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Home arrow Developer Manual arrow 9. Usability and Standards arrow WCAG Checklist

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Article Index
WCAG Checklist
Priorities explained
Priority 1
Priority 2
Priority 3
Explanations / To Do

Priority 1

6.1 Organize documents so they may be read without style sheets. For example, when an HTML document is rendered without associated style sheets, it must still be possible to read the document
  • Organise the content so it has a logical reading structure without stylesheets.
  • Core: Ensure that generated content is rendered using structural markup (such as div).
5.1 For data tables, identify row and column headers.
  • Properly use td for data cell, and th for header cells.
  • Core: Using tables to deliver the list of content items in Category section is an appropriate use of tables, particularly if dates, authors, hits, etc are listed with each Item Title. This is considered "tabular data". Ensure that table headers are using th.
5.2 For data tables that have two or more logical levels of row or column headers, use markup to associate data cells and header cells.

Priority 2

3.3 Use style sheets to control layout and presentation.
  • Visual design and layout should be handled through the use of CSS. Content should be completely separated from its presentation.
  • Core: Develop alternative template to deliver content without tables. Best suggestion at this point would be to create a set of tableless content pages, using patTemplates. These alternative files could be packaged in the core, and the user could select to use either the "old" tabled content, or the "new" tableless. The advantage of this is that older templates relying on legacy code won't break.
3.5 Use header elements to convey document structure and use them according to specification.
  • Use proper semantic markup to determine document content hierarchy.
  • Core: Assign elements such as moduleheader, contentdeading, etc by appropriate h1, h2, h3, etc. Please refer to suggested use of headers for appropriate of "translation".
10.1 Until user agents allow users to turn off spawned windows, do not cause pop-ups or other windows to appear and do not change the current window without informing the user.
  • Don't force links to open in new windows without warning the user.
  • Core: Provide a way to let users know links open in a new browser window. e.g. "The following link opens in a new browser window". Some places uses a small popup notification along the same lines.
11.2 Avoid deprecated features of W3C technologies.
  • Don't use deprecated elements such as the font tag
  • Core: Go through and make sure that old tags don't get generated. In particular: font, b, i
13.1 Clearly identify the target of each link.
  • Several links with the same name are confusing (such as "read more"). Also, links saying simply "click here" are not meaningful.
  • Core: Change the behaviour of the link added for "Read more". Use the title alias (or title if alias doesn't exist). Instead of hard coding "read more", provide the user with a variable to edit the text. Provide another variable to go after the title alias, so users can build links such as "Read more about the title alias article"
13.2 Provide metadata to add semantic information to pages and sites.
  • Some metadata is already used, such as title, and doctype is up to the template developer. Providing users the ability to include the link tag in the document's head would allow greater accessibility. Link can be used to build navigation systems or provide alternative versions (e.g. text-only). See http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10-HTML-TECHS/#document-meta for more details.
  • Core: Explore the possibility of adding link tag generation to the head of individual content items.
13.3 Provide information about the general layout of a site (e.g., a site map or table of contents).
  • Particularly on complex sites, a sitemap is really helpful to find what you're looking for. This is a usability factor as much as an accessibility factor.
  • Core: While there are 3PD components to create sitemaps, we should incorporate a sitemap in the core if we want to be able to offer WCAG compliant sites. Sitemaps should give the flexibility to users to select which bits appear on the sitemap, in which order. A possible solution would be to list all sections, categories, static content, components (and perhaps even an option for content items), and let the user select which ones are to appear on the sitemap, and in which order. This may become clumsy with sites with 1,000's of items, but it would be the most flexible solution. Using the menu structure to deliver the sitemap (as some components do), is too limiting.
5.3 Do not use tables for layout unless the table makes sense when linearized. Otherwise, if the table does not make sense, provide an alternative equivalent (which may be a linearized version).
  • If we use tables for layout, the content must make sense when you read it from left-to-right and top-to-bottom (for most languages), as this is how a screen reader goes through a table. Nested tables cause more problems. Simple solution to this iss the oft-requested tableless content generation.
  • Core: Develop alternative template to deliver content without tables, as already addressed by point 3.3.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 17 September 2005 )
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