Re: [WSG] Where did I come from?

2008-01-21 Thread Matthew Cruickshank
On Jan 22, 2008 3:58 PM, Sarah Peeke [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 So, if the HTTP headers are changed along the response chain from
 server to client what is the likely outcome? Where would the user be
 directed in this case?


That depends on the application. It's not a required field, but that
doesn't mean that applications shouldn't make decisions based on it.

A good example of web software that makes decisions based on referrers
are anti-image-leech scripts*.


--
.Matthew Cruickshank
http://holloway.co.nz/
[*] and image leech scripts are a good response to kids that use your
photos http://holloway.co.nz/returnoftheking/ and drain through gigs
of traffic... because then you start serving up something like this
instead http://holloway.co.nz/image-leech.jpg


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Re: [WSG] Opera files antitrust against MS: standards one part

2007-12-15 Thread Matthew Cruickshank

Michael Horowitz wrote:


RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE



lol


.Matthew Cruickshank
http://holloway.co.nz/


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Re: [WSG] Opera files antitrust against MS: standards one part

2007-12-14 Thread Matthew Cruickshank
On Dec 14, 2007 8:41 PM, Chris Taylor [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 Why was Silverlight included?
 As far as I am aware it's a plug-in much like Flash,
 so why would it be hindering the open web?

Of course I don't know why Opera has included Silverlight, but to speculate...

It might be because of something like this,

http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/roadmap/archives/2007/10/open_letter_to_chris_wilson.html

Silverlight has a subset of .Net's CLR called CoreCLR, and one could
argue that Microsoft are intentionally trying to stiffle the open
web[tm] while advancing Silverlight.


-- 
.Matthew Cruickshank
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Re: [WSG] Opera files antitrust against MS: standards one part

2007-12-14 Thread Matthew Cruickshank
Oh, in particular this quote from Brendan Eich,

the obvious conflict of interest between the standards-based web and
proprietary platforms advanced by Microsoft, and the rationales for
keeping the web's language small while the proprietary platforms
rapidly evolve support for large languages, does not help maintain the
fiction that only clashing high-level philosophies are involved here
 -- 
http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/roadmap/archives/2007/10/open_letter_to_chris_wilson.html


On Dec 14, 2007 9:01 PM, Matthew Cruickshank
[EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 On Dec 14, 2007 8:41 PM, Chris Taylor [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
  Why was Silverlight included?

[...]

-- 
.Matthew Cruickshank
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Re: [WSG] Input tag - closing tag optional?

2007-11-25 Thread Matthew Cruickshank

Philippe Wittenbergh wrote:

Depending on the mime type there is a huge difference.
text/html -- sgml parser in use
application/xhtml+xml -- xml parser is in use.


Just to clear up this misconception text/html doesn't use an SGML parser 
(few, or possibly zero browsers have implemented SGML parsing),


While the HTML form of HTML5 bears a close resemblance to SGML and 
XML, it is a separate language with its own parsing rules.


Some earlier versions of HTML (in particular from HTML2 to HTML4) were 
based on SGML and used SGML parsing rules. However, few (if any) web 
browsers ever implemented true SGML parsing for HTML documents; the 
only user agents to strictly handle HTML as an SGML application have 
historically been validators. The resulting confusion — with 
validators claiming documents to have one representation while widely 
deployed Web browsers interoperably implemented a different 
representation — has resulted in this version of HTML returning to a 
non-SGML basis.


Authors interested in using SGML tools in their authoring pipeline are 
encouraged to use the XML serialisation of HTML5 instead of the HTML 
serialisation.


--- 
http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/multipage/section-parsing.html



.Matthew Cruickshank
http://holloway.co.nz/blog/  My new blog on XML, XSLT, and the web
http://docvert.org/  Convert MSWord to OpenDocument, DocBook or clean HTML


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Re: [WSG] SilverLight

2007-10-30 Thread Matthew Cruickshank

akella wrote:

It's going to be on linux as well
http://radar.oreilly.com/archives/2007/09/moonlight_silve_1.html
Moonlight is the answer
  


Silverlight is patent encumbered and - on Linux - it may only be 
distributed by Novell (due to a patent agreement that lasts 4 years).


This means that it won't appear by default in Debian or Ubuntu (and 
probably Redhat).


To quote Novell,

to avoid patent problems over Silverlight, when using or developing 
Mono’s implementation (known
as Moonlight), i’s best to ‘get/download Moonlight from Novell which 
will include patent coverage.


[...]

Moonlight will be able to run on any distro supported by Mono, which 
is most of the major distros. Under the terms of the agreements we 
have with Microsoft, Novell customers are covered by Microsoft’s 
covenant not to sue over patents. In terms of Moonlight, that means 
that, if you download Moonlight from Novell (which is free of charge), 
you are considered a Novell customer of Moonlight, whether you run it 
on SUSE Linux Enterprise or on another distribution. If you get the 
Moonlight code from elsewhere, you are not considered a Novell 
customer, and so don’t fall within the covenant.




.Matthew Cruickshank
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Re: [WSG] Re: SilverLight

2007-10-30 Thread Matthew Cruickshank

Hi Scott,

There are some patent issues our legal folks are working through to 
ensure that it’s all smoothed out and what not, but this is a big step 
for Microsoft in this space and so we are learning as we go via the 
guidance of the Moonlight team (whom are awesome).


Well Microsoft have been doing IT stuff for a while now so it's, er, a 
little strange that the patent issues around SilverLight/XAML haven't 
been resolved yet.


1) For Linux developers, is the plan to release Microsoft's patents over 
MoonLight under a license comparable to that of HTML/CSS?
2) For Linux distributors, is the plan to be compatible with the Debian 
patent policy?


And what kind of timelines do you think there might be around solving 
these issues (obviously these things can take a while, so when should I 
give up hope ;)


Thanks :)


ps. now this is what's awesome http://nz.youtube.com/watch?v=KFoTFXxcrrw

.Matthew Cruickshank
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Re: [WSG] SilverLight

2007-10-29 Thread Matthew Cruickshank

Travis D. Falls wrote:

So I have to ask... what do you all think of SilverLight... do you think it
is just another way to do Flash work in a different Tech. or will it be
more?
  


Another way of doing the same stuff.

The backend tech of Silverlight is a minimal install of .Net, so you get 
a few decent languages (C#, Boo).


XAML is good tech, but according to some developer friends (and this 
isn't first-hand knowledge so I can't vouch for it) this gui language 
has accessibility problems.


Adobe/Firefox are countering with Tamarin which can run Javascript and 
.Net (including Python/Ruby .Net variants) in the browser.


Adobe have Flash/Flex as the user interface.

Firefox has XUL/SVG/HTML5 as the user interface.

(sorry this is a such a rushed post -- I'm late for a bus)


.Matthew Cruickshank
http://docvert.org/













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

2007-10-04 Thread Matthew Cruickshank

Mark Harris wrote:

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


I've been waiting a while to post this again, so now will do...


In a survey of attitudes and responses to audio description of TV and 
video, the American Foundation for the Blind found that some 
respondents would indeed like to watch audio-described X-rated films. 
In one poll as part of this single survey, 9% of respondents voiced 
that preference; in another poll, 22%. Men wanted described adult 
films more often than women. The mind fairly boggles as to how this 
would actually be done, but the desire is there. And certain 
broadcasters in the United Kingdom are required to audio-describe a 
portion of their programming; “adult” programming is not, in fact, 
exempt, so all this may actually come to pass!


-- http://joeclark.org/book/sashay/serialization/Chapter06.html#h2-6030



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

2007-10-03 Thread Matthew Cruickshank

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...





I'd like a car analogy next please.



