I’ve written on making forms accessible before in the WCAG series, but I thought I’d document some real examples using the work that I’ve been doing. This one is a fairly simple, but important example especially since we’re moving to PDA (patron driven acquisitions). Continue reading “Making Forms Accessible”
So inspired by the ASIS&T Cool Tool Day, I thought it’d be neat to do one of these since there weren’t many volunteers to do lightning talks/presentations at the code4lib Toronto meetup this time around. Our attendance was a little… paltry, but we had some great presentations! Here are my notes from the session.
Presented by @waharnum
- working with REST based web services
- testing automation tool for web services
- best for building with other API
- autogenerate stubs using WSDL
- interface between internal systems
- good for documenting web services, code style with examples
- normally, mostly used for unit testing
- virtual card based whiteboard
- flexible for planning based
- great usability/UI
- even has mobile apps
- maintaining HTML email templates
- also works as a crazy text editor for nerds
XSL Transforms plugin in Firefox
- local reporting
- anything XSLT with just a few security restrictions
- e.g. SVN reporting
Presented by @adr
- cross platform presentation
- push from laptop to another computer
Sidenote: Other Presentation Tools
Presented by @ruebot
- pathogen – linking for VIM plugins to automatically load VIM plugins
- nerdtree – pull files quickly by displaying directory/tree
Presented by Pomax
Thimble HTML/CSS Live Web editor
- teach anyone (kids, adults) HTML and CSS
- use existing projects to make it fun!
- easy inline flickr search of CC images
- attribution in alt text
Presented by me
- monitor hue changer, supposedly to help people sleep better by telling your body what time of day it is
That’s it! Hope to do another one of these or lightning talks next time.
I don’t normally do book reviews, but Jon Duckett’s HTML & CSS book was brought to my attention via twitter and it looked interesting, so I thought I’d give it a read.
If you’re the type that was discouraged from learning basic web programming because of the manual-like books, then I would definitely recommend this book. The information is presented in very visual ways and while there are a few pages here and there that have nothing but code on them (for full examples), almost every page has an image of some sort, whether as explanation or for decorative purposes.
While there are a couple of concepts I wish were explained in a little more detail with visuals (such as CSS selectors), I appreciate that Duckett will discuss deprecated tags and elements, which are still commonly seen, and point out which browsers do not support certain properties.
He also provides lists of practical websites or tools to use including commercial and open source alternatives. Code and extras can be found on the website, which can be useful even for those who never crack open the physical book.
It’s what it purports to be. So, I highly recommend it for beginners and maybe even those that want an easy to digest review (it’s very easy to skip sections you feel you already know).
So I’ve been messing around with wiki coding since obviously I’ve been working on developing content on the wiki. One of the things I was trying to do was a hanging indent (here’s another more complex one where you don’t need to set a margin and documentation is better) in order to display citation examples properly. More than that, I wanted to offset the whole citation (i.e. add an indent) in order to make it stand out from the rest of the text.
Template Code (Hanging Indent)
Whether you look at the first or second template, they both modify the CSS in order to make the hanging indent. They essentially change two attributes:
text-indent:-2em; (shifts the first line of a paragraph)
Now in order to indent a line or paragraph, there are usually a couple of ways to do it in wiki, but throw the hanging indent template into it and it didn’t always work out so well.
Add Wiki Code
Usually the best way to do a simple indent in wiki is using a colon, such as
: Indented text
However, I suspect that rather than adding to the margin, the wiki changes the margin for that text, and the hanging indent code overrides it. So, the result is that it does nothing.
Add HTML Code
The other option was to use the <blockquote> tag. As the blockquote does not interfere with the CSS styling, this had the intended effect except that just like in this post, if I use blockquote,
you get spacing before and after the blockquote as you would with a <p> tag
Not a very elegant solution, and rather the brute force way, but I just ended up creating a template for citation examples that hard coded the extra margin. I suppose the other solution would have been to add an extra variable to the hanging indent template but I figured that would not be worth the trouble.
So, for the past little while on and off, I’ve been looking for and playing around with HTML to Wiki Converters to see which one works best. Most of the ones I’ve found are online and most of them seem to be based on a Perl script created by David Iberri, who provides a web interface as well.
David Iberri has provided a running web interface version for his script for a lot of different wiki dialects. However, I’ve only tested the MediaWiki version for the purposes of my project. I really like the “Fetch from URL” feature which is not available on many others.
Interestingly, I found what looks to be the exact same converter on another site, but it gives me slightly different results. (see below)
Seapine’s HTML to Wiki
The one is really good for basic things and even though it does not have a “Fetch from URL” feature, you can easily copy/paste. However, this converter frequently broke for me when dealing with whole pages because it seemed to stop working when it faced something that it didn’t quite recognize.
Batch/Site HTML to MediaWiki converter
I have not actually tried this one, but I thought it might be a useful resource for later and for other people. This uses the same Perl script in combination with MediaWiki’s PHP importing scripts.
Comparison between HTML2Wiki and the berliOS version
Neither deals with ’ (the non-straight apostrophe) very well for some reason, and I’m guessing it will have problems with some other characters as well. Currently, both give a � in place. However, if it’s always the same character in your wiki document, it’s easy enough to do a replace all.
Both seem to handle tables quite well and one as well as the other, though sometimes the Iberri one seems to forget to put the first line of the table code on a new line, which of course, means the table fails to work.
I would say that overall I like the berliOS version better for links because it can recognize anchor links, whereas the Iberri one will display text. For example (berliOS):
[#reserve Finding Articles on Course Reserve].
The Iberri one does a better job at “oh my god i don’t understand this” by simply stripping the HTML and leaving text. The berliOS one will try to interpret it and end up with odd things at times. However, I think it’s pretty understandable that it doesn’t handle mouse over boxes very well especially when the original script to do that is CSS and not a part of the HTML tag. For example (berliOS):
You CAN find hundreds of thousands of articles through the UBC Library Web. more »
UBC Library subscribes to tens of thousands of magazines, journals and newspapers, in print and in full text online. The UBC Library Catalogue DOES NOT list individual articles by topic. more »
To search for articles by topic, you need to start your search in an index or database. (Instructions follow.) Like the catalogues of most libraries in the world, UBC Library�s catalogue does not contain a listing for each article in each journal in its collection. Search engines like Google DO NOT retrieve most academic articles. But… more »
”’Google Scholar (Beta)”’ has begun to reach some academic journals and online archives, but for now, Indexes and Databases are the most complete searchable lists of articles.
Most academic and publicly-funded researchers publish the results of their research in scholarly journals or in online archives, which search engines don�t reach. Most popular magazines do not provide their content for free on the Web. Newspaper articles have a different search guide (right here).
So overall, I like the berliOS one better because it recognizes more elements, but it’s easier to screw things up with it. So I would say the Iberri one is easier to use since it generally just strips what it doesn’t understand.
On a related footnote-sort note, after converting to wiki code, if there is a lot of HTML code left that seems to be messing up the wiki page, you can try stripping or ‘tidying’ the HTML code. HTML Tidy tries to make the HTML conform to current HTML standards, but depending on how the page is done, it might start creating CSS which obviously wiki pages don’t understand, so the strip HTML function may work better.
Zubrag’s Strip HTML online tool