008, at 12:36 AM, Stuart Foulstone wrote:


Hi,

Search robots are essentially blind users.


Anybody knows about this? 
I think what Kevin meant is that the googlebot takes no notice of 
graphical navigation or information, much as a blind user is unable to 
see it. The googlebot is also unable to process javascript navigation 
and links, so be sure to have alternate navigation.  If you develop your 
pages with blind users in mind, it will serendipitously help you with 
the googlebot.



The robots text is good for search robots, but 
I read from somewhere, that robots text no longer is needed when Google 
Sitemap is implemented for the site. I didn't know robots text was 
important for accessibility, however I learned from the accessites team 
that it is.


As Lea said, someone is confused. No assistive technology that I know of 
pays any attention to the robots.txt file, nor would they gain much 
information from it if they did.


The main use of a robots.txt file is to tell unwelcome search bots to go 
away.


cheers

mark



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Re: [WSG] Controling Windows DPI settings

2008-02-23 Thread Mark Harris

Hayden's Harness Attachment wrote:

I have Windows Vista Home Premium and use 96 DPI. I am told repeteated ly that my fonts 
are to large. I have even tried font-size: 80%; in my CSS and still get told 
the fonts are to large. I know you are not able to overide a person's preferences. can I 
do something in CSS to change the default DPI and/or font-size? And then create different 
CSS files to increase the DPI and/or font-sizes?


DPI=dots per inch and is about resolution, not font size

mark


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Re: [WSG] PDF Accessibility

2008-02-22 Thread Mark Harris

Steve Green wrote:
[lotsa good stuff snipped]

That's a superb answer, Steve! I have saved it and will memorize it to 
quote at people who have nothing better to do than parrot vendor 
propaganda!  :-D


Cheers

Mark Harris
Technology Research and Consultancy Services Ltd.
New Zealand


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Re: [WSG] This IE8 controversy

2008-01-29 Thread Mark Harris

Karl Lurman wrote:

Train:  there is a 6:30 pm overnight train,clean and comfortable, that
leaves from Bangkok's Hualomphong Station. You can buy a train + ferry
ticket package a day in advance(approx.800 baht) from travel agencies
on Kao San Rd. You will arrive at 6 am in Surat Thani and catch a
connecting bus to the ferry which leaves 8-9 am. You  arrive in Tong
Sala on Koh Phangan at 12-1 pm.

This is the problem... We should have bought the tickets the day
before our journey, which is today!

Man, we are looking at a long journey tomorrow night huh.
x
Karl



Well, that makes as much sense as anything out of Microsoft about this, 
so I guess it's on topic ;-)


mark
(who, for the record, agrees with Patrick)


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Re: [WSG] Developing for Mac Browsers

2008-01-13 Thread Mark Harris

Peter Mount wrote:

I'm not a hardcore gamer so I can look at the Mac Mini or Macbook as 
well. I'll see what my wallet says in a few months.


My Mini still kicks arse and it's only PPC! Get as much memory as it can 
eat, and a big hard drive, if you're going to run virtual machines, as 
they can really chew up disk.


I also run XP and Ubuntu on other boxen, but the Mac is the machine I 
prefer to use. I was a late convert ;-)


cheers

mark


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Re: [WSG] standards-compliant designers

2008-01-09 Thread Mark Harris

Steve Green wrote:

Of course I made up that 1% figure but I don't suppose it's far out. Just
look at the phenomenal number of crap websites out there. There are
something like 100,000 people offering web design services in the UK (10,000
in London alone) yet GAWDS membership (which is global) is only around 500
and I believe WSG membership is similar.


Don't confuse volume with quantity. Lots of people do. There are a lot 
of crap sites out there but that doesn't mean there's 1 crap designer 
for every crap site. A lot of the time, the crapness has to do with the 
business manager who over-rules any technical considerations because he 
wants animated pictures of little ponies flying round the product.


1 crap designer can turn out many, many crap sites.  The damage done by 
Sieglal's Designing Killer Websites (1st edition - he recanted later) 
was huge. Back when I was starting, I bought it and used it as a bible 
of what not to do, but many used it as a how-to guide, and some of those 
sites still exist.


Also add in the spectrum of experience from people creating websites. 
Some are just learning, some are doing it on the side for their schools 
or offices - these are not professional web designers and you shouldn't 
include them in your 'spurious assessment' ;-) but they are the key 
people to reach out to, if I could figure out how to do it.


I started building web in 1996, when bandwidth was an issue (9600 was 
common here in New Zealand and 56K was only just arriving) and the 
techniques I learned were aimed at optimizing for speed and volume. 
Funnily enough the same principles apply to accessibility but I wasn't 
learning accessibility per se. I didn't join any groups although there 
were a few around, but I did get on several mailing lists (some of which 
I'm still on). Some people just aren't joiners. And I don't see 
participation in the WSG as joining exactly, as there are no dues, no 
elections and no formality - it's just a place to come and talk.


There may be lots of lone coders out there, religiously adhering to 
standards we don't know and I can't think of a way to find out for sure. 
Let's make our talking places more well known and inviting, rather than 
the fearsome arena that many fora become, with the resident experts 
snarling at the clueless. (Not saying that about the WSG as it is 
usually quite civilized)


Which is all to say don't make up statistics that others will take as 
gospel as they'll come back and bit us all in the arse.




Those who take standards-compliant design seriously tend to be individuals
producing small volumes of work, 


I call unproven assumption - you may be right but we just don't know.


but the large volumes are typically
generated by organisations that neither know nor care about
standards-compliance. They are invariably tied to enterprise-scale CMSs that
guarantee the code will be horrible. Likewise, ASP.Net implementations can
be made to be standards-compliant but it takes a huge amount of work so most
organisations just use it as it comes out of the box.
 
