We've been strategizing, evaluating & deploying the Government of Canada's (GoC) Drupal 7 Web eXperience Toolkit (WxT) since it was first released over a year ago. We've implemented this for government agencies inside & outside the GoC because it is clear that so many agencies need to meet the dual challenge of a site which is both bilingual & accessible. The Drupal Variant of the Web eXperience Toolkit is an open platform for web publishing which has a critical mass of public sector agencies collaborating with it publicly in GitHub. It is also exciting to see institutions like the University...
After sprint beers
Drupal's first Accessibility Sprint was a great success with around 30 people participating either on site or remotely. It was graciously hosted in the offices Evolving Web , where we were able to take advantage of their great location in the old port of Montreal. It was organized by the Montreal Drupal Association and we're really fortunate to have both accessibility maintainers present as Everett Zufelt & Brandon Bowersox-Johnson , were able to make their way up. The biggest impact of the sprints are the things that you can never quantify. The building face-to-face relationships within the Drupal community is...
Following our work on analyzing federal sites with Ben Balter's Site Investor script , we surveyed over 111 Ontario Government domains using this tool and found some more interesting findings. The Government of Ontario isn't as large as the Federal government, but it is the most comparable level of government in Canada and also is the province where OpenConcept is based. Our collective tax dollars have paid for these sites and I believe that they need to be built to be accessible to its citizens. Because Ontario doesn't yet have an Open Data portal , where I could simply download...
Golden Gate Bridge
It is pretty much expected that most organizations will go through the process of re-launching their website every few years. The process of deciding to abandon the old site, negotiating with a vendor to build it and finally deploying the new site can easily take a year. This is often a consuming process that leaves organizations happy to resume their day to day operations, and happy that they don't have to worry about the website for a while. Most small organizations don't have the luxury of having full-time web staff working proactively on their web presence. Things on the Web...
I just got back from a quick trip to New York and visited a number of impressive museums. Not surprisingly, one of the most amazing was the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), in which I was fortunate enough to spend a whole day. One of the exhibits used QR Codes and walking around the museum I really got to thinking about the Virtual/Physical opportunities that modern museums can now take advantage of. The MoMA did lots of stuff right, but it's clear that they are still trying to figure out how to integrate online content in their physical exhibits. With...
I ran into Ben Balter's article Analysis of Federal Executive .Govs and really liked the simple but effective analysis that he did on the US government. Not that the technology behind it is simple, his Site Inspector and WordPress Domain Inventory plugin module are great. It does a pretty good job at tracking the site status, support for non-WWW and IPv6, use of Content Delivery Network (CDN), choice of Content Management System, Cloud Provider, Analytics, JavaScript Libraries, and HTTPs support. I do hope that I have some time to add some enhancements to this project, but first I was interested...
We were happy to have supported 10 Years from GOSLING to GOOSE event earlier this month. We've been coming on/off for a long while now and have always found the conversations encouraging. It's been a long, long struggle to get the right individuals in government thinking about how the public sector values of participation, cooperation & standards can be reflected in software. Government has evolved a risk averse culture and so it is much easier to adopt new ideas when others inside government have tried (and succeeded), than to feel like you are breaking new ground. Having a network of...
Earth Quake Example Map
I've been curious about maps and accessibility, but it hasn't been something I've had much time to explore. Because maps are so visual, it's hard to think about how to make them fully accessible. Sarah Bourne in Making maps accessible asks the serious questions that that are at the heart of this issue, and frankly ones that I haven't had the opportunity to explore. I have recently begun learning more about digital maps, thanks to some recent work involving OpenLayers . I had an opportunity to think about this a problem on a practical level of how can I help...
Me presenting at the Guelph Accessibility Confrence
Really like this article: An In Depth Analysis of HTML5 Multimedia and Accessibility . Last May I gave a talk at Guelph's 2011 Accessibility Conference . I wanted to raise awareness about aspects of the Drupal 7 accessibility improvements could be used as an example. The video was recorded by the University & I was sent a copy of it so that I could upload it here. I do think that the university may also upload a copy at some point, but there were delays and I had ideas within the presentation that I wanted to share. I was sent...
I was pointed to this great resource on Plains Cree (nêhiyawêwin) links but it still doesn't have much information about presenting this language on the web. Since hearing the story about the creation of Cree & Inuit syllabics , I've been interested in how colonization introduced written language to an oral culture. Since working on several Arabic/Hebrew/Farsi sites over the years, I've been curious as to how this applies to the web. Being a unilingual person, I can't do more than look at the characters in any of these languages and I certainly have no education in linguistics. However, I...