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Re: Accessible _content_ management (was RE: accessible web contact management solution request:)

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 27 Jun 2002 06:36:18 -0400 (EDT)
To: Andrew McFarland <andrew.mcfarland@unite.net>
cc: wai-ig list <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0206270618130.10998-100000@tux.w3.org>

Just a little note - there is a working group dedicated to guidelines and
techniques for making authoring tools, including content management systems
that produce web content, accessible. They are a public group -
http://www.w3.org/WAI/AU - and among other documents produce a techniques
document designed to provide this kind of information -
http://www.w3.org/WAI/AU/ATAG10-TECHS - and would welcome feedback and
further techniques. They also have a mailing list and the archives are
publicly available - http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-au

Anyway, to the question that was asked...

I think it is an issue that it is more difficult to edit templates, in terms
of how useful the tool is. More to the point, if there isn't help and support
for doing this accessible it is clearly an authoring accessibility issue. One
approach that can be taken is to allow users to add pieces to a page in a
structured way, without needing to write code. One tool that I have played
about with recently did this - I don't know how accessible the interface was,
but the basic idea was that you could add sections to a page, pages to a
site, or subsections to a section. Each of these could include some useful
things like images or links.

That model is not uncommon - the question is just how to represent the
existing structure and provide the ability to add a new item at each node of
the structure.

One possibility is to use a heading structure and provide a link at each
point that allows adding a new item. Now that software is readily available
(JAWS implemented it recently, other systems have had it for a while, and
others will I hope catch up soon) to allow people to navigate either via the
structure or via the links, this should be reasonably straightforward. I
would suggest that you make this use some graphics as well as text, although
it probably doesn't have to be very complicated.

A slightly more difficult issue is good interfaces for linking. In general I
have found interfaces in tools unfriendly and hard to understand. The
model that I like is whatI got used to in Amaya, where you select the link,
and then navigate to the target and select that. This could be done using
some server-side processing - transform everything coming through so that
each potential target gets a link added to it which is "make this the target
of the link I am creating" and the rest of the linking (etc) works normally -
this should be robust enough to allow freely linking to content navigated,
but does involve some transforming proxying of the content while the user
navigates to the target.


Charles McCN

On Thu, 27 Jun 2002, Andrew McFarland wrote:

  One thing that does concern me is the editing of the templates. At the
  moment, that is only done through a text editor, and as such it can't
  really be done by non-techies. Is that an accessibility issue?

  I'll see if I get a chance to set up an example site so I can show you what
  I am talking about.


  Andrew McFarland
  UNITE Solutions

Charles McCathieNevile    http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  phone: +61 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative     http://www.w3.org/WAI  fax: +33 4 92 38 78 22
Location: 21 Mitchell street FOOTSCRAY Vic 3011, Australia
(or W3C INRIA, Route des Lucioles, BP 93, 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France)
Received on Thursday, 27 June 2002 06:36:20 UTC

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