Mike Gifford Preseting about ATAG at CodeFest 2014
Anyone who has been involved Web Accessibility knows that the basics are quite simple, but that it can get complicated really quickly. Training people to create content that can be perceived by people with varieties of sight, hearing, mobility & cognitive challenges is no small task, and ultimately we all make mistakes. Most web content now is being created through Content Management Systems, which are helping to simplify the process of producing content. The future seems to be bright for systems that can manage small chunks of data which are assembled on the fly to give users a personalized experience...
Drupal Guy & Octocat sitting in Frank Lloyd Wright Porch
Yesterday we saw profile images get into Drupal.org. This has gotten a bunch of positive feedback as it both modernizes the look of the community and addresses a style bug that goes back to 2010 when the last design (Bluecheese) was applied to the site. More importantly though it puts a face on the contributors of the d.o community -- we are no longer just anonymous blue nicknames ! The styling changes on Drupal.org are a nice improvement, mostly because it is a regular reminder about the individuals who are pushing to make Drupal better. Hopefully when we see the...
Mike Gifford presenting at HubOttawa
This was a more in-person presentation about web accessibility issues in general.  We showcased some general issues and facilitating a bit of a discussion to raise awareness. We welcomed people from different backgrounds, including government services, universities and design agencies. The topic was addressed to a non-technical audience to raise awareness on accessibility. Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) began pretty well this year for us. I started by participating in Inclusive Design 24 (#ID24) with a 7am presentation. For those who missed it the talk live, a recording should be available soon. In the interim, I quickly posted the presentation...
Yes, all of the attention is on Drupal 8. D8, will be amazing! It totally makes sense that when folks talk about Core development that they think about the latest version. Sometimes though it seems that we forget that there are two stable releases with hundreds of thousands of sites using them for every development version of Core. If this proposal gets accepted, which I think it will, there will 3 supported releases of Core for a few months when the Drupal 9 branch is started. So we know when Drupal 8 is released that there will still be 3-4...
Back in 2007, Russell McOrmond , Phillip Smith and myself decided to set up a service for the Canadian NGO community to make it easier to match individuals with their elected officials. It seems like a pretty basic component of any effective democracy, but it still isn't something that is available to Canadians. At the time, Statistics Canada offered a database of postal codes to riding associations. For $3000 you could buy a database on a CD and have the rights to buy updates every year. The license allowed us to resell access to the database through an API (Application...
We are always looking for ways to become a better business. We have always strived to meet the needs of our clients and staff in a cost effective and environmentally friendly fashion. Last year we started the process of becoming a Certified B Corporation , as it seemed to fit well within the work we've done in the past decade. It was a very interesting process and raised many issues that we hadn't considered previously, which would expand the impact we can have as a business. It is really empowering to be part of a movement that is working to...
Once again we're happy to sponsor Drupal Camp Ottawa . We'll have more posts on this soon. There are a number of sessions we're looking forward to presenting and as always look forward to meeting with others in the Drupal community to work together to strengthen the code that glues us together.
Another year is coming to a close and we are again wishing you all the happiest of holidays at this special time of year. 2013 has been a very exciting year for us, including some amazing projects, new team members and fun DrupalCons and Camps. We are also proud that as of this week we are a Certified B Corporation . Looking forward to another interesting year to come! We wish you and yours all the best in 2014 - The OpenConcept Team
B Corporatioin Logo
We started the process of becoming a B Corporation early in 2013 after being exposed to it through HubOttawa in January. Initially it seemed like it would be an interesting way to more officially support the kind of work that we've been doing since we began in 1999. There are plenty of people who see starting a web business as a type of get-rich-quick scheme. I started OpenConcept for a very different reason; I saw that running a small business could be a way I could work to make the world better. I was surprised though when I first took...
It is really, really embarrassing that a kid in elementary school could hack into any government computer system, however a 12 year old boy has pleaded guilty to doing just that in 2012 . I'm not sure how much is known about how he did this, and no doubt he is a very bright and curious child, but this really needs to be a glaring warning about a systemic problem with how governments in Canada manage security. In my dealings with government IT, I find far too often that departments go only so far as to apply a CYA approach...