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

2007-10-03 Thread Matthew Cruickshank

Karl Lurman wrote:

Frankly, Target didn't break any *existing* law,
  


Well that's a matter of opinion (preferably a matter of legal opinion).


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]



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Re: [WSG] Accessible - Standard Compliant - Club Membership System

2007-09-14 Thread Matthew Cruickshank

David Dorward wrote:


I was under the impression that you'll also be able to write HTML 5 
in XHTML syntax (as XHTML 5, obviously different from XHTML 2 which 
is a different concept?).


They are still planning this, but the point is that HTML is not dead, 
(real) XHTML is still badly supported among user agents, and support 
for other namespaces mixed with XHTML (which is the only major benefit 
for it on the client side) is even worse.


HTML5 or the XMLised equivalent are... equivalent, and I'd say so much 
so that internal publishing needs should override the choice between the 
two.


By this I mean consider what the CMS software you prefer, or whatever 
your publishing cycles demands.


There are many, many (many) more XML processing and publishing tools 
than HTML tools (due to the predictable syntax), and it's easier to 
integrate XHTML into publishing flows, but it of course your internal 
publishing needs will vary.



.Matthew Cruickshank
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Re: [WSG] Understanding Apache Logs

2007-08-28 Thread Matthew Cruickshank

Pierre-Henri Lavigne wrote:

I suppose it's an error with browsers that misunderstood the base href= 
/ added by Typo3 ?
  


Paths in CSS are resolved relative to the CSS, not to the HTML, so I'd 
think that base wouldn't have any effect.


(by the way... is four dots even valid? Presumably it should be ../.. ?)



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Re: [WSG] setting fontsize in body

2007-08-07 Thread Matthew Cruickshank

Rob Kirton wrote:
I was informed that they had a far better idea in the pipeline.  I'm 
not holding my breath...




Perhaps they were hinting at the full page zoom.

See http://urltea.com/15zr?full-page-zoom

(from http://planet.mozilla.org/ )


.Matthew Cruickshank
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Re: [WSG] Serving Different Content to Returning Visitors

2007-07-26 Thread Matthew Cruickshank

Daniel Kendrick wrote:

I would like to avoid cookies all together. But if I must I must.



You'll need cookies.

(well you could sort of determine new vistors by IP address but only in 
a way that wouldn't be as reliable -- there are many cases of NAT users 
sharing a single IP, or with AOL users having their IP change while 
browsing and you couldn't detect this).


.Matthew Cruickshank
http://holloway.co.nz/





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Re: [WSG] Site test Google analytics

2007-07-26 Thread Matthew Cruickshank

Jason Robb wrote:
My question is this: If I insert the script anywhere but the head, 
does this break any rules or standards? Shouldn't all scripts be 
located in the head ONLY? Perhaps I am way off on this.


HTML 4.01 states,

The SCRIPT element places a script within a document. This element may 
appear any number of times in the HEAD or BODY of an HTML document.


So it doesn't make any difference, and as Google Analytics doesn't do 
document.write() or anything like that then you can just ignore Google's 
advice.


(for those with server-side languages I suggest seeing whether Google 
Analytics is slow because you can download it and cache it yourself. I 
found that it added 3 seconds to my page load times so I ended up 
writing a temporary file and refresh it when that file's modified time 
was too old. See http://urltea.com/12nb  )



.Matthew Cruickshank
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Re: [WSG] [potentially OT] HTML History

2007-05-03 Thread Matthew Cruickshank

Christian Montoya wrote:

What were those early sentiments against specifying HTML as an SGML DTD?
Can anyone elaborate?


I know I'm only guessing here, but I think there were other proposals
for how HTML should have been implemented, XML DTD being one of them.
AFAIK, SGML won out because it was the easiest and most forgiving.



The majority of XML was developed in 1997 (released in '98) whereas the 
HTML we're talking about was from 1992. XML wasn't even an option.


And as for the idea that SGML is more forgiving, well -- no. It's the 
loose parsers with complex models that make it forgiving...


While the HTML form of HTML5 bears a close resemblance to SGML and 
XML, it is a separate language with its own parsing rules.


Some earlier versions of HTML (in particular from HTML2 to HTML4) were 
based on SGML and used SGML parsing rules. However, few (if any) web 
browsers ever implemented true SGML parsing for HTML documents; the 
only user agents to strictly handle HTML as an SGML application have 
historically been validators. The resulting confusion — with 
validators claiming documents to have one representation while widely 
deployed Web browsers interoperably implemented a different 
representation — has resulted in this version of HTML returning to a 
non-SGML basis.


Authors interested in using SGML tools in their authoring pipeline are 
encouraged to use the XML serialisation of HTML5 instead of the HTML 
serialisation.


--- 
http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/multipage/section-parsing.html





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Re: [WSG] What do we say if we don't say click?

2007-04-17 Thread Matthew Cruickshank

John Horner wrote:

Images are linked to larger versions seems to passive-voice to me, and
I can't think of any generic term for using a link. 


Joe Clark suggests using something like,

alt=Sunrise at Darling Harbour (link to larger image)

   - http://joeclark.org/book/sashay/serialization/Chapter06.html#h2-7035

Usually if an image is among a list or table of images; when it's small 
and the border changes when I mouseover then that's enough of a guide 
for me. Disabled people, particularly those with poor eyesight who want 
a larger version anyway, would probably understand the layout and some 
good ALT text like Joes suggestion.


btw. It doesn't look like any of the CSS cursors would be an appropriate 
prompt.



.Matthew Cruickshank
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Re: [WSG] Copyright Query

2007-04-03 Thread Matthew Cruickshank

IANAL but...

Generally if someone commissions a work, or pays you to develop a 
website, its theirs to do with what they want (eg, reuse a web image in 
print advertising).


However a contracts terms can change this. What were the specific 
written terms or agreements? I assume the contract did not cover this, 
and that you're basing your comments on a verbal agreement?


Is there any possibility of misunderstanding of the verbal agreement? 
Was the specific scenario of distributors mentioned? How did you both 
describe the agreement?


If it's a blatant misuse and the verbal agreement was clear I would 
contact a lawyer. If not, I'd chalk it up to experience and write better 
contracts next time.


More to the point however, this isn't really web standards related. You 
might get better advice elsewhere ;)



.Matthew Cruickshank
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Re: [WSG] CSS - Fixing PNG Transparency Issues in IE?

2005-12-08 Thread Matthew Cruickshank

Srecko Micic wrote:
But what if Java is disabled in browser ? 


Then it won't work anyway, because all methods I've seen use 
progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.AlphaImageLoader() which is itself a 
call via Javascript.


(fairly sure that's the case)



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Re: [WSG] styling auto-generated .net id values

2005-12-08 Thread Matthew Cruickshank




Rachel Radford wrote:

  I'm working with a page that has auto-generated html from a .net engine that
I then style up with css.  In this case I need to reference one item on the
page that has an id of #_1740__ctl2__1125.  When I style this up in Firefox
it works fine. But it seems that IE gets stuck somewhere on the underscores
and ignores the rule.  I can't change the underscores because it is .net
generated - even though yes, I know that underscores are not recommended as
id values.  Can anyone help me on how I would get around this?
  

Reference it via some method other than #ID, such as Class.

If you need need #IDs you could generate a div within your selected
frame by calling a function that optionally drawn html. Eg, (I haven't
done C# for months and don't have a place to test this)

In ASPX:

div id="%# checkItem(DataBinder.Eval(Container,
"ItemIndex")) %"
 ...
/div

and in codebehind,

protected void checkItem(object itemIndex)
 {
 int itemItemInt = int.parse(itemIndex);
 if(itemIndexInt == yourItemNumber)
  {
  return "div id=\"myId\"";
  }
 }



.Matthew Cruickshank
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Re: [WSG] CSS - Fixing PNG Transparency Issues in IE?

