Web standards: for interoperability and Accessibility

Rencontres Mondiales du Logiciel Libre, Metz, France, July 10th, 2003.

Tristan Nitot

Mozilla and OpenWeb.eu.org contributor

http://StandBlog.com/ - tristan@nitot.com

A bit of (Web) History

Which Standards, by the way?

An infant in bad shape

Very difficult to author content

Costly to maintain

Updating a page often means asking for help to IT people (high risk of breaking something when updating pages)


Web sites were tailored for IE 4+ and Netscape 4+ graphical browsers

Not ready for international

Makes browsers bloated

Very hard to index and search

Using the standards

Benefits for users:

Huge benefits for entreprises and web developers:

Let's dive into technical details

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd">

<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" lang="fr" xml:lang="fr">


  <title>My own page</title>

  <meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1" />  



  <h1>What a nice page</h1>

  <p>Just a  sample for FR language, with iso-8859-1 encoding (western Europe) and XHTML 1.0 Strict.</p>



Linking to a style sheet

In the head element:

<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="test.css" media="screen" title="default style" />

Applies the style sheet to the page

Insert some stuff into the style sheet:

body { 

font-family: verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif;

color: white;

background-color: black;

background-image: url("coucher-soleil.jpg");

background-repeat: no-repeat;}

Demos : the power of CSS

DTDs and validation

Buy standards compliant Web sites

Web Standards and validation for the Buyer

They are the best tools to

Read 'Buy Standards Compliant Web sites' on W3.org

Back to benefits

Conclusion for Web developers

Conclusion francophone ;-)

  1. http://openweb.eu.org/
  2. http://pompage.net/
  3. Une liste de discussion pour partager les expériences : http://pompage.net/liste/
  4. http://standblog.com/

Conclusion for the End User


What is accessibility

How do people with disabilities use the Web?

Vision Disabilities and adaptive technologies

Other disabilities and associated adaptives technologies

Some scary statistics

Some selfish reasons to be accessible

  1. Broaden the audience
  2. Be useable from connected PDAs and smartphones
  3. Accessibility means more usability
  4. You'll probably end up with sight problems sooner or later

Accessibility and the law

W3C and accessibility

WAI Guidelines

  1. Provide equivalent alternatives to auditory and visual content
  2. Don't rely on color alone
  3. Use markup and style sheets and do so properly
  4. Clarify natural language usage
  5. Create tables that transform gracefully
  6. Ensure that pages featuring new technologies transform gracefully
  7. Ensure user control of time-sensitive content changes

WAI Levels

The more “A”, the better :-)

Testing your site

Limits of “validation” technology for accessibility: tools are not smart enough.

Accessibility testing tools


The inaccessible buildings of tomorrow are built today, on the Web.

We have the power to change that.

Do we want to?