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Re: portals

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@sidar.org>
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 2003 00:30:37 +0200
Cc: <tcroucher@netalleynetworks.com>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
To: <gdeering@acslink.net.au>
Message-Id: <346178E8-FAA8-11D7-A532-000A958826AA@sidar.org>

Almost four years of work on Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines 
(or http://www.w3.org/TR/ATAG10 or ATAG) convinced me that we will 
achieve accessible Web Content shortly after we achieve CMS systems 
which don't rely much on forms, providing proper WYSIWYG interfaces for 
structured Hypertext editing. Amaya is the closest I have seen, 
although it is hard for people to get used to the interface. Other 
common tools such as Composer, Dreamweaver, Word / OpenOffice and 
FrontPage are getting there from the other side - they have comfortable 
user interfaces, but their output (as produced by a "plain" user) is 
pretty ordinary.

I am also convinced that this is not a pipe dream, just something that 
takes some hard work and therefore some time...

CMS systems are like other authoring tools - if they don't provide 
real, helpful, and insistent but not frustrating guidance to the author 
there is not much likelihood of getting good content out, since I do 
think it is a pipe dream to teach every author to follow WCAG. Of 
course that doesn't mean WCAG is pointless - it is an essential basis 
without which ATAG would not have been possible, and it is something 
that motivated and skilled authors can readily use despite the current 
lack of ATAG-compliant tools, to produce reasonably accessible content.



On Thursday, Oct 9, 2003, at 23:30 Europe/Zurich, Geoff Deering wrote:

>> From a W3C standards and WAI view, this is one of the most difficult 
>> areas to address in CMSs, as we can't assume that the author has or 
>> should have any knowledge of any publishing standards.  Ideally all 
>> they want is an authoring tool that will allow them to view their 
>> content in the style of the document to be published and mark it up 
>> like in Word, Dreamweaver, FrontPage, whatever, and the content 
>> owners have complete confidence that documents are correctly marked 
>> up.
> I want to be able to set up CMSs and give authors an easy interface to 
> publish to whose only knowledge of digital content is either web forms 
> or a WYSIWYG editor.
> It's still pipedream at the moment, but people are working on it.  But 
> what you are saying here about Plone are great initiatives.
> Geoff
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Tom Croucher
> Geoff is right on many of these points, a major problem in CMS is
> maintaining standards of content authored by empowered non-web 
> designers.
> This causes problems because of the way a lot of users see web 
> authoring
> as similar to word processing.
> Plone has several things in the pipeline to deal with this. The first 
> of
> which is the soon to be integrated Epoz editor. This is a WYSIWYG get
> editor which works with the IE and Moz WYSIWYG widgets. The team who 
> work
> on that have spent a lot of time on ensuring that all the code is 
> have also been consulted to help them develop a system which enforces 
> an
> administator set site policy. So for example if an adminstrator chooses
> WCAG-AA compliance as the site policy the editor should remind people 
> to
> enter necessary information to comply with that (obviously it can't be
> enforced since not everything _needs_ an alt tag, so some things that
> might may not get one), the aim being to make it harder for people to
> ignore information they might need to add it. There is also a 
> word-paste
> feature which captures word pastes and strips it clean as it goes in
> rather than retroactively doing it. This helps the user see what is 
> really
> going on, since there is always the risk that the look of the content
> might be changed.
> I am also working to develop an accessibility assistant which plugs 
> into
> the workflow system. This would help people run queries on individual
> pages before publishing or allow audits of an entire site. The workflow
> system is very powerful and it is easly conceavable that people could 
> be
> stopped from publishing content on the site until someone reponsible 
> for
> accessibility has ok'd it. Alternatively the accessibility checker 
> could
> allow them to sign their name to a report of the checked elements, so 
> if
> inaccessible pages are published someone is accountable. This fits in 
> very
> much with the Plone ethos of standards and style enforcement. In our a
> community there is a big move towards using the most current standards 
> and
> best practice, and helping our users to use them too with guides and
> tools. Almost all the tools we produce have some kind of "online" help.
> There are probably a few more things going on which would help this if
> anyone is interest there are people who can answer such questions on 
> the
> #plone IRC channel on the irc.freenode.net servers.
> Tom
Charles McCathieNevile                          Fundación Sidar
charles@sidar.org                                http://www.sidar.org
Received on Thursday, 9 October 2003 18:31:38 UTC

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