Archive for the “web standards” Category

More CSS Drop Shadows For All Browsers

Thanks to the unstoppable advancements of web standards aiding mankind to overcome the real burdens of the 21st century, adding drop shadows to boxes became much easier in recent years! No more PNG background images! Leaving the question aside whether drop shadows are really progressive and appropriate for a flat medium (anybody remember the fad of “3D” bulging buttons in the 1990ies?), I was confronted with the challenge of adding box shadows in Internet Explorer for a client project. […]

Guest Lecture on Accessibility

Last week I was invited to hold a guest lecture at the Johannes Gutenberg-University of Mainz about accessible websites. After the successful barcamp at the University of Mainz in November the executive director of the institute for informatics at that time, Prof. Dr. Herbert Göttler, had the idea to continue that contact. So now there is a small series of talks about current Internet practices. […]

Web Performance Optimization (WPO)

Yesterday I held a talk at the Webmontag in Frankfurt about web performance optimization. According to the prophecy WPO will become an industry like SEO in the near future. Tenni Theurer and Steve Souders began to examine the performance of websites at Yahoo! in 2003, I learned about it in 2006 from Nate Koechley and subsequently blogged about it. […]

HTML 5 Accessibility at SXSW Interactive

SXSW is an enormous web conference in Austin / Texas with hundreds of panels squeezed into four days. The panelpicker application opened today and yours truly is hosting a panel on HTML 5 Accessibility. Please vote for me and twitter about it! If the panel is chosen I’d like to invite a few people (will […]

HTML 5 Haiku Contest

When I saw this picture of Bruce Lawson taken in a very poetic pose at London’s Standards.Next meetup, I remembered a haiku contest my favorite record label Bloody Fist hosted during the 2000 Australian Summer Olympics. People were asked to write haikus about the Olympic Games, and I almost wet myself reading some of the entries. […]

European Accessibility Forum Frankfurt

So it’s been a little quiet here, the reason is that I’ve been busy organizing the European Accessibility Forum Frankfurt on March 27th. The main idea is to present leading innovators and their perspectives on eAccessibility from the technical, political, and economic side. Experts on seven panels will briefly describe their own work and their view of accessibility and then discuss the issues. […]

Accessibility Day in Vienna

Last week I talked at the Vienna Accessibility Day (“A-Tag”) about the emerging W3C standard for Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA). I half expected a crowd of suits as the event was co-organized by the Austrian Ministry of Health, Family and Youth, instead there were many young faces and a fair percentage of women. […]

Upcoming Talks: ARIA and Canvas

Allow me a little self-promotion while pointing you to interesting conferences where I will hold presentations. […]

@media 2008

I had the chance to visit the @media conference in London again, for the third time. Again it was different than the last times. Perhaps less spectacular, a little less people, no real revelation. There were excellent talks inside the halls, but the best talks happened outside. Like speaking with Nate Koechley about […]

Farewell, XML declaration

The XML declaration is not required as long as you encode in UTF-8 or UTF-16, you are only strongly encouraged to use it. So as long we are stuck with IE6 I will refrain from using it. […]

W3C Mobile Web Best Practices Course

In what is to my knowledge the first W3C online course, the Mobile Web Initiative offers a free introduction to mobile web best practices starting May 18th 26th. […]

Crowdsourcing YouTube Video Captioning

When Chris Heilmann had the splendid idea to add captioning to YouTube videos with Google’s JavaScript API, I asked myself if there wasn’t a better way. There is, but to my surprise neither YouTube nor Yahoo! Video take advantage of that capability. […]

Oh, won’t somebody please think of the children!

A little known W3C standard is the Platform of Internet Content Selection (PICS). PICS is a system for self-labeling. Think of an early predecessor of the Semantic Web. Or in microformats it would be hPorn. […]

Accessible Rich Internet Applications Update

Gez Lemon and I had our core conversation at South by Southwest (SXSW) on Sunday, and it went really well. No wonder, we had Shawn Henry from W3C WAI in the audience as well as Lisa Pappas who is one of the authors or WAI ARIA, plus Becky Gibson from IBM who initiated the whole thing with Rich Schwerdtfeger a couple of years ago. […]

