A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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22 Things STC Does for Communities

22 things STC is doing for our chapter. This list provides a detailed education on the relationship between Society and our chapter.

Buttram, Diana. Carolina Communique (2009). Articles>TC>Standards


508 for Dummies  (link broken)   (PDF)

A talk with Gloria Reece, a senior member of STC's AccessAbility SIG who can help demystify Section 508. Get practical advice for implementing the law in your workplace without tearing apart existing products and starting from scratch. Section 508 for Dummies will introduce you to the basics of the regulation using models and scenarios.

Reece, Gloria A. STC Proceedings (2004). Articles>Accessibility>Standards>Section 508


A to Z(ee) with P3P

When you build websites that rely on cookies and they are expected to work with privacy settings other than default, you’ll have to deal with P3P. Read on to find out about the cornerstones of the Platform for Privacy Preferences, and get your hands dirty with an example guiding you from empty hands to a complete basic implementation.

Willerich, Matthias. Content with Style. Articles>Web Design>Privacy>Standards


About Web Standards

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), along with other groups and standards bodies, has established technologies for creating and interpreting web-based content. These technologies, which we call 'web standards', are carefully designed to deliver the greatest benefits to the greatest number of web users while ensuring the long-term viability of any document published on the Web. Designing and building with these standards simplifies and lowers the cost of production, while delivering sites that are accessible to more people and more types of Internet devices. Sites developed along these lines will continue to function correctly as traditional desktop browsers evolve, and as new Internet devices come to market.

Web Standards Group (2006). Articles>Web Design>Standards


The Absolute Minimum Every Software Developer Absolutely, Positively Must Know About Unicode and Character Sets (No Excuses!)

Ever wonder about that mysterious Content-Type tag? You know, the one you're supposed to put in HTML and you never quite know what it should be? I've been dismayed to discover just how many software developers aren't really completely up to speed on the mysterious world of character sets, encodings, Unicode, all that stuff.

Spolsky, Joel. Joel on Software (2003). Articles>Language>Standards>Unicode


Accessibility and Section 508  (link broken)

Over the last couple of years the electronic and IT industry have had to start seriously considering the accessibility of their products and services. This is due to recent developments regarding Federal legislation, specifically Section 508. This article provides an overview of the legislation and includes a case study showing how a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template is applied in practice.

System Concepts (2005). Articles>Accessibility>Standards>Section 508


Accessibility is Part of Your Job

Accessibility is one of the fundamentals of the Web, so how people who claim to be passionate about the Web and say that they deliver high quality can choose to ignore it is beyond me.

Johansson, Roger. 456 Berea Street (2007). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Standards


The Accessibility of WAI-ARIA

Web developers interested in accessibility issues often look to WAI-ARIA to bridge the accessibility gap created by ubiquitous scripting and make web applications more accessible to blind and visually impaired users. But can we recommend WAI-ARIA without reservation? Are there times when appropriate semantic HTML elements are preferable to custom widgets?

Fischer, Detlev. List Apart, A (2010). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Standards


Accessibility, Web Standards, and Authoring Tools

It's been a long trip, but we’re almost out of the dark. We finally have browsers that offer substantial support for several technologies established by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and other standards bodies. Designers and developers can use many core features of XHTML and CSS and sometimes DHTML without worrying about the hazards of cross–browser chicanery. As browsers have evolved, it’s become easier to comply with the W3C’s Web Accessibility initiative (WAI) and, in the United States, with the amendments to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1974 (commonly called “Section 508”).

Schmitt, Christopher. List Apart, A (2002). Design>Web Design>Accessibility>Standards


Accessible Context-Sensitive Help with Unobtrusive DOM Scripting

This article demonstrates two methods of calling context-sensitive help in a web form: the Field Help Method and Form Help Method, in which unobtrusive DOM/JavaScript is employed to achieve the desired result. It also serves to illustrate the separation of the Structure and Behavior layers of a web page. Graceful degradation is employed to make sure that the help information is accessible if JavaScript is disabled or not available in a user agent.

Palinkas, Frank M. Opera (2008). Articles>Web Design>Standards>Help


Accommodating XML 1.1 in XML Schema 1.0

As published the W3C XML Schema specification references XML 1.0 explicitly, and incorporates by reference certain key definitions, in particular those of the 'Char', 'Name' and 'S' character classes. XML 1.1 changes the contents of these classes, so although nothing in the existing XML Schema specification specifically bars infosets produced by XML 1.1 conformant parsers, such infosets, if they exploit any of the relevant changes in XML 1.1, will not be accepted as valid by conformant XML Schema 1.0 processors.

Thompson, Henry S. IDEAlliance (2004). Articles>Information Design>Standards>XML


Achieving Usability Beyond ISO 9001  (link broken)

In the January issue, David Dick described how ISO standards 9241-11 and 13407 could be used to create standards and strategies for usability in the product life cycle. Another ISO standard that is an integral part of the product life cycle is called ISO 9001. ISO 9001:1994, 'Model for Quality Assurance in Design, Development, Production, Installation and Serving', specifies (quality system) requirements for achieving customer satisfaction by preventing non-conformity at all stages from design through servicing.

