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Re: WAI compliant CMS

From: Geoff Deering <geoff@deering.id.au>
Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2005 09:44:41 +1100
Message-ID: <4377C1D9.5050308@deering.id.au>
To: Bruce Aylward <baylward@w3a.co.nz>
CC: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

Bruce Aylward wrote:

> Hello everyone,
> Does anybody know of an opensource CMS that produces very good WAI 
> compliant pages? I know about Plone but the use of Python is 
> presenting a problem. Are there any available based on PHP?
> Thank you,
> Bruce


This is something I am always trying to keep up with, and is also a 
source of great frustration.  I'll offer my thoughts, and I would really 
appreciate anyone jumping in and correcting and/or updating me.

Problems in this area;

   1. Being able to easily abstract one's markup from the CMS and not
      have it all tangled together.
   2. Being able to maintain markup validity with an easy to use WYSIWYG
      editor authoring tool interface so that it is easy for the authors
      to maintain the web site and still have absolute confidence the
      integrity of the mark up will not be compromised.

I kind of lost faith in the attempts of CMSs to address this over the 
years, at the same time I am *amazed* at the progress many have made, 
and that the authoring tool interfaces are improving to such a rate I 
believe we can foresee a future when they could really address ATAG.  
Really, three cheers for the people working on these things.  It's a 
huge effort.

Also, CMSs make a big mistake of putting W3C validation icons on their 
apps, when it's so easy to muck up the templates and not have internals 
clean up the code where the editor gets it wrong.  For every valid Plone 
(or anything else) site out there, I think there are just as many ones 
with icons that are tag soup.

Getting back to the CMSs.

1) I like Drupal, but the more pressure you put it under, and the more 
complex you build a site with it, the more headaches you will have.
2) I think Plone can be used without much need to address Python, but 
real life hosting of Plone is another thing.  PHP/MYSQL will work okay 
on a virtual server, but not Plone.  Plone seems to now be correcting 
it's templating issues, making it easier to insert your own templates 
and designs.  It's not as easy to use (for a web standards designer) as 
the Plone community would like to think.

3) Mambo (and as open source, Joomla), will not remove the invalid 
markup added by the CMS engine until the next major release (last time I 
looked).  Typo3 is in the same boat.

4) If it is a simple CMS, I'd take a look at http://cmsmadesimple.org/.  
I haven't built a working site with it, but built a small one, but it 
has good reports at http://www.mail-archive.com/cms%40webstandardsgroup.org/

5) There are also the CMSs that have evolved out of the Apache Project; 
Lenya and Forrest, but I think they are targeted to special audiences.

6) PhpWebSite is trying to aim at compliance, but I don't like its 

In general, I think you can aim for WAI P1 in most good standard 
compliant CMSs, WAI P2 if you work hard at it, if you can get and 
maintain WAI P3 in a CMS, please let me know how you can do it.  A lot 
of people claim too, but I don't think they really can maintain this 
level within a CMS, at least not without a lot of smart backend scripting.

Regards (in brief)
Geoff Deering
Received on Sunday, 13 November 2005 22:44:53 UTC

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