2005-12-07 Thread Matthew Cruickshank

Artemis wrote:
If anyone knows anything about this htc file, if it would be good to 
use, how exactly it works, and where I might find a bit more 
information about it I would be ever so appreciative :)


http://webfx.eae.net/dhtml/pngbehavior/pngbehavior.html



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Re: [WSG] Newcomers and Web Standards

2005-12-03 Thread Matthew Cruickshank

Lachlan Hunt wrote:
I might add that my fringe and pedantic opinion is based on fact, 
and that not one valid technical argument has yet been raised in this 
thread against any of the technical reasons I've posted.
Ah, but the argument is not strictly one of technicalities -- it's a 
matter of opinion about what is sufficient support and what compliance 
means.


You've arbitrarily decided that IE has sufficient support for HTML but 
not XHTML, that the internal rendering engine affects XHTML compliance, 
and that IE doesn't even have limited support for XHTML is an 
appropriate way of describing the situation.


None of these opinions is based on W3C standards, and so it's difficult 
to refute your ideas.


We can only rely on common sense prevailing and hopefully people will 
see that your opinions are on the fringe.


This is not another opportunity for you to derail this thread with more 
technical references. No one disagrees with that -- this thread is about 
how it's best to teach people web standards. And you fail it.



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Re: [WSG] Newcomers and Web Standards (was editor)

2005-12-02 Thread Matthew Cruickshank

Lachlan Hunt wrote:
Yes.  Why should we attempt to hide the truth from them, especially 
when they're just starting out and they need to lose/avoid any bad 
habits and mistakes as quickly as possible.


Yours is a fringe and pedantic opinion, and you're being ridiculously 
harsh on XHTML.


I'm glad that people have been speaking up so that hopefully Lori will 
see that it's not so black and white an issue.



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Re: [WSG] XSL and CDATA

2005-12-01 Thread Matthew Cruickshank

Ted Drake wrote:

I just posted something about XSL and CDATA. I'm not announcing it as if I'm
standing on the mountain preaching to the masses. I'm hoping that if I'm
wrong in my logic, someone could clear it up in the comments. 


http://www.tdrake.net/xsl-cdata-and-me/

I guess I could have just posted it to this list as a question, but felt
like updating my blog.  I hope it helps. I'm still trying to wrap my head
around XSL stuff.
  
So by unprocessed HTML tags, i.e. links and br tags you mean that 
there's potentially non-XML, and you're wondering how to handle that in 
XSLT? If so...


Well -- as you've found -- once in XSL you can only deal with non-XML as 
a black box. You can't get into that lump of code and query nodes, only 
as a string, so you're limited to basic string manipulation like 
search/replace and such. So it works but it's not a good idea.


The solution is to either add the HTML after XSL processing, or -- 
better yet -- convert the HTML into XHTML (typically by using HTMLTidy, 
or - if you've got well-formed HTML - careful use of regular 
expressions, although you _really_ need to trust the source). Now that 
it's in XHTML there's no problem striping tags and applying all the 
syntax rules you apply elsewhere.


Trying to push non-XML through XSLT 1.0 is not a good idea. XSLT 2.0 
improves string manipulation quite a bit but, even so, it pales in 
comparison to typical programming langauges. The HTML probably isn't far 
away from valid XML anyway, so I'd tidy it up and send it through like that.


Things I wish I knew when I started learning XSLT five years ago,
- XML Pipelines help you separate out your processes like functions do 
in other languages, so don't cram everything in one XSLT file.
- Because XSLT is XML, some people generate XSLT from XSLT. These people 
are badasses.

- Use xsl:message terminate=yes to sanity check your incoming XML
- Read all of http://dpawson.co.uk/xsl/sect2/sect21.html

Good luck.


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Re: [WSG] editor

2005-12-01 Thread Matthew Cruickshank

Lachlan Hunt wrote:
Since you're new, you might want to stick with HTML4 until a) browser 
support for XHTML increases (IE does not support XHTML),

Heh... please elabourate on how IE doesn't support XHTML.



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Re: [WSG] editor

2005-12-01 Thread Matthew Cruickshank

Lachlan Hunt wrote:

Try this in IE:
http://www.howtocreate.co.uk/wrongWithIE/?chapter=XHTMLwithHeader=1

Oops, that's served as application/xhtml+xml, so it won't work.  
Here's the same article as text/html:

http://www.howtocreate.co.uk/wrongWithIE/?chapter=XHTML

One other thing that doesn't seem to be mentioned in that particular 
article is that if you use the ?xml? declartion (or, in fact, 
anything before the DOCTYPE), then it will trigger quirks mode in IE6 
and below.  IE7 will fix that particular bug, but still won't support 
XHTML properly.


Right... rather than jumping to conclusions I was just wanting to make 
sure you were telling a beginner at html/css that IE does not support 
XHTML because of relatively minor things like http headers and xml 
declarations.


I'm a bit of a standards nazi, don't get me wrong, but I think you're 
misleading Lori. I mean no one goes around saying Firefox doesn't 
support HTML and CSS because it doesn't pass the Acid test or implement 
soft-hyphens[1]


As a community we shouldn't stop demanding more compatibility, but your 
statement doesn't seem measured to me.



[1] http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/shy.html

.Matthew Cruickshank
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Re: [WSG] XHTML Issues

2005-12-01 Thread Matthew Cruickshank

So, to summarise why you keep saying there's no support for XHTML in IE

- not supporting XHTML's HTTP header,
- not being able to put ?xml ... ? above the doctype,
- the internal rendering engine being a tagsoup parser, rather than an 
XML parser.


And therefore this means IE doesn't even have limited support for XHTML?


Well, we clearly have _very_ different ideas about the English language, 
and I doubt we'll convince each other otherwise about what sufficient 
support to render learning XHTML useful would be.


Later,


.Matthew Cruickshank
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Re: [WSG] Input Desired

2005-11-28 Thread Matthew Cruickshank

Mark Arnold wrote:
hoping for the logo to span the page as requested by the site owner. 
But this results in a pixelized img. Any further suggestion here?


Have an unscaled foreground image of your logo, placed over a background 
image that tiles out to the edges of your screen, so it looks like 
there's a single image.


Eg,  http://www.e.govt.nz/



.Matthew Cruickshank
http://holloway.co.nz/docvert  Convert MSWord to OpenDocument to any 
HTML or XML.



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Re: [WSG] University textbook or other resources?

2005-11-22 Thread Matthew Cruickshank

Lloyd wrote:

Have you considered Building Accessible Websites by Joe Clark? You
can read it for free online.
http://www.joeclark.org/book/
  

This would be my recommendation too.

Unlike most technical authors Joe writes authoritatively and clearly, he 
doesn't take the WAI as sacrosanct, and your students will laugh their 
asses off at the book's cover. The good students, anyway.


ps. The entire book isn't available online, just the meat of it.



.Matthew Cruickshank
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Re: [WSG] Java (JSP) v .net for standard and accessibility

2005-09-26 Thread Matthew Cruickshank

Stuart Sherwood wrote:
I'm wondering how .net compares as I haven't had the chance yet to 
build a site with it?
Current versions of ASP.Net have controls that favour IE over other 
browsers by using proprietary code (Eg. validation controls with 
Javascript use document.all). I think Microsoft have said they'll have 
XHTML compliance with .Net 2.0 but right now it's tag soup. The html is 
chosen by these controls differently for categories of browser, so 
asp:panel becomes a div for IE and a table for Firefox (you can 
override this, but it's the default behaviour). And the typical IDE, 
VS.Net, produces mediocre WYSIWYG HTML by default.