Dick, David J. Usability Interface (1998). Articles>Usability>Standards>ISO 9001


Acid Redux

I fully acknowledge that a whole lot of very clever thinking went into the construction of Acid3 (as was true of Acid2), and that a lot of very smart people have worked very hard to pass it. Congratulations all around, really. I just can’t help feeling like some broader and more important point has been missed.

Meyer, Eric. MeyerWeb (2008). Articles>Web Design>Standards>Assessment


Acrobats Are Free  (link broken)

Now that everybody's got the Acrobat reader we can talk about why so few are able to create Acrobat files, also called PDF files.

Quillio, Lou. Quillio.com (2003). Articles>Document Design>Standards>Adobe Acrobat


Adopting WCAG 2

It is six months since the release of WCAG 2.0 and I thought it might be interesting to see how extensively it has been adopted as a bench mark for determining web content accessibility. Over this time, I have felt that the rate of adoption has been relatively slow and the number of countries and other regulatory authorities now using WCAG 2 is lower than I expected.

Hudson, Roger. DingoAccess (2009). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Standards


Advanced XML Validation

XSLT stylesheets are designed to transform XML documents. Coupled with Java extensions, stylesheets can also be a powerful complement to XML Schema when grammar-based validation cannot cover all the constraints required. In this article, Peter Heneback presents the case for validating documents using XSLT with Java extensions and provides practical guidance and code samples.

Heneback, Peter. IBM (2006). Articles>Information Design>Standards>XML


AECMA 1000D - Goal and Reality

The contribution deals with the transposition of projects on the basis of the AECMA-1000D-specification. The author explains problems which exist outside aeronautics with the application of this specification.

Just, Stefan. TC-FORUM (2001). Articles>Documentation>Standards


Affordance, Conventions and Design

Please don't confuse affordance with perceived affordances. Don't confuse affordances with conventions. Affordances reflect the possible relationships among actors and objects: they are properties of the world. Conventions, on the other hand, are arbitrary, artificial and learned. Once learned, they help us master the intricacies of daily life, whether they be conventions for courtesy, for writing style, or for operating a word processor. Designers can invent new real and perceived affordances, but they cannot so readily change established social conventions. Know the difference and exploit that knowledge. Skilled design makes use of all.

Norman, Donald A. JND.org (1999). Design>Usability>Standards


All Tools Suck

On top of the usual frustrations with poor, incomplete, and incorrect implementation of standards and typically buggy and poorly-supported programs, add my frustration with trying to integrate these tools with other similarly joyful tools and you can see that my job is a recipe for bitterness and pain.

Kimber, Eliot. Dr. Macro's XML Rants (2006). Articles>Software>Standards>XSL


Analysis of XML Schema Usage  (link broken)

XML schema analysis aims to extract quantitative and qualitative information from actual XML schemas. To this end, XML schemas are measured through systematic algorithms, on the basis of the intrinsic feature model of the XSD language. XML schema analysis is a derivative of software analysis (program analysis) and of software code metrics, in particular. The present article introduces essential concepts of XML schema analysis and applies them to the important problem of understanding XML schema usage in practice. Analyses for feature counts, idiosyncrasy counts, size metrics, complexity metrics, and XML schema styles are executed on a large corpus of real-world XML schemas.

Lammel, Ralf, Stan Kitsis and Dave Remy. IDEAlliance (2005). Articles>Information Design>Standards>XML


Another Look at HTML 5

It has become evident to me that some of my previous comments about HTML 5 and what is going on in the HTML Working Group are the result of misunderstanding and overreacting on my part. I no longer think things are quite as bad.

Johansson, Roger. 456 Berea Street (2007). Articles>Web Design>Standards>HTML5


The Anti-Mac: Violating the Macintosh Human Interface Guidelines  (link broken)

Graphical computer interfaces have become the norm. They are based on a number of principles such as metaphor, see-and-point, direct manipulation, user control, and WYSIWIG. The Anti-Mac project explored alternative interfaces that might result from violating the principles behind conventional graphical interfaces. What emerges is a human-computer interface based on language, a richer representation of objects, expert users, skilled agents, and shared control.

Nielsen, Jakob. ACM SIGCHI (1995). Articles>Human Computer Interaction>User Interface>Standards


Are AVCHD Camcorders the Next HD Lie?

When I first read about the AVCHD format with its use of MPEG4-AVC (H.264) video compression at a maximum of 24 mbps versus HDV which uses the older MPEG-2 format at 25 mbps, I was very excited about the new format. My enthusiasm dampened when I read the fine print that actual AVCHD implementation only uses 13 to 17 mbps MPEG4-AVC for compatibility with cheaper storage devices. Take a look at the screenshots below and it pains me to see how much detail is lost in the newer HD format.

Ou, George. ZDNet (2008). Articles>Multimedia>Video>Standards


Are Designers Focused Enough on User Needs?

I find that many designers give much more of their time to learning the latest standards trick than learning the latest “designing for users” trick. Here are a few reasons why this may be so.

Porter, Joshua. Bokardo (2008). Articles>Web Design>Standards>User Centered Design


Are Standards-Compliant Websites Better?

The adhoc way in which much of the web was developed has created a dilemma for web designers: should websites comply with standards, ensuring accessibility, or break the rules and work with older browsers? At this moment, the answer is simple: Websites should work with older browsers.

Baker, Adam. Merges.net (2001). Design>Web Design>Standards>Usability



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