Recently while working on an Internet facing web site for one of our customers I thought of creating a control which would automatically create a hierarchical Title in the <title> element, like: Site Collection - Current Site - Current Page. Standard SharePoint 2007 allows you to define the title on the Master Page and within a Page Layout. Default SharePoint 2007 displays the Page Title in the <title> element. As I've been recently researching the accessibility issues I have noticed that such a behavior can cause loosing the context - especially if the visitor is vision impaired. Secondly it might cause search engines indexing a page and not linking it to the organization (Site Collection) or for example a division within it (Site). You could solve it using the standard features like displaying the Site's Title using <SharePoint:ProjectProperty> but still it wouldn't provide me the flexibility I wanted it to have. That's why I have decided to make a control which would automatically generate a title based on the existing hierarchy.
SharePoint 2007 is a very extensible development platform. Thanks to its flexibility the developers keep coming with new features which extend the user experience. One of the areas where the things are still missing is the Web Content Management: accessibility in particular leaves plenty of challenges to be tackled and features to be added by the accessibility enthusiasts and developers. One of these is the W3C Validator for SharePoint 2007.
Last Thursday I gave a presentation about accessibility in SharePoint 2007: the existing challenges and my approach to it. I have been invited by the Dutch Information Worker User Group to share my experience with other Dutch developers. Standing on the other side on such an event was my first time. I have to admit I did find it quite exciting and didn't really know what to expect of it - being a developer it's not really your daily job to speak for a group of over 40 people. For those of you who didn't have the chance to attend my presentation let me give you a brief overview of the contents.
As I have recently mentioned, here at Imtech ICT Business Solutions we are busy with first 100% Webrichtlijnen compliant Internet facing web site based on SharePoint 2007. Earlier this week we have finished the development en begun testing the solution. Yes, we have discovered a few undocumented features which we have immediately resolved. Anyway testing for compliancy with the Dutch government's guidelines was a serious part of this project and it was my job to achieve this goal.
...if you are developing a Webrichtlijnen compliant website in ASP.NET or let's say in... SharePoint 2007!