Which leaves you with,
- Using 3rd party controls which may be compliant. Eg, there are 
Ecmascript validation controls but they're not so popular and there are 
integration problems in VS.Net (not sure whose fault this is though).
- Avoid or minimise the use of poorly written controls and instead write 
strings of html to the page, perhaps by using literal controls as stubs.
- Using another framework that doesn't use the standard ASP.Net 
templating model.


So yeah, it's pretty bad.

--
.Matthew Cruickshank
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Re: [WSG] Java (JSP) v .net for standard and accessibility

2005-09-26 Thread Matthew Cruickshank

Jachin Sheehy wrote:

That said, I note Stuart qualified his question by saying he had
worked with an experienced Java programmer. Similarly, a good .NET
programmer who is aware of the issues and concerned about web
standards will also be able to help you achieve compliance.

I have worked with ASP.NET for over three years now, and it is
possible to get at least XHTML Transitional compliance consistently
once you know what the issues are.
  
Yeah, I agree with this. I've used ASP.Net since 2001 and it's possible 
to produce good code but that will require knowing a lot about its 
internals (Eg, how VS.Net rewrites HTML, how datagrids don't have 
genuine headings, linkbuttons don't work in old browsers, how the 
viewstate isn't xhtml, etc). Because there's such an abstraction between 
the controls and their html it's difficult to fix too, and the html may 
be part of the dll rather than an editable text file (to get xhtml it's 
easiest to so something like 
http://www.codeproject.com/aspnet/ASPNET2XHTML.asp )


Joel on Software has an article that mentions ASP.Net, 
http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/LeakyAbstractions.html

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Re: [WSG] images in html or css

2005-09-15 Thread Matthew Cruickshank
On Thu, 2005-09-15 at 16:03 +0100, kvnmcwebn wrote:
 Is the img tag still widly used among list members. Should
 we put as many of the images we can in the css as backgrounds etc.
 Right now i put most sitewide images in the css and the page by page content
 in with the img tag.

I don't think that it should be based on whether it's page-by-page or
sitewide, but on whether it's content or decoration. If it's content it
should be an img tag, and decoration goes in the CSS.

I think it's a faddy thing to put a lot of images in CSS, especially
things like site logos like plone.org does, or common icons. It's using
CSS like an includes file, to save updating multiple img tags across a
site, which I think is a misuse of CSS.

Keeping img for content and CSS for style is especially important as
techniques like FIR of hiding foreground text and putting images in CSS
have problems in accessibility software:
http://www.alistapart.com/articles/fir/


.Matthew Cruickshank
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Re: [WSG] Style a parent element based on an id selector of the child element

2005-09-14 Thread Matthew Cruickshank
On Wed, 2005-09-14 at 16:56 +0800, Martin Smales wrote:

 Is there a way to style the td element with a background colour if an
 a element has a active_menu id?

No, CSS Selectors don't allow this. They can only step down, not up.

You could do the equivalent in JavaScript, or... well, a long term
strategy might be lobby browser makers to support XPath or something. So
basically I don't have any good advice for you.


.Matthew Cruickshank
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[WSG] A web service that converts MSWord to HTML

2005-09-13 Thread Matthew Cruickshank
Hi,

For a while now one problem that kept coming up was dealing with MS Word
files, and getting them into a format that was easy to parse. Anyway, I
figure some people might also have this problem so I wrote a web service
that converts MS Word to Oasis OpenDocument 1.0 format, and then
optionally runs the XML through an XSLT pipeline. So, basically, this
web service converts MS Word to arbitrary HTML or XML, and returns the
results in a .zip file.

The software, called Docvert, has reached 1.0 and is at
http://holloway.co.nz/docvert

Let me know what you think.


.Matthew Cruickshank
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Re: [WSG] A web service that converts MSWord to HTML

2005-09-13 Thread Matthew Cruickshank
On Tue, 2005-09-13 at 21:35 +1000, Joshua Street wrote:
 You are an absolute legend. Thankyou!
 
 Haven't got time to try it yet, but will do in the near future!
 If it's likely to receive future updates, any chance you could setup an
 RSS file/feed? (Because I'm thinking we're minutes away from a message
 to WSG crying Off topic! or Take it to the CMS list)

Yeah, there'll be future versions. I'm working on a second version now
with some optimisations that should halve the conversion time, more
documentation, some better looking themes.

Good idea on the RSS, I'll just add it at
http://holloway.co.nz/docvert/docvert.rss

And yeah, I guess it is a bit off-topic.


On Tue, 2005-09-13 at 21:58 +1000, James Ellis wrote:
 Have you used this in your convertor or rolled your own?

Well I wanted to make it all open source so it could be distributed.
That meant scripting MSWord was out (besides, turning a standard
MSOffice into server software is against the conventional EULA -- and an
MS Office server licence costs thousands). With MSWord's crumby HTML not
being used, Tidy wouldn't really have much of a role.

So in Open Source, OpenOffice.org has the best chance of dealing with
the quirks of the MSWord format (certainly more than WVWare, Abiword,
etc). Using OpenOffice.org also means Docvert can be cross-platform and
it was written on Windows and Linux. What I wrote around OpenOffice.org
were some OpenOffice macros, my XML parser and pipeline, some XSLT and a
REST-style web service interface on top of it. Internally it uses
DocBook which is far more structured than HTML. So anyway, there's the
guts of it.

Thanks for the kind words guys!

(last post on this to web standards list, please email me directly if
you want)


.Matthew Cruickshank
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Re: [WSG] Questions about the new european parliament web site

2005-09-13 Thread Matthew Cruickshank


 Maybe it would be more educational if someone could describe how these
 tags might have been built.
 
 I'm assuming they are using a .net platform that has been horribly
 hacked. Maybe I shouldn't throw blame immediately at .net, but I have
 noticed similar things with them.
 
 Should the CMS have translated all of the xml stuff into an action or
 content? Is it just bad code?
 

It's just bad code. They're almost certainly using Apache Cocoon to
aggregate a bunch of XML formats together, but they haven't written
their XSLT to strip namespaces or tags. This was the same problem that
tvnz.co.nz faced when it launched their Apache Cocoon site.

The problem they're facing is that they've got XML coming from all kinds
of sources, Eg, they might have a content repository providing XML like

content xmlns=c_repo
section
titleSome title/title
paraSome content/para
/section
/content

And they'll combine that with a couple of RSS feeds, some XHTML, and
maybe some search engine results, and end up with a lot of XML
namespaces and non-XHTML tags. This is no bad thing, provided they go to
the effort of cleaning it up into XHTML.

They could put another stage in their pipeline to filter the namespaces
and such with some XSLT and using xsl:stylesheet
exclude-result-prefixes= ... 

Cleaning the result up into XHTML as the final stage in the pipeline
though is messy, and generally it's better to write wrappers around all
the XML you're aggregating, convert this to XHTML, and then keep a
simple sitemap that just aggregates these wrappers together.



.Matthew Cruickshank
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Re: [WSG] XSLT errors: was - Questions about the new european parliament we b site

2005-09-13 Thread Matthew Cruickshank
On Tue, 2005-09-13 at 10:14 -0700, Drake, Ted C. wrote:

 XSLT is not discussed often on this list. I would be interested in knowing
 what people would suggest to fix the problems this site is having. 
 
 Consider it an open-ended xslt suggestion post. 
 