So the simple answer is 'focus on those manufacturers' - yes? Get THEM 
to change and you won't need to bemoan those chumps who use their stuff 
out of the box instead of hiring us bespoke designers at our 
outrageous rates.


Curmudgeonly,

Mark Harris


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Re: [WSG] How z-index works

2007-10-30 Thread Mark Harris

John Faulds wrote:

That's weird, it's working today. :?


Sounds like transient DNS proxy issues to me


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Re: A: [WSG] Target Lawsuit - Please Make Yourself Heard

2007-10-04 Thread Mark Harris

Matthew Cruickshank wrote:

Karl Lurman wrote:


P.s A braille issue of Playboy - is it perverted that I think this is 
a cool idea??!
  


You know this exists right? 
http://www.banterist.com/archivefiles/000305.html  [link is safe for work]





I'm frightened you knew that, or even thought to google it...

mark


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Re: [WSG] Target Lawsuit - Please Make Yourself Heard

2007-10-04 Thread Mark Harris

John Horner wrote:

There's one thing nobody has mentioned so far, which is Michelle Malkin
is what I personally would call an extreme right-winger. She's a regular
on Fox News, and she's been compared to Anne Coulter.


Yes I did, at 10:47am. Keep up ;-)


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michelle_Malkin

I find the idea that we'll drop her a polite, well-meaning email and
she'll come around to our way of thinking rather unlikely. Our efforts
would be better directed elsewhere.



Y'ain't wrong about that!


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Re: A: [WSG] Target Lawsuit - Please Make Yourself Heard [long]

2007-10-04 Thread Mark Harris
. Fed. R. 
Civ. P. 56(c). Material facts are those which may affect the outcome of 
the case.


So, as far as the judge is concerned, there are issues as to the facts 
of the matter, as claimed by both parties. That's all that means. No, 
she said to Target, there is a case here. It has a broad bearing on the 
population as a whole, not just in California. Target claimed that 
[a]fter the filing of the present complaint, Target undertook certain 
modifications of its website to make it more accessible to the blind. In 
response to this litigation, Target began drafting Online Assistive 
Technology Guidelines based on plaintiffs' expert report. and for this 
reason the case was no longer valid. The judge did not agree.


And please remember that it was Target who got the case moved from the 
Supreme Court of California to federal court, not the plaintiff, and 
that's what opened this up to a nationwide class action.


Actually, it's probably better for Target to get to deal with this as a 
class action. If they win, they win everywhere (I believe that once a 
class action is decided, any party joined to it cannot bring an 
additional private claim) and if they lose, it's one big write-down and 
set of lawyer fees, as opposed to potentially thousands over years. That 
sort of activity can bleed even the biggest behemoth.


It would appear that Target's main claim for dismissal is that the web 
does not constitute public accommodations, which was the basis for the 
Southwest airlines decision in 2002. The world and the web have moved on 
and I doubt that the users of Second Life would agree with that now, as 
well as many other sites. Perhaps the educated judiciary we've been 
asking for in so many matters is finally arriving.


The judge's decision and other documents are available from 
http://www.dralegal.org/cases/private_business/nfb_v_target.php


Sorry to bring all these facts in on an otherwise political stoush, but 
I think it's an important matter that will have big implications. I've 
been saying for years that someone, sometime is going to be sued and 
that's what it will take to make the corporates sit up and take notice.


I would have written a shorter post, but I ran out of time  ;-)

Mark Harris
Principal Consultant
Technology Research and Consultancy Services Ltd.
Waikanae, New Zealand


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Re: A: [WSG] Target Lawsuit - Please Make Yourself Heard

2007-10-03 Thread Mark Harris

Chris Wilson wrote:
 Better yet, since not everyone can see, lets require
 all publications to include a braille copy, all musical
 artists to provide a written transcript
 of ever performance. That would of course be madness...

No, not madness. Instead, it would be a good way to bring art to 
audiences that might not otherwise know it.


 Why should a different standard be applied to the web?


It's not different, anymore than wheelchair ramps outside buildings are 
different. I'm not in a wheelchair, but I often use the ramp in 
preference to the steps as my left knee is pretty screwed and sometimes 
doesn't bend like it should.


As the internet (which is more than the web, remember) becomes not only 
ubiquitous but required to function in the modern world, barriers such 
as inaccessible websites do truly pose a problem for those who operate 
differently. They can't choose to use a different website if the company 
at issue is the only purveyor of the product or service that they need.


However, if it _is_ different, then we should apply it because we can, 
because it's the right thing to do and because a commercial site open to 
more users will generate more sales, just by the law of averages.


mark


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Re: A: [WSG] Target Lawsuit - Please Make Yourself Heard

2007-10-03 Thread Mark Harris

Julie Romanowski wrote:

I don't know how many of you are familiar with Michelle Malkin. She
posted about the Target lawsuit today, and although she is an
intelligent woman, she doesn't have a clue when it comes to web
accessibility.



Malkin doesn't have much of a clue, full stop. She is an American 
right-wing nut-bar, slightly less offensive than Ann Coulter. So are the 
people who regularly comment on her blog.



There also seems to be a lot of ignorance among the commenters and I
would appreciate it if some our WSG members can help to set these people
straight.


Pearls before swine, They don't WANT to see, because it might require 
them to do something that doesn't immediately put dollars in their pockets.




Please visit Michelle Malkin's site and post your comments -
http://michellemalkin.com/2007/10/03/blind-shoppers-get-green-light-to-s
ue-target-over-website/.


hmmm... I can't help wondering if this is a troll in itself to get more 
people to visit the site and raise a controversy (sensible patriotic 
'Merkins versus hippie scumbags!! Film at 11!). Probably not but that's 
the level of suspicion the left/right battle in the US draws from either 
side.


mark


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Re: A: [WSG] Target Lawsuit - Please Make Yourself Heard

2007-10-03 Thread Mark Harris

Andrew Boyd wrote:

My suggestion is that rather than cars it should have something to do with cats saying 
Can I haz agsessibillitee?