Accessibility Tools for Quality Assurance: Color Contrast

Accessibility testing tools are great for quality assurance (QA), even when the website doesn’t have to be accessible. For example, color contrast is a very subjective thing. It depends on technical factors like the quality and settings of the screen, environmental factors like glaring sunlight, and the physical abilities of the person viewing it. It’s literally subjective in the eye of the designer. Color contrast analyzers give us an impression how fore- and background colors are perceivable by other people. […]

The XHTML Access Module

I would like to introduce the XHTML Access Module, a new working draft released by the XHTML 2 Working Group of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The module is intended to improve accessibility and extend XHTML Roles. […]

The Dalai Lama and Microformats

His Holiness the Dalai Lama visits the Hessenpark near Frankfurt on September 22, and as our agency is involved in the organization of that event, we sponsored the website Friends for a Friend. […]

@media 2007 Wrap-Up

Sum-up of the @media conference in London that I attended June 7th-8th, 2007. Read about Jesse James Garret’s keynote, passionate evangelists, and how to get great design ideas on the loo […]

@media 2007 Slides

Like last year I will try to link all presentation slides and podcasts from the @media conference in London, June 7th-8th, 2007. I hope you find it as convenient as I do. […]

When Accessibility is Not Your Problem

Joe Clark’s talk at London’s @media was the most controversial today. To add insult to injury, there was no time for comments or questions from the audience. […]

Raising the Standards: European Accessibility Guidelines

At the dawn of a new version of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and the inevitable ensuing updates of national anti-discrimination laws and eAccessibility guidelines, it is time to review the state of current accessibility legislation. There are two generations of models: one that sticks to the book, and another with a more holistic approach. […]


Web 2.0 applications can enhance usability, alas a lot of issues remain to make them accessible. Gez Lemon has come up with scripting solutions to inform screen readers about the change of content, but when I talked with Jan Eric Hellbusch he deemed it rather confusing because the user’s work flow is interrupted. The W3C’s standards draft for Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) addresses those limitations. I held talks about the upcoming standards in Cologne and Frankfurt, which resulted in writing a blog entry about the topic that eventually became an article for A List Apart. […]

WaSP International Outreach

The Web Standards Project (WaSP) has a new International Liaison Group (ILG) of which I’m a member now. […]

XHTML 1.1 Second Edition with Target Attribute

When I switched from HTML 4 to XHTML 1.1 a couple of years ago, I soon found the target attribute was missing. I have never been in love with the target attribute anyway, but some clients insisted that their links should open in a new window. So I did some research. […]

First European e-Accessibility Forum

The First European e-Accessibility Forum in Paris was organized on January 29th by the French accessibility initiative BrailleNet in cooperation with the European Design for All e-Accessibility Network (EDeAN). Some 270 participants attended the conference. There were some remarkable presentations and a couple of things I would like to share with you. […]

Reforming HTML

Many good people have expressed their concern about the state of the W3C. Tim Berners-Lee responded earlier, now he announced reforms in his blog. […]

To Hell with Joe Clark

Joe Clark’s article “To Hell with WCAG 2” was an eye-opener. It raised critical awareness for the last-call W3C working draft, which lead to the extension of the comments period. Still the degree of concern and fear didn’t need to be raised. He exaggerated many issues, distorted them by omission, or in some cases he’s plain wrong. […]

Best Practices in Web Development

Roger Johansson and Sean Fraser recently reviewed websites which were submitted for the CSS Reboot Spring 2006, and they seemed to be quite shocked when 71.8% failed to validate. While this is sobering and to a degree surprising — one might expect better results from CSS aware developers on a relaunch — it confirmed my own results from reviewing a couple of high profile websites for clients. […]

@media 2006 Slides and Notes

All available slides from the @media conference in London are linked on the write-up pages, but for your convience (and mine) I gathered them here. […]

My @media 2006 Day Two

Day two of the @media conference included talks about microformats, Yahoo!’s new technical strategies, browser memory leaks and performance tweaks, some information about accessibility, the mobile web, and meeting Molly Holzschlag. […]

My @media 2006 Day One

@media is a web conference in London with a focus on web standards and accessibility, and impossible to google. I missed last year’s conference, thus I was looking forward to finally meet all the people whose articles, web publications and more recently blogs provided my literature and inspiration for the past seven years or so. […]