My guru is this Dave Pawson guy, he maintains this FAQ,

http://www.dpawson.co.uk/xsl/sect2/sect21.html

And the thing people learn after a bit of XSLT is that it's much more
managable with a good XML pipeline,

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



.Matthew Cruickshank
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Re: [WSG] Valid Code, but Poor Accessibility

2005-03-30 Thread Matthew Cruickshank
David wrote:
Check out this book:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/073571150X/qid=1112225842/sr=8-1/ref=pd_csp_1/102-9707569-2762560?v=glances=booksn=507846 

If the link breaks it's called Building Accessible Websites by Joe 
Clark.
A company I recently started working for gave it to me to read...
Got a lot of info about making sites accessible...Used copies were on 
amazon for about $12.
Seconding this. It's an excellent book, and his emphasis is on how - 
within standards - you achieve accessibility.

.Matthew Cruickshank
http://holloway.co.nz/

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Re: [WSG] problem mixing stucture and content

2005-03-29 Thread Matthew Cruickshank
Alan Trick wrote:
I have to include both the strucutral markup and the content, any 
suggestions?
As you probably suspect this is a more general issue, Eg,
   pa line of programming code: codesample line/p
   psample line continues/code/p
If you want to keep an association the way around it is usually to share 
an id,

   pa line of programming code: code lineid=myidsample 
line/code/p
   pcode lineid=myidsample line continues/code/p

or work around the problem by having a point in the document as a 
linebreak, Eg br/ to express a line break,

   pa line of programming code: codesample linebr /sample line 
continues/code/p

Although br/ as a point in the document with a linebreak has fallen 
out of favour because it doesn't express the same structure that 
line.../line does (and isn't as easy to transform), it looks like 
the cleanest way.

As your presentation is part of the content in this case (you seem to 
care a great deal about retaining the linebreak) it's appropriate to 
contain formatting and content in the same file.

I'm not too familiar with it, but if you're getting into encoding text 
you might consider the TEI spec http://www.tei-c.org/.

.Matthew Cruickshank
http://holloway.co.nz/

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Re: [WSG] Object Mp3 into FF

2005-03-09 Thread Matthew Cruickshank
Helmut Granda wrote:
Could some one take a look and help me find where I am making the 
mistake? Web references are good too. I have been searching for nearly 
3 hours in different sites but none that I have found cover mp3, I 
even found a way around to embed Media Player in FF.
How isn't it working?
Your example code works for me on a local mp3 file, so it's probably to 
do with your particular configuration of Firefox,

1. First see whether Firefox is configured to use Quicktime correctly by 
typing about:plugins into your Firefox address bar. Here you can see 
mime-types and which applications are associated... so see if Quicktime 
is being referenced for the file extension and mime-type.
2. And then see whether your server is configured correctly and sending 
out the right http mime-type header (audio/x-mp3). You can use 
http://www.delorie.com/web/headers.html to check your server's response 
headers.

If that doesn't work try stripping down your object to refer to 
mime-types rather than classids or codebases. This way if they've got 
Windows Media Player it will play mp3s in that, and if they've got 
Quicktime it'll play mp3s in that. This does mean supporting a few more 
parameters though as the ways of starting play aren't standardised but 
it's more likely to Just Work.

ps. it's an old hack, but lying in the mime-type and using audio/wav 
gets past a lot of plugin screw-ups.
pps. cool name.

.Matthew Cruickshank
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Re: [WSG] Re: Object Mp3 into FF

2005-03-09 Thread Matthew Cruickshank
Helmut Granda wrote:
Thanks to John and Matthew to take the time to respond,
I have tried all your suggestions,
I doubt it.
and still it didnt work, BUT I went ahead and uploaded the file to a 
different server and it works. 
The only difference I've ever seen on a server in Firefox is based on 
the mime-type.

Did you really check that as I suggested? What's the difference in the 
headers between the servers?


.Matthew Cruickshank
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Re: [WSG] Re: Object Mp3 into FF

2005-03-09 Thread Matthew Cruickshank
Helmut Granda wrote:
Server 1: works on IE only
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Wed, 09 Mar 2005 23:24:48 GMT
Server: Apache/1.3.33 (Unix)
Last-Modified: Wed, 09 Mar 2005 20:11:48 GMT
ETag: 985415-29b5-422f5884
Accept-Ranges: bytes
Content-Length: 10677
Connection: close
Server 2:works on IE and FF
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Wed, 09 Mar 2005 23:25:03 GMT
Server: Apache
X-Powered-By: PHP/4.3.10
Connection: close
Huh? So you're saying both servers don't return a Content-Type? What's 
the url? (and in the meantime complain to the admins of the boxes)

The content-length of the first one seems a little small. 10677 bytes is 
only about a second of audio.

also as a side note, when I deleted the DEFANGED_embed tag it would 
not work in FF only in IE, so I had to place back the DEFANGED_embed 
tag to make it work.
This works for me in Firefox and IE / Quicktime and Media Player,
object type=audio/wav data=audio/s001.mp3
 param name=filename value=audio/s001.mp3/
/object

.Matthew Cruickshank
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Re: [WSG] Re: Object Mp3 into FF

2005-03-09 Thread Matthew Cruickshank
Helmut Granda wrote:
Here are the site tests that I am doing
Doesnt work on IE or FF:
IE- Fails Server 1
http://www.hamsterballstudios.com/extrafiles/vo/volaunch2.html
Ok... this site is producing vastly different to the headers you 
previously posted. There's now - perhaps magically - a content-type. As 
that was the bit I was asking about I'm guessing you just didn't post 
that bit last time or something. Christ...

The mp3  http://tinyurl.com/6dz8u  is sent with these headers (note: 
text/plain),

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 01:01:59 GMT
Server: Apache/1.3.33 (Unix)
Last-Modified: Wed, 09 Mar 2005 00:46:13 GMT
ETag: 9853fa-1a51f5-422e4755
Accept-Ranges: bytes
Content-Length: 1724917
Connection: close
Content-Type: text/plain

FF - Fails Server 2
http://www.multimedia247.net/mp3test/volaunch2.html

The mp3  http://tinyurl.com/44ptd  is sent with these headers (note: 
audio/mpeg, which is more correct)

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 01:04:06 GMT
Server: Apache
Last-Modified: Wed, 09 Mar 2005 22:53:33 GMT
ETag: 57c00d-1a51f5-422f7e6d
Accept-Ranges: bytes
Content-Length: 1724917
Connection: close
Content-Type: audio/mpeg
Soget hamsterballstudios.com to return the correct content-type 
(audio/x-mp3), and then work on the html.

This HTML works in Firefox and IE for me, 
http://www.multimedia247.net/mp3test/volaunch3.html , but fails validation.

Get your html to validate - that's half of the problem (well that and 
the mime headers which have mysteriously reappeared). To get Firefox 
compatibility there's no need for the older embed tag, provided your 
object tags are good (previously posted example code works, as do many 
others).

1. fix your http headers
2. then fix your html

.Matthew Cruickshank
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Re: [WSG] Re: Object Mp3 into FF

2005-03-09 Thread Matthew Cruickshank




Helmut Granda wrote:
So
to recap.
  
  
1. headers in multimedia247.net are set up properly
  
2. headers in hamsterballstudios.com are not set up correctly
  
3. code does not validate
  
  
- solution
  
  
1. fix the headers in hamsterballstudios.com
  
2. fix HTML
  
  
So my fears that the server in hamsterballstudios.com is not set up
correctly which is the clients server.

Yeah, that's right. As hamsterballstudios.com is sending it as
"text/plain" Firefox will pass it to the plugin for "text/plain" rather
than the plugin for "audio/x-mp3" or "audio/mpeg". As Firefox can't
handle a plugin of "text/plain" nothing will happen. You can see how
your Firefox is configured for plugins by typing "about:plugins" into
your Firefox address bar -- this will tell you what's installed. But
yeah, you need to fix the headers on the server to get Firefox to work.

