Monday, 29 June 2015

Opinion: Is the RSS feed Extinct?

RSS: according to which definition you prefer, it's either Rich Site Summary, RDF Site Summary, Really Simple Syndication or Rarely Seems Synchronised (OK,  I made that one up). Essentially it's a family of standard web feed formats to publish frequently updated information: blog entries, news headlines, audio, video.

RSS has been around since 1991, first used for the Netscape Portal, so is coming up for a quarter-century old. The question then, is RSS extinct?

Thursday, 25 June 2015

How-to: Create Accessible Web Tables Part I

Image: wooden table If you look back at the first twenty-five years of HTML mark-up for tables on the web, you will see the original mark-up was quite basic, with little regard for assistive technologies such as screen readers; at the beginning they didn't exist.

Add to this the difficulties of laying out information and graphics on a screen. In the early days before proper styling of HTML, web designers would obsessively render whole sites using tables for every page because that was the only way to consistently reproduce their artistic masterpieces in different web-browsers. Mostly.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

How-to Understand Access Keys Part II - Yes or No?

In How-to Understand Access Keyes part one, we looked at Access Keys, what they are for, how they work and th UK government recommendations for standard Access Keys.

In 2004, a standard emerged using numbers, which promotes consistency for users, and the
increased predictability of keyboard shortcuts on different sites. These include, for example, 1 to go to the homepage, 4 for search, 9 for contact, and others.

Now things get more lively; are they a good idea and should you implement them? This is exactly what I found myself asking in an accessibility review this week.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

How-to: Understand Access Keys Part I - Usage

Access keys enable a user to navigate a site using keyboard short-cuts, improving both the usability and accessibility of a website. Or so the theory goes.

The access key attribute, introduced in HTML4.0 and promoted as a government standard, provides for keyboard short-cuts as an alternative form of navigation. This addition allows users with limited physical capabilities to navigate a website more easily.

Also known as "Accelerator Keys", "Shortcut Keys" or "Accesskeys", they can be used in most browsers, and work as short-cuts to enable people to navigate a site using a keyboard. Every browser treats these differently, some shifting focus to the link specified, and some activating the link as though it were clicked on... so the theory goes. You know what's coming next...

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

How-to: Team Building the Inclusive Way

Baboons on a fence by Meneer Zjeroen (Creative Commons) via FlickrTeam Building used to consist of everyone piling into a room, death by PowerPoint from our Glorious Leaders and thinly veiled threats of what would happen if we didn't shut up, get on with it and meet the expected Mission Impossible revenue/savings/productivity/overtime targets.

These days we have to be more inclusive.

How do you balance a productive day of activities to encourage collaboration, discipline and commitment to shared values, with some element of fun that will suit everyone? And how, without a three-line whip and the threat of penalties for die-hard opters-out, do you avoid ritually humiliating one or several members of staff with an experience akin to a mandatory fourth-grade cross-country run in your underpants?

Humour: Facebook wish-list

Facbook wish-list

We can but dream… RC

Monday, 1 June 2015

New: Full Circle Magazine issue 97 out now

The team at Full Circle magazine is pleased to announce the release of Issue 97.

This month:
  • Command & Conquer
  • How-To: Run Android Apps in Ubuntu, LibreOffice, Using LaTeX, and Programming JavaScript
  • Graphics: Inkscape. 
  • Chrome Cult
  • Linux Labs: IP Camera with Powerline Adapter 
  • Ubuntu Phones
  • Review: KDE Plasma 5 
  • Ubuntu Games: This War of Mineplus: News, Arduino, Q&A, and so much more.