:)


I'm in ur CMS, changing ur links


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Re: [WSG] Robot meta tags

2007-07-04 Thread Mark Harris

James Jeffery wrote:

No all meta tags are depreciated, and i cant see them being either, google
still uses the meta=description , as also bruce has pointed out.



Not to pick on you, James, because Bruce already used it, but the word 
is deprecated not depreciated.


And before someone picks on me for being a spelling-nazi, the words have 
significantly different meanings, and it's important to use the right one.


Regards

Mark Harris


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Re: [WSG] Certified Usable

2006-03-20 Thread Mark Harris

Ah, usability - it's all good fun till someone gets sued.

While I'm sure that Craig and his team are operating with the best of 
intentions, I agree with Andreas that different users will do things in 
different ways.


I know I would not dare to put out a site with a Certified Usable 
branding, regardless of how usable I thought it was. Someone is sure to 
disagree with me.


Is PTG indemnifying clients against litigation when more than 10% of 
users find the site unusable? If not, what value does the certification 
have for the client?


How do you guarantee a site remains usable after the certification is 
awarded?


I don't know about Aus. or the rest of the world but, in New Zealand, if 
you hold that a product or service has a particular characteristic, you 
run afoul of consumer protection legislation if it does not for a 
significant number of consumers.


Interesting that someone is trying this - let's see how long it lasts.


cheers

mark
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Re: [WSG] Re: Website Directory Structure - Best Practice

2006-03-20 Thread Mark Harris

Richard Czeiger wrote:

Sorry Vlad - Ithink I'm with Lachlan on this one...

Docs can be edited or re-written but if they're obsolete, you don't need 
to delete them - just don't link to them...


Actually, Lachlan said no URI should be deleted which everybody has 
taken to mean no document left behind or some such. If a document 
becomes obsolete, remove it and redirect the URI to a page that notifies 
the user of the fact and offers a newer version. How many times have you 
used Google and got a 404 because someone had removed the document you 
were coming for?


And why would you have a document on your site that *wasn't* linked to?


Can you please suggest a reason why there would be an absolute need to 
delete a file?


Can you in turn suggest a reason why you would retain a document on a 
site that was unlinked?


BTW: I'm not saying that under no circustances should precious bytes be 
wiped off the grid! But unless there's a strongly powerful reason, I 
would think that there's no need to delete files...


::thinks:: Dynamic website giving regularly updated information on 
ongoing activities? Ohh, look, NASA...


PS: Let's point out that the article Lachlan's referring to was written 
by the guy who invented the web so it's not exactly an unreliable source.



Well, I'm sure Nobel didn't envisage car bombs, either, when he invented 
nitroglycerin. Things change once they're unleashed on the world. 
(although I agree with the venerable Sir Tim on this, and Lachlan of course)


But URI != document, necessarily, and an superseded document may be more 
dangerous than not finding anything.


Cheers

mark
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Re: [WSG]

2006-03-17 Thread Mark Harris

Grant Bissett wrote:

Me.


I agree. Indeed, to coin a phrase, me too!

- mark
(who's not even Australian)
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Re: [WSG] CAPS in stylesheets

2006-03-12 Thread Mark Harris

sime wrote:
Which brings me back to my original question question. Rephrased, what 
are the different situations in which you'd use HTML4 over XHTML1? So 
far I've been led to believe (outside of this list) that XHTML is a step 
forward.


Ah, but, grasshopper, to step backward from the precipice may be a sign 
of wisdom ;-)


It's really a case of you say tomahto, I say tomayto

Some will tell you that there is no real need for XHTML, that it confers 
no special capability that websites require now and for the foreseeable 
future. Others will tell you it's the greatest thing since sliced bread, 
and will in fact slice your bread for you (as long as your breadbox is 
defined in XML).


My advice would be for you to analyse your project, analyse the options 
and determine which meets your needs best. If there are tags in XHTML 
that you can't live without, your choice is made. If you find you don't 
absolutely need it, then the choice is yours to make. Be aware that 
XHTML is less forgiving than HTML (even strict) and that most browsers 
currently won't care what you use, although even IE may barf on badly 
formed and served XHTML (or you might get lucky)


cheers

mark
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Re: [ADMIN] Re: [WSG] Your email requires verification verify#kdWfF4HBUy_SYGJC5A3KzB6MKspDh3nM

2006-03-02 Thread Mark Harris

Lea de Groot wrote:


~ why, yes, it has been an aggravating day! How did you guess? ;)


S'all right Lea - we still love you

mark
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Re: [WSG] Screen reader recommendations???

2006-02-28 Thread Mark Harris

Patrick H. Lauke wrote:

It's probably worth mentioning that unless you invest a considerable 
amount of time becoming familiar with a screen reader, and use it just 
as a *real* screen reader user uses it, any testing may lead you to the 
wrong type of conclusion, or worse tempt you to optimise your pages to 
please a specific reader (akin to coding to a specific browser).




Exactly. That's why I recommend to clients that they farm out this sort 
of testing to specialist houses who employ blind, deaf, palsied and 
otherwise 'not ordinary' users who are familiar with their assistive 
technologies. To be fair, I usually have a look with Fangs first to spot 
any egregious errors, but quality testing can only come from one 
familiar with the tools.


At a Web Standards Group meeting in Wellington last year, Jonathan Mosen 
used his screen reader to show developers what blind users were 'seeing' 
on their pages. It ripped through the pages almost too fast for most of 
the audience to hear but they were stunned when Jonathan said he'd 
slowed it down to about 1/3 normal speed for the demonstration!


cheers

Mark
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Re: [WSG] Converting the heathen: never again

2006-02-27 Thread Mark Harris

SunUp wrote:


/me considers changing her name to sundown


You'll need a satin dress and a very private room, and watch yourself 
around the back stairs ;-)


mark
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Re: [WSG] Introduction and first submission

2006-02-23 Thread Mark Harris

Herrod, Lisa wrote:

Oh I can see an Austin WSG forming already!