Fixing the headers can be done at the webserver level, or - if you've
got PHP installed - you could do something like,

?php
  $pathToFile = "path";
   header ("Cache-Control:
must-revalidate, post-check=0, pre-check=0");
   header ("Content-Type:
audio/x-mp3");
   header ("Content-Length: " . filesize($pathToFile));
   header ("Content-Disposition:
attachment; filename=$pathToFile");
   readfile($pathToFile);
?

(If you use this, make sure there's no whitespace on either side of the
?php ... ?


As for step 2,

This HTML works for me on a server that responds to mp3 files with
"audio/x-mp3"

object type="audio/wav" data=""
 param name="filename" value="audio/s001.mp3"/
/object


ps. the reason why IE works is that it ignores the mime-type, and
follows this logic,


  

  If
the server returns a content-type, IE will remember that. 
  However,
IE also runs the beginning of the stream through a 'buffer check' to
verify whether the data actually looks like the content-type being
passed to it. If IE thinks the content-type is invalid, it'll just
ignore it and do whatever else it can to parse the data, including
falling back on the extension of the URL given.

-- http://msdn.microsoft.com/workshop/networking/moniker/overview/appendix_a.asp

  




.Matthew Cruickshank
http://holloway.co.nz/





[WSG] Javascript events for object?

2005-03-03 Thread Matthew Cruickshank
Is there any way to know when the sound in an object has stopped playing?
Because I'd like to play a subsequent sound file when the first one 
finishes.

(it's for a webapp to assist reading, not a public site)
From looking at http://www.quirksmode.org/js/events_compinfo.html it 
doesn't look like there's such an event.

But is there some property that I can access containing the current 
playing status of the object?

I've spent a few hours looking at different ways of doing this and I'm 
stumped.

If I knew the duration of the mp3 I guess I could use 
window.setTimeOut() to call the next one and just assume the first one 
has finished, but that doesn't seem easy to manage. If the mp3 changes 
they'd have to fix up all the pages.

Unfortunately all the search engines have failed me because javascript 
OBJECT-oriented programming is more popular than Javascript OBJECTs.

Any advice?
.Matthew Cruickshank
http://holloway.co.nz/
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Re: [WSG] [XSL] apply-template on multiple modes?

2005-03-02 Thread Matthew Cruickshank
Horst Gutmann wrote:
Hi :-)
I just read the part of the XSL specification about modi on templates 
but I have a probably quite stupid question: Is it somehow possible to 
call-template ALL templates, no matter what mode they have set?
I'm pretty sure that only one template can be used at any given level.
You can match elements and in in a separate template match attributes,
but it always comes down to one template at one point. If you're trying
to cascade the results of one to the next you'd need to manually specify
it (call the second template within the first). Same goes for having
results side-by-side of the same input passed to each plugin_test*,
you'd need to manually name them.
So I guess at some point you could call all the templates and just pass
in a copy of the current node. Eg,
(I haven't tested this code, there's probably a few typos)
xsl:template match=/
   root
   xsl:call-template name=plugin_test1
  xsl:with-param name=dataxsl:copy-of//xsl:with-param
   /xsl:call-template
   xsl:call-template name=plugin_test2
  xsl:with-param name=dataxsl:copy-of//xsl:with-param
   /xsl:call-template
   /root
/xsl:template
xsl:template name=plugin_test1 priority=1
   xsl:param name=data/
   hello
/xsl:template
xsl:template name=plugin_test2 priority=2
   xsl:param name=data/
   world
/xsl:template
When you call a named template it can't even be based on a name defined
in a variable, so wildcards are certainly out.
Generally when I'm trying to match for some naming convention (like
plugin_test1 through to plugin_test) it's easier to do it in two
stages... make the result of the 1st XSLT another XSLT that names all
the plugins, and then apply that. That way the 2nd stage XSLT is static
(so far as the processor is concerned) but it adjusts.

.Matthew Cruickshank
http://holloway.co.nz/phpilfer  xslt php framework that's looking for
developers
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Re: [WSG] Parent Selectors

2005-03-02 Thread Matthew Cruickshank
RMW Web Publishing wrote:
Is there a why to set the style on a parent ('a') when you know what 
the child is ('img')?
No. And this is why CSS selectors suck and the W3C should have used 
XPath (maybe with some syntactic sugar so you didn't need to type 
descendant-or-self all the time to get all child nodes).

.Matthew Cruickshank
http://holloway.co.nz/

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Re: [WSG] Standards and site structuring

2005-02-22 Thread Matthew Cruickshank
Well, for the URL design bit, I wrote a page about it a while ago, and
this is the condensed version.
Aside from URLs I think there's a convention that clicking on the logo
of a site goes to the homepage. And it's popular to use an accesskey of
? to go to the search engine. Nothing else comes to mind though.
//
Designing URLs
URLs should be simple, concise, and designed to last forever -
reflecting the page's content and hiding the implementation. The days of
an URL mapping directly to a file are gone. Instead people treat the URL
like a command line - passing variables to a script that assembles a
page - ending up with a bloated, confusing, and forgettable URL like
http://somesite.com/book/9/index.php?anidifranco=neatojeffk=hackerslashdot=funnypoint=taken
Filename extensions
As browsers ignore filename extensions (.php, .jsp, .asp) it is
unnecessary and detrimental to use them on the web (instead use MIME
types). The URL becomes a legacy to uphold when users and search engines
expect to find pages at that URL - especially when the URL is bound to a
piece of software that may no longer be in use (such as .php3, .asp, or
even .html). Changing the backend system now involves breaking the
legacy or making a convoluted redirection scheme... to the new
technology that - in the future - you'll have to redirect from again. A
good URL, I think, should abstract from technical implementation.
That said, browsers don't often reattach file extensions if they weren't
given them in the first place so if the file is for download (rather
than in-browser viewing) it's probably ok. Also, IE sometimes ignores
mimetypes 
http://msdn.microsoft.com/workshop/networking/moniker/overview/appendix_a.asp 

*. So it's usually more practical to remove file extensions only for
html. Certainly .asp should never appear in the URL.
Apache's mod_rewrite URL Rewriting Engine can map external URLs to a
different internal file (/about/tauranga to /about/tauranga.html). This
allows you to hide the file extension. In three years XHTML will be much
more popular but i'm sure that will eventually have a successor too - so
serving .html is really missing the point. The technology has nothing to
do with the content so remove it from the URL.
K.I.S.S.
A simple url is better than a verbose one, so choose your words
carefully. A popular example is to use /job over /employment... /cv over
/resume. Domain names are chosen to be brief, perhaps an acronym - but
often people feel more comfortable choosing ludicrously long filenames
like 0092115-The_Movie_Troll_ Character_Harry_Potter.html.
Expressing Hierarchy
Parent/child relationships are typically expressed by /'s (slashes).
Using the URL as a command line has lessened this elegant simplicity.
There are URLs that are /?year=2001month=3day=12pid=162340 when
/2001/3/12/[pid] has the same information. Or take a link to a page that
exposes internal logic, /?op=special;page=irc when /irc is enough of a
unique identifier. It's more readable and far easier to remember and it
doesn't become less flexible.
When content varies by date a useful structure is
year/month/day/ItemOfTheDay. With this, a user should be able to edit an
URL to /2001/5/1, or perhaps just the month (/2001/5) and receive a list
of all stories posted that month. In this way an URL becomes a hackable
interface. Most programmers already do this. When getting a 404 they'll
chop off the end to see if any parent pages remain.
* IE seems to follow this scheme in deciding filetype,
-- If the server returns a content-type, IE will remember that.
-- However, IE also runs the beginning of the stream through a 'buffer
check' to verify whether the data actually looks like the content-type
being passed to it. If IE thinks the content-type is invalid, it'll just
ignore it and do whatever else it can to parse the data, including
falling back on the extension of the URL given.
.Matthew Cruickshank
http://holloway.co.nz/
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Re: [WSG] Centre DIV Vertically? Any compliant methods?

