Fee Based Distribution
The U.S. Access Board is at the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking stage with 10 new standards, including the 508 refresh, and they are proposing to make some of the new standards incorporated by reference available only by fee and with distribution restrictions. If some of the documents we need to refer to are only available for a fee it will affect us negatively. For those earning less, the impact will be greater.
Comment by Public Resource
David Halperin and Carl Melamud of Public.Resource.Org have written an excellent comment on this aspect of the proceedings.
This issue was brought to my attention this evening by my colleague Sina Bahram who co-signed the comment.
I have been using Section 508 guidelines, covering web accessibility, in my accessible user experience practice since 1999 and I know that the refresh of Section 508 is long overdue so I’m all for getting this information published, but this is the wrong way to go about it.
More onerous than the fee structure, the restrictions placed on open sharing of those documents will have a very chilling effect on my ability to debate the meaning of those documents which is the essence of what we do when attempting to apply the standards.
No matter how they are written, it’s the interpretation of the standards in the fast paced world of accessibility practice that matters. If we can’t freely share and debate the information we will be unable to practice effectively.
I am glossing over some details because it is late and I’m typing this on my phone. Fortunately, the comment referenced above is very thorough and explains the situation very well.
I have written to the American Association of Law Librarians (AALL) which has a great interest in open and free access to legal information like this. If you can think of organizations like AALL and can spare a few minutes to alert them to this situation, or you can make a comment about it on the Access Board site, please do.
A Simple Question
On March 29, 2015, I asked a simple question on Twitter:
“When writing a post to use on a WordPress site, what do you use to write it, a text editor, a word processor, the new post screen?”
I really didn’t expect to get such a multiplicity of approaches. It seems there is one major hallmark of the approach people take: ingenuity and improvisation. Oh, that’s two approaches. Bother. Well, let’s press on and see all the ways folks are formatting new posts, even including using the Add New Post screen! I’ve taken the liberty of slightly rearranging the order of the Tweets to make the narrative flow better.
- @LeonieWatson: Write in HTML in a text editor, then cut/paste into WP (where the WYSIWYG editor is disabled). HTH.
- @LeonieWatson: In the WP user profile settings it’s possible to disable the visual editor, which is what I do.
- @fitzpatrickd: @LeonieWatson Exactly the same workflow here. I also do the same for Drupal stuff by the way.
- @heydonworks: @LeonieWatson Same as Léonie normally. Sometimes in an external markdown editor like stackedit.io.
- @vavroom: I write in MS Word. Spell check there. Then copy/paste into Dreamweaver. Adjust HTML. Then copy/paste in WordPress.
- @vavroom: I apply styles in Word. Dreamweaver translates it into proper html.
- @A11YChi: I code in the New Post window, Text tab.
- @vdebolt: Sometimes BBEdit, sometimes Dreamweaver, most often the WP new post screen. Never a word processor.
- @Accessible_Info: Jarte, a free and open source wordprocessor. Then, cut and paste.
- @GWocher: The only problem with Jart is that you cannot read tables with a screen reader.
- @GWocher: Sometimes Jart won’t report the correct formatting when using insert plus F in either JAWS or NVDA. Its rare though.
- @Unuhinuii: I write it in the WP editor, using text controls from my keyboard. “html” / “visual” is #useless for me. #a11y.
- @Unuhinuii: Sigh – Twitter has the same type @a11yteam #a11y issues for me. #visual #voiceoveruser issues huh? fn-cmd-f5 3clk.
- @ewaccess: If typing: plain text editor, proof and publish using Marked 2. If Dragon: compose in Word, paste into new post screen.
- @aardrian: I write as HTML in the text view. I disable the WYSIWYG editor altogether on some sites while building.
- @steveofmaine: Struggling with that very question. I just discovered I can write and publish directly from MS Word.
- @steveofmaine: That said, nothing, absolutely nothing beats @MarsEdit for Mac. It’s like the bestest best thing ever.
- @awoods: @steveofmaine Instead of Word, use Windows Live Writer, and you’ll get better results. I write my content in plain text files.
- @jaczad: Live Writer in source mode, #Markdown in admin panel. Sometimes WYSIWYG editor #TinyMCE.
- @prakesh369: Text editor.
- @csrinivasu: New post screen but as HTML.
Clearly there are different approaches to creating content for your WordPress site. Here are the text editors and other tools mentioned in the Tweets plus some additional text editors:
- Tools Mentioned in Tweets
- Additional Text Editors
Dreamweaver was created by Macromedia in 1997 and I started using it while it was in beta. I continued to use Dreamweaver every day, all day, through the Adobe takeover of Macromedia in 2005 and up until 2012 when I stopped using it as an every day tool. At the moment I format my posts using the WordPress admin post screen, working exclusively in the text tab. I type out the few bits of HTML I need, but now that I’ve heard from friends about how they use text editors I’ll probably try TextWrangler again. I used BBEdit for years in addition to Dreamweaver and TextWrangler has a subset of the features of BBEdit, just enough for me. Interesting to hear what others are doing.