And more powers to them ;-)

Welcome, Sharron

mark
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Re: [WSG] Should logo not link to the homepage?

2006-02-23 Thread Mark Harris

Sandra Vassallo wrote:
Hi, interestingly, one of my testers who uses a screen reader recently 
suggested taking the link off the logo in the head mast and the reasons 
made sense


* the img alt text read 'logo' but the link went to home
* there was already a clear text link to home on the site, so this meant 
a second link to the same destination but called something different


Cheers,
Sandra.




What makes sense is to *change* the image alt text - not remove the 
link. Accessibility does not trump usability, and you might find other 
screen reader users who hold different opinions.


Regards

Mark
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Re: [WSG] Font Sizes - Best practice

2006-02-20 Thread Mark Harris

Mike Brown wrote:

Russ

I think you need to do some research on porn site best practices here 
and report back to the list :)


Mike   never visited a porn site so wouldn't know


sarcasm class=tuiYeah, right/sarcasm


:-p
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Re: [WSG] site check: FONT sizes

2006-02-17 Thread Mark Harris

Hassan Schroeder wrote:

Felix Miata wrote:


When your page respects the user's decision what size fonts are most
appropriate for him, your page needs no resizer, because the user won't
need to again resize just for having visited your page. He's presumably
already done that in his browser. 


..which is the utterly erroneous presumption upon which the entire
argument fails :-)



Then you should try educating them, rather than 'managing' them

mark
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Re: [WSG] site check: FONT sizes

2006-02-17 Thread Mark Harris

Patrick H. Lauke wrote:

Mark Harris wrote:


Then you should try educating them, rather than 'managing' them


So then educated users set their preferred font size, and then (apart 
from a few sites that do the right thing and don't go below 100%) the 
rest of the web appears even smaller (or in any case differently sized).


I meant more that educated users would know *how* to set their font 
size. Some do, some don't. Anyone making an assumption either way is 
going to make a wrong choice for the other group. The only way (slow, I 
know) to get to a point where we don't have to worry about their 
knowledge is to make information available to them.


Cheers

mark
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Re: [WSG] site check: FONT sizes

2006-02-16 Thread Mark Harris

Herrod, Lisa wrote:
Yes but Patrick, 


If you provide the user with a Javascript pop-up window that they
right-click to display a pretty flash-based font-increasing app, the user
could increase the font as much as they like.

It's known as the 'Clydesdale Hack'.

L


song id=yankee-doodle
Oh, Lisa Herrod came to town
a-riding on a pony
But then Russ bucked and threw her off
because her bum was bony!

Yes, web standards are such fun
bringing joy and order
With sarcasm and some sly digs
designers we do slaughter!
/song

*runs and hides*
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Re: Recall: [WSG] Web design education

2006-02-13 Thread Mark Harris

Terrence Wood wrote:

Herrod, Lisa wrote:
Herrod, Lisa would like to recall the message, [WSG] Web design 
education.
What does that mean and where does it come from? Someone else sent me 
one of those recently.



Generally, it means someone is using Outlook on an MS-Exchange server as 
their mail set up. Exchange allows you to recall messages on your local 
server if the recipient hasn't opened it yet. It doesn't work outside 
your local environment though.


I think Lisa sent what was meant to be a private message to the list, 
because the default reply-to is to the list. Lisa was probably so busy 
being usable, she forgot to validate her mail ;-)


cheers

Mark Harris
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Re: [WSG] Target sued over non-accessible site

2006-02-10 Thread Mark Harris

Dennis Lapcewich wrote:


In any case, I really would like to see a Section 508 (or ADA) case here in
the States brought against a private company.  


According to http://www.phillipsnizer.com/internetlib.htm, there has 
been a Court challenge under the ADA and the private company won:


Access Now, Inc., et al. v. Southwest Airlines, Co.
   Case No. 02-21734-CIV-Seitz/Bandstra (S.D.Fla., October 18, 2002)

Court holds that defendant Southwest Airlines Co.'s web site is not a 
place of public accommodation under Title III of the Americans with 
Disabilities Act, (ADA) and accordingly that Southwest has no 
obligation under Title III to make its web site accessible to the 
visually impaired.  Title III of the ADA prohibits those who operate 
places of public accommodation from discriminating against individuals 
with disabilities.  The Court held that under the plain and unambiguous 
language of the ADA a public accommodation must be a physical, concrete 
structure.  Because defendant's website was not such a structure, the 
Court dismissed plaintiffs' claims for relief under Title III of the ADA.

(more detail at http://www.phillipsnizer.com/library/cases/lib_case298.cfm)

(see also 
http://news.com.com/Judge+Disabilities+Act+doesnt+cover+Web/2100-1023_3-962761.html)



So, beware of the law - it's a double edged sword in the Land of the Fee ;-)


The law itself needs a court
challenge to test its validity and its viability with respect to electronic
accessibility.  


508 is better than nothing, but it's still kinda weak and has outs all 
through it for the government agencies. Some commentators think that 
most complaints will be settled with agreements rather than lawsuits and 
I tend to agree. Governments don't like appearing in their own courts. 
So, if you want some form of action, start making complaints. Do what 
John Allsopp did in Aus. and start surveying the websites that don't 
comply. If everybody waits for someone else to do it, it'll never happen.



Only then can we as web developers have any teeth with web
standards, including accessibility.  At the same time, a successful court
case in favor of Section 508 (or ADA) would have repercussions much wider
than many may realize.   


