Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Plone Sprinting

A Plone 'sprint' took place recently which can only be good news for those of us who already know about Plone's strengths and capabilities. It's definitely good news for my own company, Hobo Internet, as we use Plone as the basis for all the content managed websites that we deliver.

Events like this reinforce the fact that Plone is now a serious contender in the content management 'arena' and further demonstrate the continuing rise of open source as a viable and, sometimes, highly desirable alternative to proprietary software.

Read the Stanford Daily's report about the Plone sprint.

Monday, November 14, 2005

d.Construct-ing Web 2.0

I went to the d.Construct Web 2.0 conference at Fabrica last Friday. An interesting mix of ideas about what Web 2.0 is and where it's going with plenty of good stuff including:
The conference was organised by clear:left. The podcasts of the conference weren't ready when I wrote this but MP3 versions of some of the talks are available.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

More fuel for the Firefox

10% of top UK websites don't display properly in Firefox and other standards-based browsers, according to a recent survey. Now this isn't news to me - I see the evidence of it every day - but research like this helps me to convince our clients that standards-based development is the way to go.

The company that carried out the survey also recommended that anyone considering a redesign of their website should consider using an open source content management system like Plone, which is nice because this is exactly what we do at Hobo Internet.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Re-thinking web accessibility

For us web developers who tick the accessibility box by running our sites through WebExact (formerly Bobby) and an HTML validator, it may be time to review our thinking on this.

A paper about the application of web accessibility guidelines is calling for a revised approach which bears more relation to 'real world' situations than that offered by the existing Web Accessibility Initiative guidelines.

Better blog links, please

I know that blogging's all about making it simple for everyone to post their thoughts and link to things they find interesting on the web, but wouldn't most blog postings be more useful and usable if a little bit more thought went into the link text?

The worst example of bad linking is using 'click here' as the link text, especially when there's more than one 'click here' in the posting and they link to different places.

A good way of judging whether or not links are usable is to imagine how the post would look if everything apart from the links was stripped away leaving just the links in a list. If they make sense out of context, they're probably ok.

Using the "title" attribute of an HTML anchor tag can also improve the usability and accessibility of links. This does involve getting your fingers dirty in a bit of HTML coding but the benefits are worth it. There's more about this in Jakob Nielson's article, Using Link Titles to Help Users Predict Where They Are Going.