Against Common Sense

Go, John, Go!


John, you are making great progress, keep up the good work!

I’m providing leadership for a large university Web effort. I just can’t imagine putting HTML5 before our people and stating that alt is optional and summary is obsolete (no one will even see conformant; they’ll stop at obsolete).

It goes against common sense, and our people are blessed with an abundance of that. These are very smart people we’re talking about. They pay close attention to details, and they want to do things the right way.

Real World Challenges

Just today we had a faculty member call us to tell us that the LIFT text transcoder wasn’t working properly. She had ALL-TEXT PAGES. It took a great effort to convince her that LIFT wasn’t needed for all-text pages, they pass already. She was trying to conform to the letter of the law and provide a text alternative for every page. These are the people to whom we CANNOT give a spec in which alt is optional and summary is obsolete. End of story.

I know that we should provide training. We do and two people show up. I know that we should have Web resources. We do but no one has time to read. We should have more hours in the day, but due to the state budget crisis, we’re on furlough 24 days this year. In weeks with furlough days in them we are restricted to 32 hours of work, period, the end. I’m not working now at 11:30 at night because this is my own personal blog, but I have work piled up like cord wood that isn’t getting done right now and that includes getting around to all 4,000 faculty, staff and administrators to see how they’re doing with our Web template system, XHTML 1.0 Transitional, and Section 508. Not going to happen, is it?

Common Sense

So when HTML5 is ready for primetime I hope that it follows WCAG 2.0 and common sense, or we won’t be able to use it.

XHTML vs. HTML 5 vs. Accessibility

From the W3C news archive for 2 July 2009:

XHTML 2 Working Group Expected to Stop Work End of 2009, W3C to Increase Resources on HTML 5
2009-07-02: Today the Director announces that when the XHTML 2 Working Group charter expires as scheduled at the end of 2009, the charter will not be renewed. By doing so, and by increasing resources in the Working Group, W3C hopes to accelerate the progress of HTML 5 and clarify W3C’s position regarding the future of HTML. A FAQ answers questions about the future of deliverables of the XHTML 2 Working Group, and the status of various discussions related to HTML. Learn more about the HTML Activity. (Permalink)

In terms of accessiblity, I believe that HTML 5 will do damage to our goals. However, HTML 5 won’t be widely adopted at first. Since there are some things about HTML 5 that baffle me this is a good thing. Since most Websites must be as compatible as possible we will continue using XHTML, probably for years to come. This will give us a chance to see if HTML 5 goes anywhere. It all comes back to supporting the functionality that we require to convey our messages in as accessible and usable a way as possible. At work at a large university we have a guideline we try to follow: current version minus 1. This keeps us from leaping on technologies before they are proven. When a reasonable percentage of Web materials are HTML 5 and we want the functions that HTML 5 provides, then we’ll think about moving to it. For now, XHTML provides us with a stable platform on which we can provide functional accessibility and usability for all.

“Wave” Social Networking and Enhanced Open Platform APIs Included with New Blackbaud NetCommunity Release

From PR Web

Blackbaud logoDocumentation and code samples available on Blackbaud Labs site to support developers

Charleston, SC (Vocus) July 31, 2008 — Blackbaud, Inc. (Nasdaq: BLKB), today unveiled a new release of Blackbaud® NetCommunityâ„¢ that includes major enhancements in both function and features. From improved site design features to enhanced web accessibility and a native social networking feature called “Wave,” it will provide nonprofits with an opportunity to further engage their constituents in the vital Internet channel. Additionally, the company unveiled a new set of NetCommunity Open Platform APIs for creating custom parts, integrated web services, and custom transactions. Continue reading ““Wave” Social Networking and Enhanced Open Platform APIs Included with New Blackbaud NetCommunity Release”

David A. Paterson, New York Governor, Accessibilista?

According to the following NY Times Article:

“A Blind Governor Adjusts, and So Does Albany”

“Although Mr. Paterson often says he does not want people to go out of their way for him, he says society should recognize that he and other blind people cannot do everything on their own.

As one of his first acts as governor, he added instructions to his official state Web site on how to enlarge the type on the screen:

“It’s just being more sensitive to people who feel that government and institutions ignore them,” he said.”

Well… I didn’t waste any time, I went to his Web site! Continue reading “David A. Paterson, New York Governor, Accessibilista?”