You still seem to be confusing the Rehabilitation Act with the ADA - 508 
is part of the Rehab Act and the Rehab Act *only* applies to Federal 
(not even State) agencies. I don't think that's a subtle distinction, 
as you suggest above - it's a major piece of the ball of wax. Any court 
action that will have meaningful effect on the private sector must come 
under the ADA and, currently, the legal opinion is that the ADA does not 
cover the Internet because it doesn't mention it specifically. Which is 
nuts, but there you go - put 3 lawyers in a room, get 7 opinions, all 
conflicting.


508 does specifically apply to the Internet, and other electronic goods 
and services, but you generally start there with an administrative 
complaint (http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/508/report2/complaints.htm) and lots 
of processes to bog down the complaint long before it gets near a court.



Can you imagine how some big web clients would
react to find out their sites are not accessible after their high profile
web developers assured them they were?   We've already seen on this list a
discussion about such a firm and their code on some big name sites.


With respect, I think you're being a little naive about this. It is far 
more cost-effective for a big company to sic lawyers on an issue than to 
actually rectify the problem - vis Microsoft vs. just about everybody. 
When big companies are spending millions to fight having to clean up 
toxic waste dumps they created, I can't see accessibility on the 
Internet being high on their corporate radar. Doesn't mean we stop 
trying, of course...



Oh, no way!  It's refreshing to read here about the (potential)
ramifications of the code we create.  Any honest discussions of web
standards needs to have regular doses of real-world effects of that code.

I agree completely - we need the discussions on this as much as we need 
the esoterica of CSS code.


Regards

Mark Harris
Technology Research and Consultancy Services
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Re: [WSG] Today's lesson: Respect - be courteous up or leave

2006-02-09 Thread Mark Harris

russ - maxdesign wrote:



Russ
Miss Manors


I respectfully would like to point out that Miss Manners may be more 
to the point. However, Russ, you are perfectly capable of representing 
big houses, it that's what floats your boat ;-)


Cheers

Mark Harris
Technology Research and Consultancy Services
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Re: [WSG] *Why* doesn't Google validate? was New logo scheme was talking points for standards

2005-12-07 Thread Mark Harris

Lea de Groot wrote:

On 08/12/2005, at 12:54 PM, Paul Bennett wrote:


Trolling?



Well, it isn't the first thing that occurred to me!
I've often wondered why it is that Google doesn't validate.
I mean its not as if they were just a couple of errors, and we could  
all just shake it off - they are no where near validating.
Lets just look at the home page (although I'm not aware of any of  their 
other products that are an improvement).

51 errors - *51*! On around the same number of lines of markup!
For a company with the motto of 'do no evil', its embarrassing no  less, 
and they should pick up their act.


Can anyone think of a single sane reason why their pages are nowhere  
near compliant?


Lea
~ why, yes, I do like changing the subject line ;)


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Re: [WSG] talking points for standards

2005-12-06 Thread Mark Harris

Alex James wrote:
 
That would be a better discussion - why with so much evidence to the contrary, can the list not convince Donna to fight the PR agency? 
 


I don't actually think it's a fight she wants to have or necessarily 
should undertake. Donna didn't ask us to bolster her up; she asked us 
for logical arguments to use as to why standards are important.


It's the NFP's decision, not hers, so she doesn't bear the 
responsibility for it. Sometimes the best thing you can do is walk away.


It's hard when it's a voluntary organisation that you started working 
with because you want to support their work, but you can only fight the 
good fight for so long when it's not your living.


You can lead a client to knowledge, but you can't make them think!

cheers, and good luck to you, Donna

mark


nitpick class=grammar id =AlexIt may have helped, not It may of 
helped/nitpick. Grammar is a standard we should care about too...

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Re: [WSG] talking points for standards

2005-12-05 Thread Mark Harris

Patrick H. Lauke wrote:

Joseph R. B. Taylor wrote:

That's the point.  That's why they want to have someone build a site 
for them that has a clue about this stuff.  The day WILL come when 
there is a governing body over the net.  There WAS a day when housing 
codes DID NOT exist and were being worked on and accepted.



Call me a cynic, but I seriously doubt that any web standards savvy 
designer/developer may be able to convince clients to hire her by saying 
that in one day there will be a governing body that will make all 
non-standards compliant sites illegal.




Further, I seriously doubt that any one body will be governing the net 
and enforcing such standards within the lifetime of the technologies we 
are using to build sites today.


Housing codes are often unique to a municipality or country. What passes 
for housing codes in Pakistan won't fly in Melbourne (maybe Sydney, it 
depends on who you know ;-)


Standards are a good thing in their own right, Joseph. Don't drum up 
mythical fear tactics to try to enforce them. That's the sort of thing 
PR companies get paid to do...


cheers

Mark
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Re: [WSG] Dragon Way (Site Check)

2005-11-25 Thread Mark Harris

Web Man Walking wrote:

IE5.2/Mac: Slow as hell (over a  minute). Definitely not  a connection
issue 
as all other browsers are fine. Something is causing IE5.2 to struggle when

rendering your code. Suggest they're using IE5.2/Mac to test unfortunately.


Thanks Jon.  I thought I was going nuts.  I have had a shot of the site on
clients Mac and it is IE he is using.  It does take over a minute to render
the code on each page!

I didn't have  slow loading on the pages. IE was just as fast as Safari 
and Firefox. What I didn't get on the opening page was the logo and 
link, just the dolls.


Safari and FF worked fine.

I checked it with Opera on XP and the dolls became a vertical list down 
the right hand side. Which would indicate something in the CSS, as it's 
an unordered list, but it's late on a Friday night here in NZ and I've 
been out to dinner, so sorry, I can't be more precise.




IE5.2/Mac: not present


Any ideas why these don't display?  I don't have a Mac here?!?!?  Code
validates and seems OK to me?  Am I just missing something obvious?


They did for me, unless the same things are missing for FF and Safari

Try validating the CSS as well as the code. I ran the front page through 
W3C and it validated both, but I got errors in CSS on the subsequent pages.


What are you using as an editor? I noticed a meta I haven't seen before:
meta name=MSSmartTagsPreventParsing content=true /

Does that indicate FrontPage or something MS-based?

