MOMENTUM BUILDS FOR OPEN CONTENT MANAGEMENT STANDARD
You find the perfect Content Management System for your unit's web site and along comes another one that looks even better. Do you change everything over to the newer, more viable one or hope the old one gets updated soon.
Well, in the coming months most CMS vendors will agree on a standard that can make future changes easier to handle.
The specification, which is being developed under the auspices of standards body OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards), is supported by the content management industry's biggest players, including EMC, Adobe, Microsoft, Open Text, IBM and SAP.
EXPRESSION WEB 3: YOUR NEW PHP TOOL KIT
Whether you're a PHP beginner or think of yourself a seasoned pro the newest edition of Expression Web (or Expression Studio) from Microsoft (remember FrontPage?) may make one think again about ditching Dreamweaver. (Wikipedia says (the originator coined PHP from Personal Home Page then later developers referred to the recursive initialism PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor.)
An article by SitePoint's Raena Jackson Armitage is actually an extensive tutorial full of screenshots and extras walking you through the tools and trial version of EW3, which includes a clever quiz at the end.
Of course, make sure your server contains the proper PHP elements first. Then, start here.
BROWSER SIZE: A TOOL TO SEE HOW OTHERS VIEW YOUR WEBSITE
If you've been a web developer or maintainer for very long you've realized the need to make the most of your site's first impression. Besides a theme or "look" that's attractive and consistent important content should appear at or near the top of the browser window. But because computer monitors (my 24" gives me a wider than normal view) and browsers present your site differently it may be hard gauge just where to place certain elements for all to see.
Google labs has come up with an online tool to make that chore easier - Browser Size.
In his blog, Bruno Bowden, Senior Software Engineer at Google shares his expertise about placing important content "above the fold" and how Browser Size can help.
CAUTION: This exercise could make you change your mind about center justifying web sites.
MAKING THE INTERNET ACCESSIBLE TO THE DISABLED
Quoting a FOXNews.com article, "There are more than 50 million people in the U.S. with disabilities, including blindness, hearing-impairments, mobility difficulties and cognitive and neurological problems."
Several years ago the World Wide Web Consortium, which develops standards for the web, issued guidelines to help you create more accessible sites. The federal government also stepped in with Section 508, making a strong suggestion for certain institutions that receive government funding to make their sites accessible.
Then, last year the National Federation of the Blind won $6 million lawsuit for its plaintiffs in California because many links on Target Stores' website were unintelligible to screen-reading software. Apple Inc. also reached an agreement with the state of Massachusetts to alter the program iTunes to make it accessible to the blind.
Are you beginning to see how important it is to make your site "accessible?"
MacWorld Expo – Feb. 9-13 in San Francisco – www.macworldexpo.com/
EduCause Southwest Regional Conference – Feb. 17-19 in Austin TX – http://net.educause.edu/content.asp?SECTION_ID=451
In Control 2010 Orlando Web Design Workshop Conference – Feb. 22-23 in Orlando – 2010.incontrolconference.com/
EduRG Conference: Future of Education & Technology – Feb. 27-28 in Phoenix – www.edurg.com/events/