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Showing posts from 2007

Nielsen Norman Group Free 148 Page Accessibility PDF

Nielson Norman Group (NNG) have released a free report (usually retails for $124 USD) into accessibility called:

Beyond ALT Text:Making the Web Easy to Use for Users With Disabilities
75 Best Practices for Design of Websites and Intranets, Based on Usability Studies with People Who Use Assistive Technology

7mb PDF download available from the NNG group website at http://www.nngroup.com/reports/accessibility/

Pass on the good karma and make your sites more accessible over the holiday break!

Note: The report is from 2001

Australian Open Source Industry & Community Census 2007

Waugh Partners is launching the first national research project to study companies and contributors involved in the Australian Open Source industry and community.With growing demand for Open Source skills and technology, it's the perfect time to launch a major research effort to understand the strength of Open Source in Australia, the economic potential for the broader Australian ICT industry, our skills capacity, and the symbiotic relationship between the Open Source industry and community around it.

The resulting report will be released as a free PDF in February 2008The census closes next Friday (30 Nov) so if you are working with or providing Open Source products, technologies or services in Australia visit the Census page and fill it out!

Managing eZ Publish Web Content Management Projects – A Review

Packt Publishing have just released a new eZ Publish related book titled, Managing eZ Publish Web Content Management Projects written by Martin Bauer.

Firstly I must state that in the past I worked with the author of this book for a number of years at designIT. I've been involved in many of the projects mentioned in the book as well as discussed and work-shopped many of the techniques both with and with out the assistance of a cold frothy beer or two.

This book isn't as much a step by step technical guide to creating an eZ Publish site but a series of observations and techniques that can help in specifying, delivering and managing medium to large web based content management projects. While the title and some of the content imply an eZ publish focus, most of the advice could be applied to web content management in general regardless of the platform.

The tone of the book is quite informal which makes it easy to read. The book takes the reader through the stages of the Software D…

Moving on...

This Friday is my last day with designIT. In July designIT was sold and I made the decision not to continue on with the new company. Currently I don't have any plans apart from having a few weeks off, knocking down a brick wall and finding work a little closer to home. I thought I'd take a trip down memory lane before I have my mind scrubbed ready for whatever comes next.

I started with designIT in October/November 2002 working on an online version of a survey that is sent to all university graduates in Australia. While this project was progressing another project was starting that used a CMS called eZ Publish produced by a little company on the other side of the world. Initially the project was to use version 2.0 but given that version 3.0 was to be released soon it was decided to postpone development until it was released (well the beta at least).

Much of the development was based on beta versions of eZ publish and the site went live before the initial 3.0 version was act…

[Solved] - Help required to complete Indonesian locale for eZ Publish

Update: Thanks to some pointers from Derick Rethans the locale is now complete and up on the eZ site.

I'm in the process of doing a spring clean and came across an Indonesian locale that I created for a multilingual project we completed some time ago: http://www.universitasaustrali.com.au/

The locale in incomplete in that I have not been able to establish the short names for days and months. It's good enough to use for most cases (not sure where and if the short names actually get used) and have released it as a contribution:

http://ez.no/community/contribs/internationalization/indonesian_locale

If anyone can help to complete it please drop me a line.

eZMail Debug updated for eZ publish 3.9.2

I've updated the subversion repository of Kristof Coomans'eZMail Debug patch to work with eZ Publish 3.9.2

To use, simply download the patched ezmail.php from http://pubsvn.ez.no/community/trunk/hacks/ezmaildebug/patches/3.9.2/lib/ezutils/classes/ezmail.php
and save it to lib/ezutils/classes/ezmail.php of your eZ Publish 3.9.2 install.

Easy web services with eZ Publish

One of the things I love about eZ publish is that it's so configurable and often settings can be used in ways that were not thought of when introduced.

In version 3.8 the ability to add and override HTTP headers was introduced (from what I can tell to allow for fine tuning of cache related headers).

In the most basic terms a web service is the ability to provide machine readable data (typically XML) over a network.

eZ publish has the ability to provide RSS feeds which is contained within it's own module. However this is quite limited. eZ also come with a SOAP library that would allow the coding of services.

The introduction of the httpd header overwrite feature allows for eZ Publish to use the templating system and the content within the site to produce any data you require, i.e. no php coding required. It also allows for the data feeds to be dynamic and relative to the existing web content.

The process in a nutshell is:
create a layout for the webservice (layout.ini)
overwrite the…

11 usability principles for CMS products

James Robertson of Step Two Designs has published an article titled "11 usability principles for CMS products"

The article discusses indepth the following principles:
minimise the number of optionsbe robust and error-proofprovide task-based interfaceshide implementation detailsmeet core usability guidelinesmatch authors' mental modelssupport both frequent and infrequent usersprovide efficient user interfacesprovide help and instructionsminimise training requiredsupport self-sufficiencyI think thats it's a pretty impressive list and one that any CMS on the market will have trouble meeting today.

eZ Publish while not perfect meets many of the principles at least in some aspect. When I have a bit more time (yeah right) I may evaluate eZ based against these principles in more depth.

Making something as complex as a CMS especially one as feature packed and complex as eZ Publish usable is a huge task but in the end it is a tool that has to be used and usibility is important.

W…