Point out to your client that IE5.2 is so flakey it might as well be in 
sanskrit and that and smart people using Macs will be using Safari or 
Firefox ;-)


Cheers and HTH

mark
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[WSG] To the admins

2005-11-16 Thread Mark Harris
With respect, I feel that the Britsios messages are inappropriate for 
this list. Perhaps you might advise Mr Britsios that his postings are 
unwelcome.


Regards

Mark Harris
Technology Research and Consultancy Services Ltd
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Re: [WSG] Font resizing

2005-11-09 Thread Mark Harris

Herrod, Lisa wrote:


I nearly fell off my chair. It was such a rare moment. He then right clicked
a link to open it in a new window. I had to stop myself leaving the room to
post to the list, it was that exciting... fortunately I have it on DVD and
can watch it to my hearts content... :)


Hmmm, accessibility pr0n...

Novel concept.

Cheers

Mark

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Re: [WSG] standards, accessability and validation?

2005-11-01 Thread Mark Harris

Graham Cook wrote:

Having been in your position for some time until recently (I was standards
manager for Telstra), I found that the best way to achieve change toward
accessibility was to meet with the stakeholders and either take a
transcript, or play directly a Jaws readout of a page that had been sliced
and diced into tables, especially if non-semantic markup is also
incorporated. Their reaction is often one of horror when they realize how
incomprehensible their page becomes. If they need further convincing, just
ask them how to find one or two of the most visually obvious items within
the Jaws rendition.

At a WSG meeting in Wellington, earlier in the year (see 
http://www.gooduse.co.nz/thegoodnessarchives/000113.html), Jonathon 
Mosen did a live demo of JAWS to an audience of web developers. Watching 
the light bulbs go on as it read out an interminable database URL from 
an Amazon.com link was almost funny - you could see the ones who were 
thinking but *we* produce databases like that!


IMHO semantic mark-up is a big chunk of accessibility but it is only 
part of the battle. A carefully planned information architecture is 
equally important - it needs to allow concise, persistent navigation, 
even for transient information.


As others have said, accessibility isn't just about blind people. An 
associate, legally blind but still able to see somewhat, uses IE as her 
browser, without assistive technology. She needs high contrast text and 
easily identified links. A text-based alternative won't cut it for her.


At a seminar last year, someone raised the point of dyslexics, who have 
as much trouble with text-based alternatives as they do with the 
original text-heavy page. I still haven't got my head around a solution 
for that.


People with poor mobility, people with reduced cognitive capability, 
colour-blind people - accessibility is about all these.


And then there's the technologically challenged - those who don't live 
near a major city and are doomed to dial-up, and degraded dial-up at 
that. Oz is like NZ in that the telephone lines in rural areas have to 
traverse a lot of electric fences and that causes problems for the signal.


I don't know if this can all be solved simply by guerilla mark-up - I 
rather believe that it has to start in base design of content, and that 
goes back to the productivity templates, not usually within the 
web-geek's purview. And that means corporate change.


By all means, code to standards without direct instruction - as a 
professional, you should do the best job you can, not the minimum the 
client requires. And the consensus around here is that standards-based 
design is the best way, else why are we reading this?


But also work to increase corporate understanding of the business 
advantages around standards-based design - refer them to NUblog's [*] 
excellent summary of the 2000 SOCOG complaint 
(http://www.contenu.nu/socog.html) or or point them at Joe Clark's page 
(http://www.joeclark.org/accessiblog/ab-lawsuits.html [**]) of suit 
references as examples. The accessibility lawsuit is coming to a court 
near you in the future. Convince your manager not to be a test case.


Cheers

Mark Harris

[*] also one of Jo Clark's, I notice
[**] although I'm a little concerned about the goatse-like cover of his 
book...

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Re: [WSG] standards, accessability and validation?

2005-11-01 Thread Mark Harris

Paul Noone wrote:

That and clean XHTML is easier to hand-code than tables...



Without wanting to open a can of worms here; how so? Do you mean in
conjunction with CSS, or just that XHTML markup is cleaner than that of
HTML?



I read him to mean that any clean mark-up is easier to hand code than 
tables and I'd agree



mark

haha - freudian slip - I mis-typed mark-up as murk-up! I think I'll 
trademark that one...

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Re: [WSG] Text choices on our own sites

2005-10-30 Thread Mark Harris

Richard Czeiger wrote:


Hope I'm making sense, here and I know it's a slippery slope, but hey ...
That's why they pay us the big bucks, right?

.. Right?

Anyone?



You make money at this???

What a concept!!

;-)

mark
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Re: [WSG] Firefox filter?

2005-10-29 Thread Mark Harris

Joshua Street wrote:

On 10/30/05, Kenny Graham [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:


So back to the original question, is there any way to serve a rule
only to firefox (or only to non-firefox) without invalidating the css?



Heh, server-side browser sniffing? ;-)

/flamebait

Seriously, why is this flamebait. I suggested this in another thread a 
couple of days ago. Is there a problem I'm not aware of with server-side 
sniffing?


mark
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Re: [WSG] Conditional Comments question

2005-10-21 Thread Mark Harris

Janelle Clemens wrote:

I have a question about conditional comments.   I have heard so much
about them especially in the last discussion about Set min-width using
DOM but have never used them.   We have always used a javascript style
sniffer to determine which browser the viewer is using.   However when
javascript is turned off the site looks pretty nasty.   Does conditional
comments still work if js is turned off?And is this a better way to
go than a javascript style sniffer?   What do you do for browsers like
mac ie if you don't want it to use the style sheet.   With the sniffer I
can tell it to use our nostyle.css file.   
 
