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Making this forum more accessible

 
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Brent
Site Admin


Joined: 01 Jul 2005
Posts: 728

PostPosted: Oct 3rd, 2005, 5:01am    Post subject: Making this forum more accessible Reply with quote

Hi everyone,

I am open to any suggestions any of you may have to make this forum more accessible. I'm primarily wishing to assist people with the visual aspects.

This forum uses phpBB, and it is not the greatest for people using assistive technologies, such as screen readers or magnified text. Screen readers can have problems with complex tables, or the way a table is used assumes the user is able to look at a column header and/or a row header and know what some number means. Also, because phpBB relies on font sizes in pixels set with cascading style sheets, for Internet Explorer text scaling (View+Text Size) is ignored.

phpBB can possibly be worked around by using an accessible style template to eliminate unnecessary tables and complexity. However, the font scaling issue is a sticky one. If I were to change the font size using the size BBCode, that size is stored with the message and is rendered in HTML as an inline style using pixel (px) height. It is very difficult to override an inline style and still keep the relative sizes proportional. I made an attempt at this.
Code:
<html>
<head>
<style><!--
body { font-family: sans-serif; }
--></style>
<script language="javascript"><!--
function MakeFontSizeRelative()
{
  var aSpans = document.body.getElementsByTagName("SPAN");
  for ( var iSpan = 0; iSpan < aSpans.length; iSpan++ )
  {
    with ( aSpans[iSpan].style )
    {
      if ( fontSize && fontSize.indexOf("px") > 0 )
      {
alert(fontSize);
        var sz = parseInt(fontSize);
        if ( sz <= 7 ) fontSize = "small";
        else if ( sz <= 9 ) fontSize = "medium";
        else if ( sz <= 12 ) fontSize = "large";
        else if ( sz <= 18 ) fontSize = "x-large";
        else fontSize = "xx-large";
      }
    }
  }
}
//--></script>
</head>
<body onload="javascript:MakeFontSizeRelative();">
<span style="font-size:7px;">Tiny</span><br />
<span style="font-size:9px">Small</span><br />
<span style="font-size:12px">Normal</span><br />
<span style="font-size:18px">Large</span><br />
<span style="font-size:24px">Huge</span>
</body>
</html>

This sample will first show what the standard font sizes in phpBB look like. Then it will use Javascript to iterate through all the span tags looking for pixel-sized fonts. For each one it finds, it pops up an alert box to tell you the pixel size, then it replaces that size with a relative size.

There are several table-less templates available that people have created. If you know of a good one that is available for others to use, please speak up. I am open to any suggestions as well.

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Brent
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udix
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PostPosted: Oct 5th, 2006, 7:54am    Post subject: Re: Making this forum more accessible Reply with quote

Now in Europe these days - Oct. 2006 - educated users all use Firefox (in Germany 49%) and we are always advised by computer journals to turn off javascript - what we do. So commercial programs first test this and then they advise us: THIS PROGRAM NEEDS/USES javascript - please activate javascript. How do they do that? Would you incorporate this in your program? Udix.
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Brent
Site Admin


Joined: 01 Jul 2005
Posts: 728

PostPosted: Oct 5th, 2006, 9:13pm    Post subject: Re: Making this forum more accessible Reply with quote

Hello Udix,

Such a message is placed within noscript tags.
Code:
<noscript>This page requires Javascript.</noscript>

However, in the context of this forum, it's debatable where this would be placed so as not to annoy people, because it would not be "required" if the user has no need for accessibility aids.

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Brent
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andlabs
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PostPosted: Dec 20th, 2006, 8:00pm    Post subject: Re: Making this forum more accessible Reply with quote

I happen to have an eye problem, and I notice in the black color theme that it is hard for me to read the [ code ] blocks. Maybe we can change one or both of the colors? Green does not look good on a gray background, and my post happens to be on a shade of gray.
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Brent
Site Admin


Joined: 01 Jul 2005
Posts: 728

PostPosted: Dec 20th, 2006, 9:25pm    Post subject: Re: Making this forum more accessible Reply with quote

I agree that it is hard to read, but no one has mentioned it until now. I'll look into changing it--maybe green on brown?
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andlabs
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PostPosted: Dec 21st, 2006, 1:29am    Post subject: Re: Making this forum more accessible Reply with quote

Light green on some shade of brown will do it.
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andlabs
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PostPosted: Dec 22nd, 2006, 1:28am    Post subject: Re: Making this forum more accessible Reply with quote

Yes! This is easier to read. Thanks.
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