Thursday, December 11, 2008

WCAG 2.0

A new day has dawned for web accessibility -- the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) Web Content Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0) has finally reached W3C Recommendation status it's now an official web standard. The WCAG 2.0 Guidelines are organized around the following four principles (use the acronym POUR to remember them):

  1. Content must be Perceivable
  2. Interface components in the content must be Operable
  3. Content and controls must be Understandable
  4. Content should be Robust enough to work with current and future user agents (including assistive technologies)

Check out the WCAG 2.0 Quick Reference and Understanding WCAG 2.0 to learn more about these guidelines.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Web Teacher Review

Check out Web Teacher's review of Web Development & Design Foundations with XHTML. Here's an excerpt:

"This book is 100% courseware, a complete curriculum with project files, test and discussion questions, careful planning of objectives and learning activities, and resources for students at the Addison Wesley site for the book. ... Very complete. It deals with code, design, ethics, accessibility, best practices and every aspect of design and development. A student who mastered everything in this book would have a good grasp of both past and present web development knowledge."

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Google Celebrates 10th Birthday!

Was it only ten years ago that the Web was without Google? If you'd like to know more about Google's origins (including a photo of their start-up garage), have fun exploring Google's Tenth Birthday page and Interactive Timeline.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

OneWebDay - 9/22

OneWebDay Press release: On the third annual “Earth Day for the Internet”, communities across the country are holding events to learn about and advocate for that marvel of modern infrastructure, the Internet. It happens in the United States and around the world on OneWebDay, Monday, September 22, 2008.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Which Browser Will Gain the Most Market Share?

See PC World for a an overview of the new browser wars -- between Chrome, IE8, and Firefox 3.1. Find out how they compare in areas of security, speed, reliability, etc. According to PC World, Google's Chrome browser is poised to take more market share away from Firefox than from IE8. Only time will tell.....

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Target's Lack of Web Accessibility == SIX Million Dollars

Look for more organizations to increase their focus on web accessibility — Target and NFB just reached a $6 million dollar settlement. See for an overview.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

One Trillion Pages....

Google's Official Blog recently reported, "even our search engineers stopped in awe about just how big the web is these days -- when our systems that process links on the web to find new content hit a milestone: 1 trillion (as in 1,000,000,000,000) unique URLs on the web at once!" The article also has a high-level overview of how Google keeps up with the Web. :-)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Web Standards Project Curriculum Framework

The Web Standards Project (WaSP) just announced the WaSP Curriculum Framework. The framework's goal is to identify the skill sets and competencies that aspiring Web professionals need to acquire to prepare them for their chosen careers. Outlines for a set of foundation courses that can be readily adapted into an existing program at a college, school, or university will be released in March 2009. This curriculum framework is intended to be a "living" curriculum with contributions from web educators and web professionals.

The WC3 Question & Answer blog post on the proposed framework states, "After years of hearing people lament that we would not get a better web until we get better ways of teaching the Web to the professionals (of today and tomorrow), is very exciting to see the recent crop of community driven efforts to provide material and guidance for the teaching of Web technologies."

New Google Knol

Google has launched a beta of Knol — kind of like Wikipedia with a twist. Google defines a knol as "a unit of knowledge" and explains that a knol is an "authoritative article about a specific topic".
Just like Wikipedia, anyone can post an article. See Web Design Best Practices for an example. :-)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Alexa : More than Search Results

Alexa lives up to its tagline: A Web Information Company — providing more than search results. You can use Alexa to find out more about a web site: with displays of an overview (including a screen capture and contact information), traffic statistics (when available), sites linking in, and a direct link to the Web Archive to view how the site looked in the past.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Do You Grok Grokker?

Grokker offers both an outline view and a visual view of search results. This provides a way to easily drill down into topics of interest in an organized manner and search within the results. Grokker searches your choice of Yahoo!, Wikipedia, and Amazon Books for information. An interesting twist is that Grokker can be licensed by businesses as an enterprise search management tool to mine their databases for information.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

TouchGraph: Visually Show Connections Between Web Sites

TouchGraph's Java applet will visually display connections between websites related to the search term you enter. There are three flavors of TouchGraph:

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

KartOO: A Mind Map of the Web

Continuing this week's topic of search engines — you may want to explore your favorite topic using KartOO. This visual search engine builds a mind map of websites related to your search terms. Somehow, exploring a cloud of websites is more fun than looking at page after page of text-based search engine results. :-)

Monday, July 21, 2008

New Search Engine - Searchme!

Searchme is a visual search engine that begins to show you results while you are typing your keyword or phrase. In addition to the expected search engine results page (SERP), Searchme displays the home pages of the web pages in a "deck" across the upper part of the page. A handy tool for those who think visually!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Firefox 3 Launched

Well, I've really been in "summer vacation" mode recently and missed posting about the launch of Firefox 3. A world record was set for Firefox 3 downloads — over eight million — on 6/17 for the most software downloaded within 24 hours. Check out this screencast of Firefox 3's new features and the download your own copy at:

ICANN Approves Recommendation for New TLDs

ICANN will initiate a process for applications for new top level domain (TLD) names. In addition the current TLDs such as .com, .biz, etc., the press release states, "This proposal allows applicants for new names to self-select their domain name so that choices are most appropriate for their customers or potentially the most marketable."
So, the sky's the limit for creativity here — whether it's a brand-related name (Wouldn't .cola be fun for the soft drink companies?) or a geographically-based name such as .chicago — it's going to be fun to see what new TLDs are proposed.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

New Accessible Web Design & Compliance Certificate

Harper College's new Accessible Web Design & Compliance Certificate was just approved by the State of Illinois. There is an increased focus in the technology industry and in society on accessibility. Information technology (including web sites) is expected to provide accommodations in order to be accessible for all individuals. The certificate was added to address learning needs generated by the Illinois Information Technology Accessibility Act.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

New Adobe Photoshop Express Beta

Adobe launched a new beta version of Adobe Photoshop Express. This Rich Internet Application (RIA) is free -- all you need to do is sign up! You'll be able to store up to 2GB of images, edit your images, and share them online.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

WOW Technology Minute Podcast

January 2008 is turning out to be quite a month... check out my one-minute podcast interview about web design best practices and accessibility at the WOW Technology Minute.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Outstanding e-Learning Faculty Award

The Instructional Technology Council (ITC) recently announced the recipients of their 2008 Awards for Excellence.

Harper College Associate Professor Terry Morris was named the recipient of the 2008 Outstanding e-Learning Faculty Award for Excellence.

The ITC is a national organization that promotes effective use of technology to enhance distance learning. Member institutions may nominate an exemplary faculty member for this national award. The nominations are reviewed and the recipient is chosen by a panel of judges including ITC board members, past awards winners and other ITC members.

See a press release issued by Northcentral University, where I am a doctoral student, for more information.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Netscape's Demise

AOL announced that support of the Netscape browser will end on February 1, 2008. Back in the days of Netscape Gold, this browser was considered the latest and greatest. Netscape made available an open-source build called Mozilla, which has grown in popularity as Mozilla Firefox.