Until recently, I worked for the NZ Govt. We have rules about displaying 
macrons in Maori using unicode. We also have rules about sites being 
usable with JavaScript turned off. Some browser/OS combinations don't do 
Unicode at all (notably on Mac pre-OSX), so we knew we'd have to detect 
those exceptions and return them a page without macronised characters. 
As we couldn't use JavaScript to do the sniffing (plus that would have 
made all the pages cumbersome), we set the filter (on the www.govt.nz 
site at least) at the server level using mod_perl on an Apache server 
and a growing black list as we discovered new browser/OSes that didn't 
do Unicode .


Other sites, running on IIS (ptui) use modified dlls to achieve the same 
thing (although I think you can now run PERL on IIS (happy to be 
corrected on that.


I can't tell you the technical details as I am not that sort of geek ;-) 
but Daniel Bar-Even at Signify *is* that sort of geek and has published 
a page at http://www.signify.co.nz/macronfilter/ about how he did it.


Surely, the same sort of server level approach could be used to sniff 
out the browsers that won't do what you want and serve a different CSS 
sheet to them?


James Ellis made an excellent comment the other day that echoes what 
I've been telling my business users for years - it won't look the same 
in different browsers on different platforms, so get over that and 
concentrate on getting pages that work in all browsers and all platforms 
to deliver the business need.


cheers

Mark Harris
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Re: [WSG] javascripts and standards

2005-10-17 Thread Mark Harris

Gene Falck wrote:

 http://157.26.64.29/OReilly_books/books/webprog/jscript/copyrght.htm

 http://157.26.64.29/OReilly_books/books/webprog/jscript/index.htm



 Shows the domain and most of the path as being the
 same as your reference indicating that they both
 come from the same source. If online copies aren't
 OK, why is O'Reilly putting out an online copy?


The URLs above match because they're from the same place - not because 
they're in any way authoritative.


That IP address is for a server called linuxalpha1.eicn.ch which appears 
to be in Switzerland.


 I understand if a publisher doesn't give freebees
 or only offers a chapter as a sample, but they can
 not expect me to believe their own online copy is
 illegal -- or can they be that silly?

No, they're not. The presence of a few logos does not mean it's an 
O'Reilly site. Their URL is http://www.oreilly.com/ which has an IP 
address of 208.201239.37


Make no assumptions, accept no substitutes  ;-)

Cheers

mark

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Re: [WSG] javascripts and standards

2005-10-16 Thread Mark Harris

Andrew Krespanis wrote:
  Here's the complete 4th edition online:



http://157.26.64.29/OReilly_books/books/webprog/jscript/index.htm


found via: http://www.maththinking.com/boat/booksIndex.html

I *believe* it's legal... fingers crossed!


and the Tooth Fairy, I suppose?  ;-)

f you have found this CD Bookshelf on the web, or it is a copy of an 
original, then you have an unauthorized, infringing copy. Authorized, 
lawful, non-infringing copies of this product can be purchased from 
O'Reilly  Associates, Inc. 


and I see Kevin Futter has just posted the URL for the above statement

mark

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Re: [WSG] javascripts and standards

2005-10-16 Thread Mark Harris

Andrew Krespanis wrote:
  Here's the complete 4th edition online:



http://157.26.64.29/OReilly_books/books/webprog/jscript/index.htm


found via: http://www.maththinking.com/boat/booksIndex.html

I *believe* it's legal... fingers crossed!


and the Tooth Fairy, I suppose?  ;-)

f you have found this CD Bookshelf on the web, or it is a copy of an 
original, then you have an unauthorized, infringing copy. Authorized, 
lawful, non-infringing copies of this product can be purchased from 
O'Reilly  Associates, Inc. 


and I see Kevin Futter has just posted the URL for the above statement

mark

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Re: [WSG] css for ie4/ie5

2005-10-14 Thread Mark Harris

Peter Ottery wrote:

Peter Firminger wrote:


Not at all recommended on any machine you care about.



Just for my own peace of mind tho - they're only a security issue when
you have launched the program right? so if i'm launching them (old
standalone IE5  5.5) once a month to *only* test pages that I've
created - I'm not leaving my system open to some rogue security
breaching  action right?



I'm hoping the evolt guys have removed any of the known spyware hooks 
that were packaged with those browsers (also called browser helper 
objects - see http://www.spywareinfo.com/articles/bho/). The problem 
with running IE on a Windows box is just WTF it does in the registry - I 
don't believe anyone outside of MS actually knows everything IE gets up 
to, system-wise.


Also, make sure your firewall is solid and your AV up to date. IE is 
_built_ to download and install stuff. Run ZoneAlarm or something like 
it (*not* Windows Firewall that comes with XP - it knows to let IE 
through) so you can tell if something does start up and try to access 
the net.


The rule of thumb when installing a new machine is that it only takes 18 
minutes online to get infected (takes longer than that to download the 
patches - catch 22 - see 
http://aroundcny.com/technofile/texts/tec082904.html) - and it may be 
something as simple as lowering your security level in the background 
and leaving it there.


I can think of 2 secure ways to use IE/windows to test webpages:

1   run a webserver on a separate box _inside_ your firewall and install 
your pages there for testing - stack a firewall between the systems if 
you need to test that.


2   run VirtualPC (or some other windows emulator) on a good fast Mac 
with lots of RAM (and I'm thinking 1GB and up here) - if you get 
infected - it's not going to compromise your system and you can easily 
replace the disk image.


I've worked with both options and never got a virus from testing yet.

Actually, the only virus I can remember getting was a Sasser infection 
while upgrading my wife's machine to XP (see above)



cheers

mark

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Re: [WSG] css for ie4/ie5

2005-10-14 Thread Mark Harris

Mark Harris wrote:

I can think of 2 secure ways to use IE/windows to test webpages:

1   run a webserver on a separate box _inside_ your firewall and install 
your pages there for testing - stack a firewall between the systems if 
you need to test that.


