Recent Blog Posts

By Mike Gifford on 26/10/2015
Drupal 8 accessibility logo.

The W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative has recently (24 September 2015) released it's recommendations for Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) 2.0. The process for releasing W3C guidelines is a long and arduous process. A Canadian institution, the Inclusive Design Institute, has taken a leadership role in creating these guidelines. If people were still hand crafting pages in raw HTML like I did when I started OpenConcept, this wouldn't be needed. Fortunately, almost everyone uses...

By Mike Gifford on 23/10/2015
Wind and solar farm in California.

Stephanie Daniels sums it up well, "Optimized sites are better for the environment. That’s because they’re significantly faster, more usable, with content that’s optimized for SEO and user experience. It’s my belief that Drupal has all of the tools in place to create sustainable websites…if you just know where to look.".

If only I had Drupal back in 1995. That was the year I built my first website for a Fair Trade Retailer called Bridgehead. Back at this time, the Internet was...

By Mike Gifford on 23/10/2015
Drupal 8 accessibility logo.

You may be familiar with the alternative text (alt) attribute that appears in <img> tags. The purpose of alt attributes is to provide a description of the contents of an image file. This description will appear when a user cannot see the image in their browser, when the image is searched on search engines, and in screen readers. But it is very easy to forget to include this text in your images and that is bad news for accessibility and SEO.
In Drupal 8, alt...

By Mike Gifford on 21/10/2015

Many of the accessibility changes that have been made in Drupal 8 are pretty subtle. Most people probably won't realize that there is a deeper blue in the header and probably won't care. There have been a lot of little changes in Drupal 8 though to improve colour contrast.

Many contributors to Drupal 8 Core check to see that Drupal adheres to accessibility standards. Colour Contrast is one of those standards. The Colour Contrast Guidelines are provided to assist those who are color...

By Liz Pringi on 20/10/2015

   Google Analytics is a great tool to see where people are browsing on your site, to monitor traffic, and possibly some other perks I'm unaware of.  ;)  So it's important to make sure it still works when you're upgrading the Google Analytics Tracking ID and updating the Google Analytics module, or just updating the module.

   Why would you want to do that?  Well: The 1.x branch of the Google Analytics module is now no longer supported, so if you want security updates you'll...

By Mike Gifford on 19/10/2015
Drupal accessibility logo.

Remember those pesky divs you typically saw on a lot of Drupal sites? Wouldn’t it be great if you could actually understand what each of those divs actually meant? Well worry no more, Drupal 8 Core comes packaged with HTML5 optimized markup!

If used HTML5 before, you’ll already know how big of an accessibility advantage this is. For those who haven’t, this blog is for you. Essentially the big difference between HTML5 and previous versions of HTML is semantics - how understandable and...

By Mike Gifford on 16/10/2015
Drupal accessibility logo.

You probably wont notice it, but Drupal 8 comes packed with WAI-ARIA markup to ensure that your pages are as semantically correct as they can be out of the box. Who will notice it though is blind users who rely on additional meaning to be hard coded into the HTML of the site, rather than inferred from the visual cues on the page.

Let’s say you’ve got an employee named Jim who needs to navigate your Intranet site like all of your other employees. Jim’s legally blind, and the open-...

By Mike Gifford on 15/10/2015

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”

I’ve been thinking of the inspiring Martin Luther King Jr. quote and how much it has in common to web accessibility.
I don’t make this comparison lightly, but web accessibility is a serious social justice issue which has many parallels with the Civil Rights Movement which he led. People with disabilities are routinely barred from participating in public spaces, are limited in their economic...

By Mike Gifford on 14/10/2015

Web accessibility is an important but often neglected piece of today’s web environment. Drupal 7 Core made a step in making the websites more accessible by default. Since it's release there have been improvements to Core's accessibility and also to the contributed modules to make the platform much more accessible.
Drupal 8 has added extensive support for accessibility in the Core. For anyone trying to make a barrier-free website, it is important to know what these features are...

By Mike Gifford on 12/10/2015

Working in a team can be a lovely experience or a total disaster. Most workplaces have dealt with these situations before, many are still emailing Word Documents between contributors and hoping to get feedback with track changes or comments which then need to get manually compiled. Using approaches like this can easily find maintaining a document almost unmanagable.

Writing documentation can be just as polarizing. It has been two years since OpenConcept released the Drupal Security...

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