Validation Tools and Accessibility

well, the holidays are over. while i enjoyed eating three pounds of fudge per day, i am ready to get back in the saddle. coffee in hand, i am now on chapter 9 of shreve’s drupal theming book.

this book has been perfect for me. diving into the nuts and bolts of how Drupal really works. exploring and understanding the relationships between .tpl, .css and .info files in drupal is really the key to understanding how to make the site look the way you want it to.

so, i’m on cross browser compatibility. and therefore, standards compliant coding. here is a great tool. W3C Validator. more to come on this later.

http://www.totalvalidator.com/ for the firefox browser. install this them use the plugin to help with validation.

The Web Developer add-on and Total Validator let you temporarily disable JavaScript for page testing. This is important with forms because many browsers have jscript disabled. google “degrade gracefully” for info on this topic.

here is a section from the book that i found helpful:

Adobe Browser Lab: This convenient and well-designed utility is part of the Adobe CS Live suite of tools. It is available free of charge to owners of Adobe CS5. The tool provides live preview of both static and dynamic web pages. It allows for easy A/B comparisons and basic diagnostics. To use the service, visit http://browserlab.adobe.com.
Browsershots: The site provides a free service that allows you to submit a URL, then check back to see screenshots of the page in all the various browsers you select. While free, it can take a while to get results and there is no support for Apple or mobile devices. Visit the site at: http://www.browsershots.org.
CrossBrowserTesting: This commercial service offers a very wide range of operating systems and browsers, both traditional and mobile. Want to see how your site looks on Win98 SE running Netscape 4? You can do it here! The service includes both real time testing and a screenshots option. The site is available for a monthly subscription fee, or you can just try it out free for a week. Visit: http://crossbrowsertesting.com.

Here is some great info from the book about accessibilty:

The most commonly applied standards for web accessibility are promulgated by the W3C under the name the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI). A subset of those guidelines, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), is targeted at web developers. The WAI section of the W3C website includes a large amount of information on what it means to create accessible sites, along with resources to support your efforts.

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