2   run VirtualPC (or some other windows emulator) on a good fast Mac 
with lots of RAM (and I'm thinking 1GB and up here) - if you get 
infected - it's not going to compromise your system and you can easily 
replace the disk image.



and, of course, run a Windows emulator on a linux box

[sigh]
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Re: [WSG] Chinese food and web standards

2005-10-12 Thread Mark Harris

Kay Smoljak wrote:

My layouts are pretty basic, so I doubt it wouldn't work. I think the
number of people out in  the general public using Linux on the desktop
is infintismally (sp?) small.


Hem

not infinitesimally small, but fewer than Windows. Possibly as many as 
Mac. IMHO designers fuss about the Mac versions because so many of us 
use them (me too!) but I also have a RedHat box under the desk and my 
laptop dual boots XP and Mandriva Linux. 'Cause it's standards-based, 
eh! ;-)


Also, those who do use Linux tend to be on the geekier side of the 
street, and also quite loud when something isn't working.


YMMV and your site stats should be your guide for at least the first 
release, but, if nothing else, sniff those browsers and give them an 
unstyled page, rather than a broken one.


Cheers


mark


(PS my spellchecker just offered stoats for stats - it seems an 
equally valuable way to measure web site success! :-D  )

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Re: [WSG] Placement of company logo

2005-10-11 Thread Mark Harris

Townson, Chris wrote:


I think my point here is this: HTML is really a text-based medium. Images
have very little meaning, for example, to a screenreader.



Ah, and people call _me_ a purist! ;-)   While its foundation or tool 
set is text, it has included imagery for longer than it did not. After 
13 years, I think we have to accept that imagery is part of the web, 
that the web is the medium and HTML is _one_ of the tools for conveying 
information on that medium.  The trick is to make the _web_ accessible 
through the use of standards.  This is the Web Standards Group, not the 
HTML Standards Group.



In practical terms, for HTML as it is today, what would your photo
contribute to the content of a page?
I recently marked up a page which consisted of information about employees.
The design required inserting a photo of each employee next to their
description: I used background images for those photos because they were not
essential content. What was important was the bit which went:
h3John Smith/h3
pJohn works as blah blah blah ... /p




Actually, in a large organisation, with reasonable turnover, the images 
can be of greater importance than the text. At a place where I regularly 
contract, the Intranet carries just that sort of page for each employee, 
which is very useful if you have to find someone for a quick chat but, 
more importantly, it helps in security so you know whether or not to 
challenge someone who just got out of the lift on your secure floor. In 
this case, the photo _is_ essential content, in practical terms.


Cheers

Mark Harris
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Re: [WSG] Dublin Core metadata

2005-10-07 Thread Mark Harris

Andy Kirkwood | Motive wrote:


The main advantages of the Dublin Core metadata is that it represents the efforts of 
a group of information and library science experts to translate the cataloguing 
conventions previously associated with real world libraries into metadata 
equivalents. This translation includes details such as publisher, copyright, etc. For 
a complete list of the elements see our glossary entry:  
http://www.motive.co.nz/glossary/dublincore.php 

 

or even http://www.dublincore.org/ which is the horse's mouth, so to 
speak (no disrespect to Motive)



Adhering to the standards the DC working group recommend is one step toward 
interoperability--enabling catalogue records to be shared by different 
organisations. This aim of interoperability is not dissimilar to that of a web 
standards approach to content markup.

 

We-ell, interoperability goes a little wider than mere data standards, 
or even metadata, but good metadata is what enables the power of XML and 
related information technologies to help you towards interoperable 
services. It means that your back-end doesn't have to be the same, or 
know how to talk to each individual system you want to exchange data 
with. It's the same theory that drives the Internet - having everyone 
talk the same language outside their boundaries means only one 
translation at the boundary.


For a look at the NZ e-Government Interoperability Framework (eGIF), go 
to http://egif.govt.nz/



AFAIK DC is of most use for custom-build search engines rather than for public 
services such as Google. In New Zealand, DC metadata is used for the New Zealand 
government porta and locator service:  http://www.motive.co.nz/glossary/nzgls.php 
.
 

As you mention, strict DC is useful for content description but not for 
services. We examined DC as an option and thought we could stretch it to 
cover services, as the Australian Government stretched it to produce 
AGLS )Australian Government Locator Service) which is the direct 
ancestor of NZGLS. AGLS doesn't (yet) do services, nor does DC.


For an in-depth look at NZGLS and our approach to metadata (again, no 
disrespect to Motive), see http://nzgls.govt.nz/ and you can find AGLS 
at http://www.agls.gov.au/


Cheers
Mark Harris
Ex-manager, Moderation and Web Standards,
NZ State Services Commission

Disclaimer: I didn't work much on NZGLS (although I did convene the 
original committee that started examining metadata for Government, but I 
did work on the original version of the e-GIF. It's a living standard 
and may be subject to change.  Further, I no longer work for the 
E-government Unit of the State Services Commission (actually, it no 
longer exists as such) and I am now in the private sector, occasionally 
contracting back to them.


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Re: [WSG] Meta Keywords?

2005-10-06 Thread Mark Harris

Derek Featherstone wrote:


On 10/7/05, John Allsopp wrote:

 

Get them to ask Hitwise to justify the recommendation, based on  
anything other than handwaving and superstition.


I'd be interested in their response :-)
   



I think it is safe to say that we would *all* be interested in their
response, if they prepare one at all...

Cheers,
Derek.
 



Well, this is a topic that brings out the emotions!

Andreas and the others  type faster than I do ;-) but we're all on the 
same page.


My understanding is that Google reads the description tag, and displays 
it on the results page - if there isn't a tag, it displays the first 100 
or so characters - but doesn't use it in the ranking calculation, which 
is based on page content (or reading the entrails of a goat - it depends 
which school of thought you subscribe to).


As to Hitwise, pfft!  I doubt they'll even respond. SEO  (the way they 
do it) is just a con job IMHO


Cheers

Mark Harris
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