WordPress’ comment form tabindex no-no

Edit the tabindex values in your Wordpress theme to improve accessibility

I came across some particularly annoying tabindex behaviour on a web form I was using (or trying to use) the other day, which got me thinking more about how tabindex should be used.

Continue reading “WordPress’ comment form tabindex no-no”

Ampersand validation issues with Joomla

Joomla! is, in many ways, a great CMS. One of its shortcomings, however, is that it has been slow to adopt web standards, which frequently manifests itself in annoying validation issues with generated XHTML and XML feeds. These issues are usually fairly easily overcome, but it would be nice if you didn’t have to worry about them in the first place.

The default WYSIWYG editor, for instance, seems to purposely prevent you from entering your ampersands (&) as & which is required for XHTML validation. The way around this is simply to use a different editor; namely, JCE, or the Joomla! Content Editor. JCE will, among other nice features, automatically appropriately encode your typed ampersands, making it easier to ensure your code validates.

One annoying “feature” I’ve encountered with JCE so far, though, is the inability to insert empty alt attributes. Often, particularly in the case of an icon that is more than adequately explained by surrounding text, adding alt text would actually just be at best redundant and at worst confusing to people using screenreaders. However, to validate, you have to include an empty alt attribute (alt=""). JCE doesn’t seem to like this, and will strip your empy alt attribute. I’m sure there is a relatively simple hack to circumvent this.

Incorporating web standards into your design brief or RFP

Working on a design brief for a radical makeover of the website at work, and have been doing a bit of digging around into how people specify web standards in their project specs. Came across this post from quite a while ago, and ended up using it as sort of a template, with some modifications:

Usability, accessibility and standards

  • The website will conform to the following standards:
    • Validation to either the W3C XHTML 1.0 transitional or strict document type
    • Validation to the W3C’s CSS 2.1 or 1.0
    • JavaScript will be implemented as progressive enhancement
    • Will meet all WCAG Priority 1 Guidelines, except No. 1
  • The website will render correctly in IE6+ and Firefox 2+
  • All multimedia files will be available for download, and video will be provided via Flash
  • Alternative stylesheets will be developed for printers and mobile devices
  • Character encoding will be UTF-8

This is still not solidified, and I may decide to put HTML 4 in along with XHTML, though my preference is for the latter (for more on developing with XHTMl, see Jeffrey Zeldman’s “Better living Through XHTML at A List Apart). Continue reading “Incorporating web standards into your design brief or RFP”