A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

Apple Inc.

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Since the discourse over creating accessible Web pages began, the standards organizations that helped inform the new Federal rules have stressed the separation of design and content. If the Internet is to reach its full potential, content will need to be authored so that it can be rendered by a broad array of devices: browsers, assistive technologies, PDAs, and devices that have yet to be imagined. Only by separating content from design will this be possible. By following the rules in Section 508, you will be doing more than providing access for those with disabilities; you will be creating content that is available to all users, no matter what devices are used to read it.

Apple Inc. (2006). Design>Web Design>Accessibility>Section 508


Apple Human Interface Guidelines   (PDF)

These guidelines are designed to assist you in developing products that provide Mac OS X users with a consistent visual and behavioral experience across applications and the operating system.

Apple Inc. (2003). Design>User Interface>Operating Systems


Apple Publications Style Guide   (PDF)

The Apple Publications Style Guide provides editorial guidelines for text in Apple instructional publications, technical documentation, reference information, training programs, and the software user interface.

Apple Inc. (2006). Resources>Style Guides


Apple Publications Style Guide   (PDF)

The Apple Publications Style Guide provides editorial guidelines for text in Apple instructional publications, technical documentation, reference information, training programs, and the software user interface.

Apple Inc. (2006). Resources>Style Guides


Apple Publications Style Guide (2003)   (PDF)

An updated version of the style guide used by writers and editors in Apple publications groups.

Apple Inc. (2003). Reference>Style Guides>Technical Writing>Technical Writing


Delivering Content with RSS for Web Developers

The delivery of web content is being revolutionized by a new technique known as syndication. The most common format for syndication is RSS, or Really Simple Syndication, an XML (eXtensible Markup Language) format for coordinating the delivery of time-based content streams, or 'feeds.' This means that RSS can be used to deliver content that changes over time. RSS provides for the inclusion of additional data, similar to email attachments, using the ENCLOSURE tag.

Apple Inc. (2006). Design>Web Design>XML>RSS


Dynamic Content with DOM-2 (Part I)

The relatively recent emergence of peer-to-peer distributed computing and the renewed interest in real-time data exchange have stoked the embers of a hot topic: displaying dynamic content over the Web. Unfortunately, the statelessness of HTTP and the limitations of the rendering components of different browsers present significant challenges to web developers wishing to get fresh information to the client without sending additional requests to a server.

Apple Inc. (2006). Design>Web Design>Standards


Dynamic Content with DOM-2 (Part II)

This article dives into the JavaScript node interface and examines the different ways of altering the visible properties of an element or text node. You’ll first learn how to alter element attributes with DOM element methods, then you’ll see how to change an element’s style properties through the DOM Level 2 (DOM2) Style specification interface.

Apple Inc. (2006). Design>Web Design>Standards


Dynamic Forms with DHTML

This approach uses Dynamic HTML (DHTML), which has several benefits over using IFRAMES to make life a bit easier for the users of your site. First, DHTML allows for more flexible formatting than IFRAMEs permit. You can apply background images, borders, fonts, and all the other features you’ve learned to expect from HTML and Cascading Style Sheets to DHTML objects. In contrast, IFRAMES have almost no configurable features. Second, if someone fills out one form, switches to another, then switches back, there’s a good chance that the browser will lose the information that was initially entered. This problem doesn’t exist in the DHTML solution. Third, with DHTML you can do tricky things like clipping and moving the form around the page. You could do these things by combining IFRAMES and DHTML, but you might as well just use DHTML in the first place.

Apple Inc. (2006). Design>Web Design>Forms>DHTML


Dynamic HTML and XML: The XMLHttpRequest Object

As deployment of XML data and web services becomes more widespread, you may occasionally find it convenient to connect an HTML presentation directly to XML data for interim updates without reloading the page. Thanks to the little-known XMLHttpRequest object, an increasing range of web clients can retrieve and submit XML data directly, all in the background. To convert retrieved XML data into renderable HTML content, rely on the client-side Document Object Model (DOM) to read the XML document node tree and compose HTML elements that the user sees.

Apple Inc. (2006). Design>Web Design>DHTML>Ajax



The ability to customize fonts— in Mac OS, in word processing documents, in Web pages— is really nothing new. However, when it comes to changing fonts on Web pages, the mechanism is decidedly less intuitive and certainly less than easy. Having to litter a Web page with FONT FACE tags makes for larger files, and larger headaches as you weed through these tags to find that one misspelled word. CSS makes the process of selecting a font easy, and even better, it provides a fallback mechanism for those times when users don'’t have the fonts you wanted to appear.

Apple Inc. (2006). Design>Web Design>Typography>CSS



This is a very simple example of integrating a J2SE application with the Apple Help Viewer application. This sample code has been updated to include a project that produces a universal binary. No code changes were required for it to run correctly on Intel-based Macintosh computers.

Apple Inc. (2007). Articles>Documentation>Help>Macintosh


Hide/Show Layer

This script uses dynamic HTML (DHTML) to pop open a box with info in it when you click on a link. In my demo I’ve used this to pop up contextual help about filling in a form. It could also be used, for example, to give pop-up definitions for terms in an article. In both cases, it makes sense to give the information in context, modelessly. Likewise, this solution avoids the problems of statelessness and latency.