2005-02-22 Thread Matthew Cruickshank
John Horner wrote:
You have a point, but that's CSS version *two*, isn't it?
What I want is the ability to align the content of a DIV, for 
instance, or any block element, vertically, and I'm asking why it 
wasn't included in CSS-1.

I can't think of any policy-type reason why it wasn't, that's all, and 
I don't see vertical alignment as being directly related to table-cell 
display either.
CSS-1 didn't have hardly any layout ability, just text/list styling and 
some padding/margins for blocks. It just had floats for layout, and no 
absolute positioning  http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-CSS1 .

What I mean to say is that vertical positioning was probably a minor 
concern until they got the basic layout concepts done in CSS2.

But yeah, it seems crazy that they didn't reimplement basic layout 
features already available in HTML.

//
About accessible ways to avoid spam. For web form submissions some sites 
use images of text to try and make it difficult for computers to parse, 
and to hopefully ensure a person's at the other end (which obviously 
excludes blind people, as the images intentionally don't have ALT text). 
This technique can be broken by spammers too  
http://sam.zoy.org/projects/pwntcha/ . I guess another approach would 
be using sentences, as in write the 4th word in the following sentence 
into the box labelled Passcode, but unfortunately it's only a matter of 
time until that's broken too.

.Matthew Cruickshank
http://holloway.co.nz/
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Re: [WSG] Centre DIV Vertically? Any compliant methods?

2005-02-22 Thread Matthew Cruickshank
Dean Jackson wrote:
Yeah! Wouldn't it have been fantastic to have a real multi-column,
grid-like layout mechanism? (It probably *still* would be fantastic to
have one :).
Yeah, although I'm glad tables are gone the one thing I miss is the 
width or height of one cell affecting the next. Grids were useful that 
way. It's annoying to have to manually lay out divs, and make sure 
things don't overlap.

One way of doing grids for layout would be dockable divs. It'd be a nice 
way of ensuring things don't overlap, and it'd easily allow footers 
extending across the whole page. Eg,

div id=menu.../div
div id=content.../div
div id=footer.../div
#menu {dock: left #content; width:30%}
#content {left:30%;width:70%;}
#footer {dock: bottom #content; width:100%;}
There's also the related issue of keeping constant heights and widths 
across divs (in case #menu is longer than #content), perhaps with a 
syntax of,

#menu {dock: left #content; share-max-height: #content; width:30% }
#content {left:30%; share-max-height: #menu; width:70%;}
#footer {dock: bottom #content; width:100%;}
I guess this wishlist is deviating a bit from web standards so I'll stop 
now ;)

.Matthew Cruickshank
http://holloway.co.nz/

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Re: [WSG] Standards and site structuring

2005-02-21 Thread Matthew Cruickshank
Nick Lo wrote:
Just out of interest what standards (in the sense of a generalised 
approach) are you all applying to site structuring?
Site structure... as in URL design? Or internal file structures? Or 
common interface elements?

.Matthew Cruickshank
http://holloway.co.nz/
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Re: [WSG] accessible image form buttons

2004-12-18 Thread Matthew Cruickshank




Andreas Boehmer [Addictive Media] wrote:

  
adding a title attribute for good measure and increased accessibility,
providing your image doesn't use tiny text, and has good contrast
between text and background ?

  
  I prefer giving my users the ability to increase font, if possible. Not
everybody with a visual disability has got a screenreader to read out the
alt text. Pure text can't go wrong.

I generally agree, and I certainly prefer text where possible, but in
practice resizable text is more necessary when using small fonts rather
than large. Well designed images of text really does not leave users
less able to access the web. Also in this case it's not large blocks of
text in an image, and therefore the problems of representing structure
in the plain-text ALT, but just individual words like Search or Submit.
I think it's wrong to say that "pure text can't go wrong" when you
consider the design requirements because it's more often a balance.
This isn't to say that image submit buttons are always good, but they
can be a reasonable (and accessible) choice if done well.

I haven't ever found any accessibility expert saying images of text are
inaccessible when the image is well designed (read: 12px+ font, high
contrast), and I've looked. A couple of years ago this came up and I
was trying to find a reference to someone who described this scenario
but there was only blanket statements about text in images being bad,
and how fixed font sizes affect accessibility but the examples they
used were sites with tiny 8px fonts. I was unable to find examples of
harm to users when it's done infrequently and carefully, and I tested
it with about a dozen elderly and disabled users. Not a one had a
problem.

Also,
http://joeclark.org/book/sashay/serialization/Chapter06.html#h2-5485


.Matthew Cruickshank
http://holloway.co.nz/






Re: [WSG] accessible image form buttons

2004-12-16 Thread Matthew Cruickshank
Generally if the submit button is just a stylised button with search 
or submit as foreground text then I show them some mockups that style 
the button using css (removing the border, using a background image).

If it's more complex than that, with an icon or a non-standard font then 
a carefully chosen image can still be quite accessible. Don't take this 
as me saying that fixed text sizes are in any way a good thing, but text 
in images with alt text, high contrast and at least a 12px font size 
leave very few people poorly affected.

There's a lot about this in chapter 12   
http://joeclark.org/book/sashay/serialization/Chapter12.html  of Joe 
Clark's book, 'Designing Accessible Websites'. Buy it if only for this gem,

If youre running a ratings site of the Am I Hot or Not? variety 
(HotorNot.com) but more explicit  two examples are RateaRod.com and 
RateaRear.com  then the alt text for submitted photos may end up 
being inane and/or annoying, like alt=Rate this member! Porn cannot 
always be taken seriously. Accessible porn may end up being even 
slightly more ridiculous.

.Matthew Cruickshank
http://holloway.co.nz/
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Re: [WSG] x-browser javascript: is this OT?

2004-12-14 Thread Matthew Cruickshank
Barry Beattie wrote:
so, are these sort of Q's OK here?
 

I'd guess so, as cross browser Javascript tends to be as per EcmaScript 
/ the W3C DOM.

Quirksmode.org is the best resource I've found for cross browser javascript.
I've written a few widgets (anyone can use them, they're public domain),
http://holloway.co.nz/sa/icons.html  drop down list containing icons;
http://holloway.co.nz/wsg/branded-resize  dragable image for frame 
resizing, with a minimum width collapse like a conventional windows app.

If anyone improves them please send patches though.
.Matthew Cruickshank
http://holloway.co.nz/
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[WSG] Validating unicode files

2004-12-12 Thread Matthew Cruickshank
Hi chaps,
When it comes to text encoding the character range from 127-255 is, as I 
understand it, disputed territory. In that all kinds of regional hacks 
were used over the years and with Unicode they're no longer neccessary 
so I should avoid this range. I was just copying some text together and 
my xml parser didn't like it because of some characters in this range. 
It seems that even when you tell notepad.exe to save as utf-8 it 
sometimes doesn't.

