BSI British Standards invites comments on new draft standard on accessible websites

It’s good to see the Brits being proactive in the web accessibility field. The draft accessibility standard – BS 8878 Web accessibility – was released on 1st December for comment and aims to provide guidance on accessibility, usability and user experience processes in relation to people with disabilities, rather than on technical and design issues.

BSI British Standards is inviting all interested parties, and in particular marketing professionals and disabled web users, to review and comment on the draft of a new standard on accessible websites. DPC BS 8878 Web accessibility – Building accessible experiences for disabled people – Code of Practice is applicable to all public and private organizations wishing to offer accessible, usable websites to their customers. [...]

Based on PAS 78: 2006, Guide to good practice in commissioning accessible websites, DPC BS 8878 informs organizations of their legal responsibilities in relation to web accessibility, calling on them to appoint a specific person or department to oversee activity. [...]

The draft BS 8878 Web accessibility standard is available for viewing and commenting until 31 January 2009 – note that (free) registration and login is required.

Article via The Web Standards Project

Reminder: Canberra Web Standards Group meeting

Just a gentle reminder that the next Canberra Web Standards Group meeting is happening this Thursday (31 May 2007). We got two great speakers coming in to speak to us – John Allsopp who’s speaking about Microformats and Brian Hardy who is speaking about accessibility and PDFs.

Please RSVP via the website!

Web Forms 2.0 Working Draft

I’m very behind on my readings, so I only came across this yesterday at work – the W3C have announced that the First Public Working Draft of Web Forms 2.0 is now available.

Launch of Web Directions 2006

Web Directions 2006 has just been launched! The line up of speakers look fantastic, as well as the workshops which have been scheduled for 26th and 27th of September.

I’m totally excited. Now to find the money to book myself on to the course…..

Fourth Canberra WSG meeting

The fourth Canberra WSG meeting was another success. We had two speakers, Tom Worthington and John Allsopp founder of Westciv, who covered two quite different topics.

Tom Worthington

The first speaker, Tom, spoke about the Sahana disaster management system, and how to design for mobile devices. Sahana is an open source web based disaster management system designed to help with the management of missing people, disaster victims, managing camps and other resources, and a range of other functions. In the case of the Sahana system, the application could be used on a PC or on a mobile device. Tom gave an overview of his suggestions of using the appropriate stylesheet and the benefits it brought about.

One of the examples that he provided stood out in my mind – imagine someone trying to use an old computer in some part of India, with a blurry 12 inch monitor, with a pirated copy of Windows, running on batteries (as the power has died). How would your website look on their browser? The key message from Tom’s presentation is that it is important to Important to think about the technology and the standards, but it is also important to keep the human elements of the process in mind.

John’s topic of Web Patterns has been on my “things to do” plate for some time. With some discussion happening around this similar issue at work (actually, this morning!) I was really keen to hear what John had to say. Web Patterns are not templates. They may not be the answer to all of life’s problems, but they’re are way of helping to define the problem, and possible solutions to the problems. In essence, it is about design patterns for web development.

John talked about Christopher Alexander et. al., who in 1977, published A Pattern Language. This brought up the idea of patterns in architecture, which can then be applied across multiple areas, such as the object oriented analysis and design (John mentioned the “gang of four” – Gamma, Helm, Johnson and Vlissides).

Having a common language for things was mentioned. John talked about the Semantic Web and the results from his earlier survey about the use of classes and ids. The results are interesting – there are over 5,000 class values and nearly 5,000 id values. So how do we go about creating a common language?

John Allsopp giving a run down of Web Directions
Also mentioned – the upcoming Web Directions web conference at the end of September. I can’t wait! The last two years (WE04 and WE05) were just fantastic, and from the topics lined up, it’s going to be another great one.

Canberra WSG

The next Canberra Web Standards Group meeting is coming up soon (11 May 2006). Details are over at the website. It doesn’t cost anything to come along. There are two great speakers, and you also get to network with other web standards lovers!

Internationalisation (I18n)

I spent an interesting Friday afternoon learning about localisation and internationalisation from the master of internationalisation himself, Richard Ishida. I’m amazed at how fluently he could rattle a word (or many) in multiple complicating-sounding languages. Someone did ask how many languages he spoke, and the answer is many (I didn’t actually catch how many languages he spoke). I also discovered that Richard is an avid photographer.

Richard Ishida talking about characters and flickr

Since Amit Karmakar has written up a nice article about Richard Ishida’s talk on localisation and internationalisation, I don’t need to rehash what has been so nicely said.

Here are my flickr photos, along with Amit Karmakar, Russ Weakley, Peter Firminger, Ajay Ranipeta and Lachlan Hardy (coverage of Richard Ishida’s talk at the Melbourne WSG meeting).

Canberra combined W3C and WSG meeting

Just a reminder that the Canberra combined W3C and WSG meeting is happening THIS FRIDAY. Details are:

When: Friday 10 February
Time: 3.00pm – 5.00pm
Topic: Internationalisation of web sites
Who: Ross Ackland and Richard Ishida
Where: CS&IT Building (Building 108). North Road, ANU Campus, Acton, ACT 2601
More information:

If you would like to attend, please send an RSVP to

See you there!