Sitepoint Forums contest winners announced, under-the-hood changes recently made around here.
A Design Review
I don’t know what the official contest policy is on the original designers re-using these, but Patrick H. Lauke’s example design Gothic found its way into the Zen Garden as Gothica so I’m inclined to think it’ll be alright.
That being said, Ray Henry with his fabulous reh3 and even more fabulous Deadend Prophecy had better get in touch with me after the results are in. That is, if, for some very very strange reason he doesn’t sweep the contest. You may remember Ray’s existing Zen Garden design Backyard. Beautiful work, all three. §
A Technical Review
With any luck, you haven’t noticed: I’ve been doing a lot of tweaking under the hood around here, and I think it’s about time to mention a few things.
I’m now employing Pixy’s absolutely brilliant CSS rollovers on the right. Where before there was a slight blink as the image loaded upon first mouseover, now there’s a completely seamless transition.
5.0 browsers should handle this site a little better. IE5/Win was never much of a problem, but there are still a few tiny little quirks yet. IE5/Mac was a complete disaster, and thanks to some help from Alicia Lane (and a gentle nudge to actually do something about it), I’ve sanitized the majority of the blast radius. There are still problems, but at the very least it’s somewhat usable now.
Search is (finally) coming. I have to do some major work on the templates, but I’ve got the functionality started. Now to figure out where to put it.
Cynthia Says thinks my front page passes all the major checkpoints for AAA. Bobby doesn’t. I know there are still outstanding issues regardless, and a good read-through of WCAG is going to help me fix them, but I’m moving in the right direction.
It should be noted that the errors reported by Bobby are questionable:
Do not use the same link phrase more than once when the links point to different URLs.As Ken Walker has recently discovered and Jukka Korpela analyzed in further detail, it should be possible to provide a
titlefor each link and satisfy this requirement. That doesn’t work.
Separate adjacent links with more than whitespace.Cynthia says I’m doing this. Bobby says I’m not. The rejected markup is my headers, which look like so:
<h3 id="p000244"><a href="http://etc/000244.asp" title="perma-link for [this article]">Plugins & <object> - Illegal?</a></h3>If I’m doing something wrong here, I’m all ears. But I don’t think it’s me.
Make sure event handlers do not require use of a mouse.Well this is just plain silly. There’s not an iota of script on my front page.
Cynthia gets them right. However, since those of us who spend the time doing it right like to make mention of it, Cynthia’s inability to directly link validation results for any given site continues to be a problem. There’s a very important point that should be made in here about not trusting software anyway since the guidelines need a human eye for complete validation, but I’m getting verbose as it is.
After publishing a piece on bulletproof XHTML, I obviously had to start thinking about the issue myself. You might be pleased to note that most pages on this site, including the comments pages are validating. The current plan is to ‘flip the switch’ and trigger XML rendering mode in a few weeks, after I’ve had time to convert old content and make sure I’ve got my error-correcting working properly. There will be a follow-up piece on how I went about it at that time.
Up until now I was marking up all my
<acronym>s by hand. Thanks to Brad Choate’s plugins and Mark Pilgrim’s macros, I don’t need to anymore. Interesting note about the use of abbreviations on a page: WCAG suggests providing a title for an
<abbr> when it first occurs in the document. It doesn’t say you can’t do the same for other occurances, but it suggests you don’t need to.
No problem, that’s the exact behaviour of the plugin. But it begs the question — even though I’m not applying titles to repetitions, do I need to markup the rest of the occurances with the proper tags? My gut feeling is that I do, but the plugin doesn’t allow that. So I’m at an impasse here: More work for me, vs. proper semantics. Hmmm.
And yes, I know the difference between
<abbr>, and no I won’t use the latter until IE supports it. End of question.
If you’ve made it through all that, my final point is that this site still looks the same as it did last week. Ever get the feeling that sometimes you have to wear too many hats? §