So is there a bit of software to validate UTF-8 encoded files?
.Matthew Cruickshank
http://holloway.co.nz/
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Re: [WSG] Experimentations in XSLT

2004-12-09 Thread Matthew Cruickshank

Most XSLT users process data server-side and then send the result of the 
transformation to the client. This is a safer approach than sending XML and 
XSLT to the client.
Yeah, this is absolutely right. The typical xml publishing flow looks 
something like this,

[xml source (docbook/openoffice/xhtml)]
feeds into
[business logic xslt]
which feeds into
[web presentation logic xslt] or [print presentation logic xslt] or [pda 
presentation logic xslt]

and then it's sent to the outside world.
Typically this type of flow from one bit of xslt to the next is called a 
pipeline, and there's software to assist you in creating these and 
aggregating the results. You can construct pipelines in any language by 
pushing the output from one transformation into another, but these 
frameworks will cache each stage of the pipeline and skip the 
regeneration if the files haven't changed, and other features to ease 
development. Specifically, there's Apache Cocoon which has been in heavy 
use around the world for years. I've used it in a few commercial 
projects and it's one of those frameworks that makes the job so much 
easier. There's my ripoff of Cocoon in PHP called Phpilfer, 
http://holloway.co.nz/phpilfer which has some (in my opinion) important 
technical changes to make it faster than Cocoon (although less XML'y). 
Phpilfer isn't ready for production use yet but I'm putting out a site 
in it over christmas so that'll be a good test.

Mostly, the benefit of XSLT is that you start with these 
media-independent source files that you can convert to web, print, 
voice, xbrl, rss, any format, and it's a well-tested tech that people 
are using every day. If you're a publishing house, or you have a lot of 
content on your website, then these highly structured media-independent 
source files are your gold. People should be more wary of producing 
source documents, spending weeks editing them, and then locking them up 
in a loosely structured format (like MSWord, PDF) that other software 
can't easily get into. XML publishing is about fixing all that.

There's this mediocre presentation for the Wellington PHP user group a 
few years ago about XML publishing, 
http://holloway.co.nz/wellypug/publishing/

Jonathan T. Sage wrote:
Since this list is standards based, and I've yet to see any real
writeup about XSLT and what it is capable of, I figured a would share
what I found with all of you.  More information about what I did is
available here:
http://jtsage.com/apathy/archives/2004/12/08/xslt-part-1/
and here:
http://jtsage.com/apathy/archives/2004/12/09/xslt-part-2/
 

1) I think most people aren't sending XSLT to the browser.
2) The CDATA section should probably be just tags because it looks like 
XML to me. If you can't trust that your source is going to be valid XML 
then I guess you can use HTML Tidy on it.

Generally there are some approaches in XSLT that are good,
- Try to use many xsl:template matchs and xsl:apply-templates/ 
rather than matching the root node, writing a template, and copying in 
the bits you want. That way you be more discriminant about what's 
allowed through.
- Try to use namespaces, rather than writing tags, even if it means 
creating your own. As you're writing html, set the default namespace to 
XHTML (or html 4.01, whatever). That way if you integrate with another 
feed of xml you can distinguish your html from the other stuff.

Here's a good XSLT FAQ, maintained by my guru, Dave Pawson, 
http://dpawson.co.uk/xsl/sect2/sect21.html

.Matthew Cruickshank
http://holloway.co.nz/
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Re: [WSG] a quick target question

2004-12-06 Thread Matthew Cruickshank
Ted Drake wrote:
Could someone give me the appropriate replacement for target=_blank. I can't 
remember the correct javascript statement that opens it in a new window.
I'm sure others could use it as well.
Rather than a replacement it's best to include both,
a href=popup.html target=_blank onclick=window.open(...);return
falsepopup/a
This is so older browsers, and search engines, can follow popup links,
but newer browsers that use the onclick ignore the href because of
onclick's 'return false'.
See http://www.alistapart.com/articles/popuplinks/

.Matthew Cruickshank
http://holloway.co.nz/

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Re: [WSG] New Zealand Web Standards??

2004-12-06 Thread Matthew Cruickshank




Darren Wood wrote:
I
get _very_ depressed when i see high profile[1] new zealand sites
  
completely drop the ball[2]...
  
  
A few months back (maybe even a year) the NZ government released web
  
guidelines for all their websites.[3]
I think it's about 2 years old now. I was on the working group in 2002
to review them and I got CSS 2 in, and the W3C DOM rather than
proprietary. In comparison to most overseas guidelines I like that the
nz guidelines are short and that it's broken into audiences. Techies
can read chapter 6 to get the gist of it. I think XHTML should have
been allowed -- the reasoning at the time (as I understand it) was that
there's no difference to the users between HTML 4.01 and XHTML, that
XSL can output either, so it's a pointless choice. At the time I agreed
that there was no real difference, but I think the reason why it should
be allowed is because when software chooses a web standard they'll tend
to choose XHTML 1.0, not HTML 4.01.

The timeline for most government agencies is, "all new or revised
content produced for existing non-Guideline
compliant websites after 1 April 2004 should comply with the Guidelines
as closely as possible; existing websites should
become compliant with Version 2.1 of the Guidelines on the next
occasion of a complete website redevelopment occurring before 1 January
2006;"

I was the lead dev on http://www.work.govt.nz/ which is compliant.
I'm not too happy with the graphic design of http://e.govt.nz, it's 3
years old. I did the html, and the interface is ok I guess.

Is there a list of urls that should comply with the guidelines?

[1]
http://tvnz.co.nz - Inaccessible, slow, Flash, non-standards, table
based.
  

The sad bit is that they used a fantastic framework called Apache
Cocoon (which I used for worksite.govt.nz) and yet when they released
it they had multiple root tags (some of which were divs) and it ended
up as tagsoup. The code looks a little better now, but it doesn't look
like they're really that into web standards.

Anything's better than the old tv2 site though. They're getting better
:)


.Matthew Cruickshank
http://holloway.co.nz/





Re: [WSG] New Zealand Web Standards??

2004-12-06 Thread Matthew Cruickshank




Darren Wood wrote:
I
get _very_ depressed when i see high profile[1] new zealand sites 
completely drop the ball[2]... 
  
A few months back (maybe even a year) the NZ government released web 
guidelines for all their websites.[3]
I think it's about 2 years old now. I was on the working group in 2002
to review them and I got CSS 2 in, and the W3C DOM rather than
proprietary. In comparison to most overseas guidelines I like that the
nz guidelines are short and that it's broken into audiences. Techies
can read chapter 6 to get the gist of it. I think XHTML should have
been allowed -- the reasoning at the time (as I understand it) was that
there's no difference to the users between HTML 4.01 and XHTML, that
XSL can output either, so it's a pointless choice. At the time I agreed
that there was no real difference, but I think the reason why it should
be allowed is because when software chooses a web standard they'll tend
to choose XHTML 1.0, not HTML 4.01.

The timeline for most government agencies is, "all new or revised
content produced for existing non-Guideline
compliant websites after 1 April 2004 should comply with the Guidelines
as closely as possible; existing websites should
become compliant with Version 2.1 of the Guidelines on the next
occasion of a complete website redevelopment occurring before 1 January
2006;"

I was the lead dev on http://www.work.govt.nz/ which is
compliant.
I'm not too happy with the graphic design of http://e.govt.nz,
it's 3
years old. I did the html, and the interface is ok I guess.

Is there a list of urls that should comply with the guidelines?

[1]
  http://tvnz.co.nz
- Inaccessible, slow, Flash, non-standards, table
based. 

The sad bit is that they used a fantastic framework called Apache
Cocoon (which I used for worksite.govt.nz) and yet when they released
it they had multiple root tags (some of which were divs) and it ended
up as tagsoup. The code looks a little better now, but it doesn't look
like they're really that into web standards.

Anything's better than the old tv2 site though. They're getting better
:)


.Matthew Cruickshank
http://holloway.co.nz/