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Re: PHP

From: Carol Foster <c.foster@umassp.edu>
Date: Fri, 25 Jan 2002 14:13:58 -0500
Message-ID: <3C51AE75.B0FB41A4@umassp.edu>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
David and others,

Apologies for confusion caused for my posting!  Thanks for pointing out my
erroneous description of PHP as a content management system.  Let me try to
be more clear.  Apologies if this goes on too long!

The main reason I have heard for people using PHP (and for my group using
ColdFusion and some other software, like Newspro) is to allow people other
than the Web developers to update content for Web sites, usually through an
online form that is used to enter content into a database of some sort.  For
example, we have built sites that allow marketing people to update news
content, and for faculty and staff to update course information.  This
allows us more time to develop new sites, and it gives control of the
content to people who have the content sooner and who know more about it and
so are less likely to make errors.  So I guess it would be more correct to
say that we have used tools such as ColdFusion to create content management
systems.

As it has been pointed out, it does appear to me that the tools are neutral
with respect to accessibility, and Web developers should know how to create
accessible Web pages, however they create them.  I totally agree with this
(and with the open source movement by the way).

In the case where these tools are used to create content management systems,
though, the responsibility for creating accessible content gets spread
around. We try within the usual constraints to create accessible "templates"
for our sites, and I am always pushing for greater levels of accessibility.
The issue I meant to focus on (and I am very interested in suggestions or
how others handle it) is how best to maintain the accessibility of content
added by people not trained as Web developers, maybe a lot of them, maybe
with a lot of change in who does this, people who are in marketing or course
administration, for example.  Typically (so far for our sites anyway) they
enter only text and occasional links.  We can tell them about clear and
simple language and meaningful link text, but should we give them more
complete training?  Or constrain what they are allowed to put in?  Ideally,
we would write our content management system to the WAI Web Authoring Tool
specs, but it is pretty complicated, and I don't think we could get the
resources approved to do that.  We had thought of adding a help file, and I
liked Paul's suggestions of tying in to an accessibility checker or making
publication of new content dependent on the updater indicating that they had
checked for accessibility.  Any other ideas?  What are others out there
doing to address this?

Thanks,
Carol

"David M. Clark" wrote:

> Carol,
>
> From my perspective, this response is misleading and biased. The crux of
> the issue is not understanding what PHP is, and the whole open-source
> movement is about.

Carol Foster, Web Developer
University of Massachusetts, President's Office
http://www.umass-its.net/ipg
Received on Friday, 25 January 2002 14:12:53 GMT

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