Archived entries for Accessibility

Internet Explorer and Accessibility

From the IEBlog:

Today I wanted to talk about three aspects of accessibility as they relate to IE and Windows in general. First is access to the Windows OS for individuals with disabilities, second are a couple of hints for users of screen readers using IE in XPSP2 and finally is a request for feedback to help guide our development in IE7 and beyond.

While it’s fun to pan Microsoft, and particularily, in my circles at least, Internet Explorer, I have to give them some credit for leaving comments enabled on their blog. It would be even better if they responded to some of the comments – a comment is more valuable if it initiates dialog – but at least they’re doing an ok job experimenting in the blog space. It can’t be a bad thing.

W3C: Working Draft: CSS3 Backgrounds and Borders

The CSS Working Group has released a Working Draft of CSS3 Backgrounds and Borders Module. The Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) language is used to render structured documents like HTML and XML on screen, on paper and in speech. Replacing two separate CSS3 modules, the draft proposes CSS Level 3 functionality including borders consisting of images and backgrounds with multiple images. (emphasis mine)

It’s great to see work continue in these areas. It’s due to their move to modularity that components can be released independently like this. I know I’m not alone in my excitment at the possibility of better control of backgrounds and borders (since so much of CSS design comes down to backgrounds and border tweaks).

W3C: Specifying the Language of XHTML and HTML Content

The W3C’s Internationalization GEO (Guidelines, Education & Outreach) Working Group has published an updated Working Draft of Specifying the Language of Content. Part of a series designed for authors, the document is an aid to specifying the language of content for an international audience.

This is still a working draft, so comments are welcome!

Evolution vs Revolution in Web Standards

CNet’s Paul Festa filed a story today, Fight over ‘forms’ clouds future of Net applications, with a subhead of “As Net heavyweights vie to define the next generation of Web applications, the Web’s main standards body is facing a revolt within its own ranks over electronic forms, a cornerstone of interactive documents.”

The article sheds some light on the WHAT-WG, as well as some of the players in this general saga. The most interesting section to me:

WHAT-WG members say the forms dispute illustrates a larger conflict over whether the W3C should proceed in a “revolutionary” mode, tackling problems from square one and coming up with technically elegant solutions–even if that results in the loss of backward-compatibility with older browsers–or an “evolutionary” mode, maintaining older technologies like HTML 4 and extending the usefulness of current browsing software.

I also enjoyed Steven Pemberton’s comments:

“The WHAT approach works OK for small examples,” Pemberton said. “But actors like the Department of Defense say ‘no scripting.’”


“I understand where WHAT is coming from, but they are browser makers, not forms experts,” Pemberton said. “It is important to build something that is future-proof and not a Band-Aid solution. Forms (technology) is the basis of the e-commerce revolution and so it is important to do it right.”

[All emphasis mine.]

News from the World Wide Web Consortium

For better or worse, I only catch up on my W3 reading every month or so. That said, here’s the stuff that caught my eye recently:

Browser Speed Comparisons

“There is a speed war on the web. Browsers compete on many fronts; security, standards support, features and speed. Most people are aware of which major browser fails on three of these, but one of them is still open for grabs. Speed.”

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