[Irl-dean] TerminalFour and accessibility

Eoin Campbell ecampbell at xmlw.ie
Fri Jun 9 15:40:18 IST 2006

We recently audited www.ombudsman.gov.ie, www.sipo.gov.ie and
www.oic.gov.ie for accessibility,
and found them quite good. The sites are driven by TerminalFour, so I
think it is safe to say that T4
is capable of supporting accessible websites.

However, we don't know if the text content on the site was created
exclusively using the TerminalFour, or edited
elsewhere and imported.

We did not assess the text editing interface of TerminalFour, so cannot
make any specific comments
about it.
However, in general, what we find is that most CMS vendors have
developed their own rich-text
editing interface using JavaScript or the Microsoft ActiveX control.
Such tools invariably have the
following problems:
1. They are not capable of producing valid XHTML.
2. They don't handle rich text pasted from Word well, so the page is
either full of formatting junk,
    or doesn't allow text to be pasted at all.
3. They do not support setting a table row as a heading row, or setting
individual table cells as heading cells
   (for row headings).

We generally recommend that CMS vendors swap out their own rich-text
editing tool
and use the free XStandard Lite (www.xstandard.com) instead, as this is
a very good tool.
It usually only takes a day or two to do so.

Examples of websites driven by Irish CMS vendors using the XStandard
plug-in include
www.nala.ie, www.assistireland.ie, and www.dppireland.ie, I think.

Mark Magennis wrote:
> From ElectricNews:
> Eight Irish local authorities have hired enterprise content management
> firm TerminalFour to upgrade their websites, it emerged on Wednesday.
> ...
> TerminalFour managing director Piero Tintori told ENN ... "The need to
> update their systems for improved accessibility for deaf or blind
> citizens prompted local authorities to now roll-out their second, or
> in some cases third-generation, versions of their e-gov services".
> ...
> "The TerminalFour Site Manager product has helped us to develop and
> deliver a scalable, easy-to-use and accessible website which can be
> maintained by any of our staff members, regardless of their technology
> expertise," said Galway City Council's head of ICT, Robert Curley, in
> a statement.
> Full story: http://www.enn.ie/frontpage/news-9698543.html
> Obviously CMSs are an important determinant of website accessibility.
> Anybody here know anything more about the accessibility of
> TerminalFour or other available CMSs? You can email me privately if
> you don't want to say anything about this in public.

Eoin Campbell, Technical Director, XML Workshop Ltd.
10 Greenmount Industrial Estate, Harolds Cross, Dublin, Ireland.
Phone: +353 1 4547811; fax: +353 1 4496299.
Email: ecampbell at xmlw.ie; web: www.xmlw.ie
YAWC: One-click web publishing from Word!
YAWC Pro: www.yawcpro.com
YAWC Online: www.yawconline.com

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