Web Standards Map

Monday, November 5th, 2007

I just found this through one of the mailing lists I subscribe to. It’s a map that covers technologies on the web. It mentions Mordorsoft and Google’s All Seeing Eye, it’s worth checking out:



508 standards from a first-person perspective

Friday, August 10th, 2007

This video is a must see (no pun intended) for all who are interested in learning how to build 508 compliant code.

Yahoo! engineer Victor Tsaran introduces you to the fundamentals of the screen reader experience and to his own strategies for accessing web content via the screen-reader interface.

Victor Tsaran: An Introduction to Screen Readers

W3C Validator gets an update

Thursday, July 26th, 2007

The thing is getting swamped at the moment, but I hadn’t seen this option before but theres “Clean up Markup with HTML Tidy” available.


Getting P3P, IE and Privacy Policy Settings in Place

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

What is P3P?

P3P is a combination of a machine-readable and human-readable website privacy policy. The standard today is to publish a text privacy policy, but in reality who reads them? They are almost always hard to find and lengthy to read. P3P is supposed to solve this problem.

A P3P implementation consists of two files, an XML formatted document that will be read by the web browser. This XML file contains machine readable statements about how and why the website needs you to accept cookies. The other part consists of a regular, compact, privacy statement formatted in regular HTML.

How does a policy affect the web browser?

When the web browser is presented with a cookie (1st or 3rd party) that either does not have a P3P policy, or if the P3P polity does not match the user’s privacy preferences, the user will be alerted and the cookie will be blocked.

IE6/7 Red Eyeball

Both versions of IE come with a medium privacy setting. A medium setting is described as:

  • Blocks third-party cookies that do not have a compact privacy policy
  • Blocks third-party cookies that save information that can be used to contact you without your explicit consent
  • Restricts first-party cookies that save information that can be used to contact you without your implicit consent

When any of the above items gets triggered, the user gets prompted, IE6 and 7 both flash a red eyeball icon located in the status bar:


For Intervals, we wanted it to disappear, simply because our application is a hosted solution and required cookies in order to function properly. Implementing P3P allowed us to extend our normal HTML privacy policy as well as giving our customers a little more flexibility on what cookies they want to accept.

Our solution consisted of the addition of an HTTP P3P header which points to an XML Reference file. The HTTP header itself contains the compact version of the XML policy, it usually transforms into something like:


Each code corresponds to a certain statement. NOI for example means: No personally identifiable information (PII) collected.


There are many ways to get this implemented, you can either do it yourself or go the service route. I’d say the biggest task is getting your actual privacy policy settings into an XML reference file. Visit some of the links below for more information, the implementations link especially.

Useful Links


Safari for Windows

Monday, June 11th, 2007

I am currently writing this post on Safari on XP. The first thing I did was to check the navigator.userAgent js property.

I don’t know about everyone else out there, but seeing “Windows NT” and “Safari” in a userAgent property is something that I didn’t expect. It gives me both the creeps as well as a little excitement on what’s to come. Excitement would be more users submitting bugs to apple on this browsers crappy editable html javascript implementation, maybe this will get AppleWebKit to fix the bugs faster. What gives me the creeps is it gives me another platform our websites should run under… bittter sweet.

You can download the public beta here.

Update: It seems like most of the showstopper bugs are fixed with this version. With just a little push this very might well be a very good release.

UPDATE II: So I can’t maximize Safari on my RIGHT MONITOR… it just dissapears. Is that Apple trying to send a political subliminal message? ;)

12 Lessons for Those Afraid of CSS and Standards

Monday, October 16th, 2006

Here’s a great primer for developers who are interested in writing compliant css and html:

…the best thing you can do is give yourself a clean slate. Throw out your assumptions and expectations. For that matter, throw out everyone’s assumptions and expectations. Roll up your sleeves and learn something new. When it comes to layout and production, resolve to remove “but”? and “should”? from your professional vocabulary for a while. Replace them with “how”? and “why”? and commit to meeting your project objectives.

  1. Everything you know is wrong… sort of…
  2. It’s not going to look exactly the same everywhere unless you’re willing to face some grief… and possibly not even then
  3. You will be forced to choose between the ideal and the practicable
  4. Perfection is not when there’s nothing to add, but when there’s nothing to take away
  5. Some sites are steaming heaps of edge cases
  6. Longer lead times are inevitable
  7. Coherent and sensible source order is the best of Good Things
  8. Descendant selectors are the beginning and end of genuinely powerful CSS rules
  9. In the real world, stylesheet hacks will get your project across the finish line
  10. Working around rendering bugs is like playing Whack-a-Mole
  11. When you’re drowning in CSS layout problems, make sure of the width and height of the water, float without putting up a struggle, and get clear of the problems
  12. Background images will make the difference between the plain and the tastefully embellished


Monday, February 27th, 2006

Listamatic is a list definitions repository.

You can view many different types of list definitions here. It just goes to show you the many different ways in which you can write a list through CSS. You can submit your own for others to use as well.

99.9% of Websites Are Obsolete

Tuesday, September 10th, 2002

In the latest versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator, and Mozilla (the Open Source, Gecko-based browser whose code drives Netscape Navigator, CompuServe, and other browsing environments), carefully constructed layouts have begun falling apart and expensively engineered behaviors have stopped working. As these leading browsers evolve, site performance continues to deteriorate.


Why Web Standards Matter

Wednesday, September 4th, 2002

A common misconception among many web developers, especially those in the library community, is that a web site must sacrifice a highly designed look in order to be accessible. This is not true. In fact, many sophisticated design elements subtle use of color, multimedia, careful use of large images that some accessibility advocates reject can be profound accessibility enhancements for a general audience. They do not diminish a disabled user’s experience if they are handled properly. If developers build a highly designed site according to web standards and accessibility guidelines, the site will still be accessible.


Modifying Dreamweaver to Produce Valid XHTML

Wednesday, March 27th, 2002

PROBLEM: DREAMWEAVER 4 FALLS SHORT in its ability to produce wellformed, standardscompliant markup.

SOLUTION: You can easily harness Dreamweaver’s two greatest strengths, its flexibility and its user community, to make it one of the best tools on the market for producing good XHTML. This article will tell you how. With a few tweaks, hacks and extensions, you’ll be able to produce sites that validate, and to clean up legacy pages. Set aside an hour or two, follow these directions, and fall in love with Dreamweaver all over again.