Thursday, July 1, 2010

What's Old Is New Again

Having just completed a series of posts about integrating CakePHP and CKFinder, I was noodling around, and decided to take a close look at the website that provides the escaping tool that I use to prepare source for the blog.

Accessify.com seems to be a great site for all things related to accessibility in the web world. However, the primary contributor has become a little disillusioned about the website, and if he should keep it going. I think it's great. It has a great selection of tools that I'll be taking a gander at over the coming weeks, and some interesting articles on web accessibility.

Accessibility on the web still seems to be a fringe discipline, and it's not until your country makes to take accessibility into account, you're working for the government or some other entity as large and bureaucratic as government or public service, or your target audience on the web is using a screenreader, that you actually bother to take a look at the issue in detail. Usually, you just try to keep the HTML clean, use CSS (and not the inline variety) and not use Javascript for generating content.

The more interesting articles on the site highlighted a tool that fills a need dear to my heart. Internet Explorer 8, Internet Explorer 7 and Internet Explorer 6, and having to provide for each of them (*cough* *bollocks* *cough*). And that tool is the Microsoft Expression Web SuperPreview for Windows Internet Explorer. Since the initial article was written, it looks as though this tool is available for free, though you can pay for the full version of Expression Web, which seems to allow comparison with Firefox as well. Hopefully it also does Chrome and Safari.

These days, I just don't cater for IE6 at all, if I can help it. It's bad enough that web development has to be visited at least once for each browser engine (Gecko, Webkit and WTF IE uses), but then I have to provide specific CSS for IE exceptions, and then do it twice again for IE7 and IE6. But this tool will help you compare a website between IE8, IE6 and the IE8 impression of IE7 side by side (or overlay, or horizontal tiling). It will also allow comparisons with images as well, just in case your website design has been delivered via an image (Photoshop, usually, but in rare annoying cases, JPG, PNG or GIF).

Anyway, now I don't need to maintain a VMs for the sole purpose of being able to run IE7 and IE6. Well, almost. There's still Javascript to test, but given my usage of jQuery, it's usually not such an issue.

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