Webmasters Committee Meeting Minutes
March 13, 2007
Present: Charlie Kerlee, Jill Lenz, Erin Napier, Linda Tarnoff, Merry Wright.
Guest: Craig Spooner from the Access Project and the Department of Occupational Therapy.
Merry Wright, Chair, started the meeting at 9:10 am
HTML Validation - Lessons Learned
- Linda - With over 100 pages to validate in the "cvmbs" folder, Linda found the same error on many pages, many of them having to do with nested lists. She found it's better to validate a page and get it error-free before using the page as a boiler-plate to create a new page, to avoid replicating the error on multiple new pages. Also, when you use anchors, they cannot have spaces, commas, parenthesis, etc.
- Merry - Small mistakes can be made when in a hurry to update content so if we slow down and check each page for validation errors when done, it's easier to catch a small error on one page than the overwhelming task of validating all pages at once.
Semantics: Structuring Page Content
A brief review of this topic is available at http://www.webaim.org/techniques/semanticstructure/ for those who missed the meeting.
Tools We Reviewed
- W3C markup validator’s extended interface at http://validator.w3.org/detailed.html to "Show Outline"
- W3C Semantic Data Extractor at http://www.w3.org/2003/12/semantic-extractor.html
- Mozilla Accessibility Extension* (by Illinois Center for Instructional Technology Accessibility) available for download at https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/1891/. We reviewed the following options:
- "FAE (Functional Accessibility Evaluator) Report" from under the Tools Tab
- "Headings" from under the Navigation Tab
- Firefox's Web Developer Add-on*, available for download at https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/60/. This is a favorite tool of Craig's. We reviewed the following options:
- "View Document Outline" from under the Information Tab
- "Replace Images with Alt Attributes" from under the Images Tab
- "Edit CSS" from under the CSS Tab
- "Validate HTML" and "Validate CSS" under the Tools Tab
Comments from Craig Spooner
- Not only do users of Assistive Technology access web page content through the use of headers as a quick way to sort though information, but most of us will be using voice recognition software to browse web pages in the future. Having pages marked up semantically allows users to hear a list of headings, avoiding having all the content read back to them. For example, newer cars will have voice interaction devices that will speak information back to drivers, for example driving directions.
- Craig Spooner and Cath Kilcommons from the CSU Access Project have a learning module on "Web Accessibility Tests Using Firefox and WAVE" with more details of how Firefox can check accessibility posted at http://accessproject.colostate.edu/modules/firefox/index.htm. They have presented this module for Computing Training Support and Services (CTSS) and the Professional Development Institute (PDI) in the past.
- Follow-up note from Craig: Thanks for inviting me to the meeting. Here are more Firefox Extensions I think you'll enjoy, check out the following:
- ColorZilla (kind of fun)
- Document Map (another way to view the hierarchy of page headers)
- IE View (a quick way to switch to IE to view a page. Can be set to ALWAYS view certain pages in IE, if desired)
- LinkChecker (a quick way to validate links on a single page)
- MeasureIt (kind of fun)
- Screen grab! (uses Java to take a screen shot of the window, the viewport, or the entire document from top to bottom)
- View Source Chart (this is the one I think you'll really like!)
* You will need a free version of the Firefox Web browser installed before you start installing Firefox Add-ons and Extensions, free download available at http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/.
The meeting concluded at 10:00 am.
The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 10th, 9:00-10:00 am, Environmental Health Building Conference Room 120. Merry provided a map with a note showing the most convenient door for close entry.
Minutes submitted by Jill Lenz.
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