Apple Inc. (2006). Design>Web Design>Forms>DHTML


Horizontal Sizing in CSS

This article covers horizontal sizing and shows how to determine the width of elements with CSS. Once you’ve mastered both height and width, you should be well on your way to effectively using CSS.

Apple Inc. (2006). Design>Web Design>CSS


HTML Scripting Guide for QuickTime

You can use QuickTime and HTML together to present various kinds of multimedia over the Internet or from a local disk. There are specific HTML tags and parameters that cause a browser to load QuickTime and allow the HTML author to control QuickTime's behavior.

Apple Inc. (2006). Design>Web Design>Streaming>QuickTime


Human Interface Design Principles

This section provides a theoretical base for the wealth of practical information on implementing the Aqua interface elements presented in the rest of this book. You’ll undoubtedly find that you can’t design in accordance with all of the principles all the time. In those situations, you’ll have to make decisions based on which principle or set of principles is most important in the context of the task you’re solving. User testing is often an excellent way to decide between conflicting principles in a particular context.

Apple Inc. (2003). Design>Human Computer Interaction>User Interface


International Technologies

International technologies describes a collection of Macintosh technologies and resources developers can use to internationalize or localize their applications. Internationalization is the process of readying your software to handle different text systems and locale-specific features. Localization is the process of translating an application's text elements, and adjusting the user interface for a specific language or region.

Apple Inc. (2002). Resources>Language>Localization>Software


Introduction to Apple Human Interface Guidelines

These guidelines are designed to assist you in developing products that provide Mac OS X users with a consistent visual and behavioral experience across applications and the operating system.

Apple Inc. (2006). Design>User Interface>User Experience>Macintosh


Mac OS Help

Online help facilities are an important part of any software product in today's marketplace. Apple has a number of technologies specifically designed for providing both convenient to use and easy to understand online help. Interested developers can take advantage of these technologies and use them to build online help facilities into their own products. This page provides an overview of the current Apple help technologies along with links to other related resources.

Apple Inc.. Resources>Documentation>Online


Macintosh OS 8 Human Interface Guidelines

This document describes the additions and changes to Macintosh Human Interface Guidelines related to the release of Mac OS 8. Specifically, it presents guidelines for taking advantage of the Mac OS platinum appearance and the Appearance Manager. This document does not replace Macintosh Human Interface Guidelines.

Apple Inc. (1997). Design>Human Computer Interaction>User Interface


Macintosh OS X: Aqua Human Interface Guidelines

This document, which covers features up to Mac OS X version 10.2, describes what you need to do to design your application for Aqua. Primarily intended for Carbon and Cocoa developers who want their applications to look right and behave correctly in Mac OS X, these guidelines provide examples of how to use Aqua interface elements. Java application developers will also find these guidelines useful.

Apple Inc. (2003). Design>Human Computer Interaction>User Interface


Modifying Styles

With the release of W3 compliant browsers however, we now have the ability to change styles on the fly from JavaScript, using the W3C DOM. Unfortunately, due to a distinction between the way that embedded and remote stylesheet properties are exposed as opposed to the way that inline STYLE properties are exposed, this can be tricky.

Apple Inc. (2006). Design>Web Design>CSS>DHTML


Object Detection

The pace of new browser releases may be slower than it was in the early days, but developers must still confront a bemusing array of browser versions and brands that support some JavaScript features but not others. To combat the problem, scripters commonly provide two or more code branches so that a browser follows an execution path containing statements that it supports. Browser sniffing — the task of inspecting navigator object properties for version information — has become largely unmanageable given the browser version permutations available today. This article presents details on an alternative solution — object detection — that frees JavaScript developers from most of this versioning mess.

Apple Inc. (2006). Design>Web Design>Standards>DHTML


Online Documentation and Online Help

A bibliography that presents major works on topics discussed in the book Inside Macintosh: Macintosh Human Interface Guidelines.

Apple Inc. (1996). Resources>Bibliographies>Documentation>Online


Plug-In Detection

Since there are clearly times when it makes sense to use a plug-in, the question arises of how to deal with those who don’t have the required plug-in installed. As Web developers, we have several choices. One option is to do nothing, simply serving the plug-in-dependent content. The trouble is that those that don’t have the required plug-in will get a rather disturbing page with a broken plug-in icon where your beautiful multimedia should be. Another option is to give visitors a choice between the plug-in version and the static HTML version of each page. Sometimes this may be the best choice, since it gives your visitors control over their experience. There are two problems, however. First of all, the choice itself interrupts a visitor’s experience of the site. Second, it requires them to know what plug-ins they have installed. But why should they need to know? Many users don’t know a plug-in from a spark plug? The final and often best option, the one this script is designed to help with, is to check to see if each visitor has a given plug-in. If they do, you can go ahead and serve them the page with the plug-in embedded.

Apple Inc. (2006). Design>Web Design>Server Side Includes>DHTML



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