By David Storeydstorey. Tuesday, December 30, 2008 8:37:28 PM
Opera released an alpha of Opera 10 earlier this month. One reason for alpha releases is to find and fix potential problems and bugs. These can either be browser bugs that we have to fix or site bugs where the site’s developers need to fix. Opera 10 has uncovered a flaw in many browser sniffer scripts, that causes the script to detect Opera 10 as Opera 1. This is because they only detect the first digit of the version number. My colleague Hallvord Steen has more information in his blog post 10 is the one. I'd recommend anyone that developers web sites to download the latest alpha and check their sites for this and other potential issues, before Opera 10 goes final.
This issue has caused problems on many big sites from Microsoft Live to Bank of America. If it isn't fixed the sites will also likely stay broken for when browsers like IE 10 get released in a number of years time. Unfortunately we are the ones leading the pack into this particular issue.
By Zi Bin Cheahzibin. Wednesday, December 17, 2008 5:56:38 PM
Opera has just launched our Opera Desktop 9.63 Chinese build. True to Opera desktop's tradition, the China version is also named after a bird:IBIS. IBIS can be downloaded from Opera download (6.7mb)
With the launch of IBIS, Opera has moved from translation to localization. We have listened to our Chinese users, and included many Chinese-friendly features. Through Opera's Open The Web effort, we have also worked with major Chinese site owners and IBIS is a proof that even more sites now work in Opera.
Once you launch the browser, you will spot a brand new look and feel. There is a bright red browser skin. Upon firing up a new tab, you will see that the Speed Dial has a hovering effect with precustomized sites.
This version has better tab management more suited for the Chinese users. Double-clicking a tab will close it and dragging a link to open the tab will open it in the background rather than the foreground.
Other features include support for popular Chinese download tool Thunder (you can now right click to download the file into Thunder). Opera mail now comes with China's favourite email configuration.
For those of us who don't read Chinese, worry not. You can still install it by choosing English during installation.
For now, Opera 9.63 Chinese build is only available in Windows. Remember that even though Opera is a solid browser, it is good to backup your files when running more than one instances of Opera browser.
More goodies for this Christmas (or Chinese lunar new year) is the introduction of Opera Mini 4.2 Chinese Version and a sparkling brand new Opera China community site. You can download Opera Mini China using your mobile phone.
Merry Christmas and a happy new year!
By Henny Swaniheni. Wednesday, December 17, 2008 4:33:35 PM
A new concept in WCAG 2.0 is accessibility supported web content technologies. This has confused a few people and also raised the wider question of what technologies are in fact accessibility supported?
Under WCAG 2.0 the idea is to use web technologies (HTML, AJAX, Flash, DOM Scripting) that support accessibility. By supporting accessibility this means assistive technologies (screen readers, screen magnifiers, refreshable braille displays, voice input) are able to programatically determine the meaning of content that the user is accessing i.e. the web content works with the browser and the assistive technology. A real world example of this is how before MSAA support was added to Flash (a web content technology) screen readers were unable to access Flash at all whereas now, with MSAA added, they can. So where previously Flash didn't support accessibility now it does.
Programatically determined basically means a piece of information is machine readable by browsers and/or assistive technologies. In other words information can be communicated to the user by reading the HTML, DOM etc. It doesn't therefore need to be visible to someone browsing a web page, but rather the information is included within the page in such a way that the browsers and/or assistive technologies can access and relay that information. An example of this is how the SUMMARY attribute on a data table is read out by a screen reader to a blind user but not visible to the sighted user.
So in short accessibility supported web content technologies are ones that assistive technologies and browsers can understand and communicate back to the user.
Ideally accessible websites should be built using accessibility supported web technologies but as a developer the problem is knowing what technology is accessible in combination with any given browser or assistive technology. How do you know, for example, if Jaws 8 can handle a slider or an expandable menu? In addition to this what are the differences in support between versions of assistive technologies, is Jaws 9 better than Jaws 8? These are essential things to know for a web developer who is building accessible web pages.
There's some good information up there and some great contributors so well worth a look. Content is also licensed by Creative Commons
and therefore freely available to re-use.