Last week I have started documenting the Imtech SharePoint Enhancement Toolkit. The toolkit consists of a module which increases the performance of Internet-facing web sites built upon SharePoint 2007 and a module which addresses accessibility and standards compliancy related issues - also in SharePoint 2007 based Internet-facing web sites.
Hi Software has just announced that they have released the 1.1 version of Accessibility Kit for SharePoint which addresses collaborative environments. According to the press release posted at the AKS forum the new version of AKS contains 21 new control adapters for various controls used on Blogs and Wikis. These controls are meant to improve the overall accessibility of a web collaboration environment.
Recently Jan Tielens has presented on his blog the CopyUtil.aspx SharePoint application page. What this page does is it allows you to build up a link to a List Item using nothing but ID's (Site id if linking to another Site Collection, Web id, List id and List Item id). As Jan described in his article: this page gets very useful while working with SPSiteDataQuery which returns standard all the id's mentioned above! As we're just working with the SPSiteDataQuery at Imtech, I have decided to research both items further to see what is there inside for us.
Defining the natural language of a web page is very important: it allows assistive technologies like screen readers to read the content of a web page out loud using the right accent en pronunciation. In (X)HTML you can define the natural language both for the whole page and particular elements using the lang and xml:lang attributes. As marking a particular fragment of text with a different language isn't really difficult and can be done by the end users, setting the natural language of the whole page dynamically in SharePoint is challenging and must be implemented by developers.
WCAG 1.0 has been published back in 1999 by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Since that time both the Internet and all the technologies have evolved. The Internet itself has got way different character: together with the commercial side, the social networking has evolved. The only thing that hasn't change so far are the accessibility requirements still remembering the good old HTML 3.2.