Skip to content →

Category: News

Reviewing an authoring tool

I was going to do an evaluation of an authoring tool, but the WAI have thought of it already at

I found that the reviews were all a little outdated and I didn’t get a definite conclusion from any review. So I finally decided to go ahead and check out an authoring tool myself. I went for the markup editor developed in collaboration with the W3C, Amaya. It’s a WYSIWYG editor/browser. Many distributions are available. I will be looking at the Windows one.

I opened an existing file that I know is made to standard and it came out all distorted. I then created a page from scratch. I must admit that I’m not used to any kind of authoring tool. I have been using Notepad++ for a while. So it was a little strange. At first it took me some time to get used to the application itself, but after a while of playing with it, it was fairly simple to use. I did a trivial page with a menu, an unordered list, a form and an image.
Page done with Amaya

Page done with authoring tool Amaya
Page done with authoring tool Amaya

Formatting done to some text resulted in inlining style, there were extra open and close paragraphs, inserting the image required to enter an alternative text, and as for the other elements they were pretty intuitive.

It’s clear that you still need to know some basic concepts in web standards to make any web page complaint or accessible. This tool might be good for someone just starting, but I think I’ll just stay with my simple text editor.

Leave a Comment

Examples of assistive technologies

So I saw this story on the news by Chris Brown and was happy to learn that assistive technologies are being researched actively in Canadian Universities.  The University of Victoria has a unit named CanAssist, they develop technologies and provide services for people with disabilities. Naturally this is relevant in terms of web accessibility because a lot of these devices interact with computers. I encourage you to read their technology showcase as it describes the uses of these technologies by people with different types of disabilities. For example, instead of using a mouse for navigation, it is possible to use one’s mouth. And as the news piece revealed, the team of researchers have created a device that detects the movement of the pupils and allows the cursor to move accordingly. Pretty ingenious!

It is obvious that these researchers and developers are not waiting for websites to get their act together in terms of web accessibility, but it just proves that this demographic has the possibility to access the world wide web. We can all make it a little bit easier for researchers to make these products more effective by implementing WCAG.

Watch the video entitled “Communication Research” at the CBC. Unfortunately, this video has no caption and thus not accessible.

Leave a Comment

Forget CSS Opacity for now

It’s been trendy for a while now to play with transparency to simulate layers, but guess what? Yeap, you know it. It’s not valid under CSS2.

Stuff like opacity: .4 -moz-opacity: .4 filter: alpha(opacity=40) for the moment out of the question. We all have to wait patiently until CSS3. Yeah you heard me CSS3. If you did’t know, CSS2 is the current cascading style sheet language recognized by most of your browsers and it’s getting a face lift. Alas, the due date is unknown at this point.

If you want more information on this check out these important websites:

Leave a Comment