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  • UI is one of the key areas that we definitely are open to suggestions. You might have them to start investigating skinning ExtJS 2.0.1 as a starting point since that’s what the manager is built in for 097.
      Ryan Thrash, MODX Co-Founder
      Follow me on Twitter at @rthrash or catch my occasional unofficial thoughts at thrash.me
    • This may be OT but has consideration gone into accessibility of the Manager UI? The 097 interface is so far pretty slick and extensible but I wonder about for non browser/mouse users and not just to comply with WCAG or 508 but to actually be usable for people who use touch screens, wands and eye-trackers as well as screen readers?

      I’ll start a new thread if it ought to be (or Ryan just move it).

      Cheers,

      Jay
        Author of zero books. Formerly of many strange things. Pairs well with meats. Conversations are magical experiences. He's dangerous around code but a markup magician. BlogTwitterLinkedInGitHub
      • That’s a great area to investigate Jay, and there should be ample information I’d think on the ExtJS forums for starting research with that respect. Care to take up the mantle on that front (and we’ll start a new thread when appropriate)?
          Ryan Thrash, MODX Co-Founder
          Follow me on Twitter at @rthrash or catch my occasional unofficial thoughts at thrash.me
        • Quote from: smashingred at Feb 23, 2008, 02:37 PM

          This may be OT but has consideration gone into accessibility of the Manager UI? The 097 interface is so far pretty slick and extensible but I wonder about for non browser/mouse users and not just to comply with WCAG or 508 but to actually be usable for people who use touch screens, wands and eye-trackers as well as screen readers?

          I’ll start a new thread if it ought to be (or Ryan just move it).

          Cheers,

          Jay

          Jay, I am so grate you brought this up. Although most of my clients don’t know and don’t care about the accessibility and I have not been able to sell accessibility to them, but I am adamant to build sites as friendly and accessible as possible for their users, including people who use screen readers.

          I have recently begun to pay attention to the accessible issue for the admin side after playing with the 0.9.7 SVN a bit, thought so far I haven’t been able to wrap my head around Ext2.0, but the idea of being able to customize the manager UI is exciting.

          @ Ryan, wonder if we can have a forum for best practices of accessibility ?

          Lastly, a bit of self-promo, one of my modx site is awarded for Notable Universal Design in the accessites dot org. grin
          • I finally managed to get a test site up to have a look at 0.9.7.

            I find the possibilities and flexibility of Ext in the manager very exciting, but at the same time slightly worrying on the accessibility side.

            With regards to the accessibility of Ext, I think it’s fairly patchy currently. To Ext’s credit however, problems evident in Ext are a ’feature’ of (all?) Rich Internet Applications at the moment.


            • There aren’t really any other JS libraries for RIAs that are very accessible yet (I’ve heard that Dojo Toolkit may have better accessibility that most, but I haven’t examined it myself).
            • Standards for accessibility in RIAs are still in their infancy. See - http://www.w3.org/TR/wai-aria/
            • Accessibility tools (screen readers, magnifiers etc.) are somewhat deficient in their handling of dynamically-updated interfaces.

            Looking at Ext’s roadmap, http://extjs.com/roadmap , they do plan to improve accessibility in version 3.0 (scheduled Autumn/Winter 2008), although I haven’t been able to find more info on these improvements.

            I have collated a few discussions on accessibility from the Ext forums which highlight some of the main accessibility issues:

            http://extjs.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5940
            http://extjs.com/forum/showthread.php?t=12999
            http://extjs.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5729

            As far as I can understand (after only an evening looking at the subject) is that if full accessibility is a necessity you will have to create a stripped-down version without all the bells and whistles for disabled users.
            • @ram

              After speaking to a few of the core members, especially OpenGeek. It has been satisfactorily explained to me that since the Manager interface is a context and not tied to the core that an official extension is the way to go. A separate addon interface that doesn’t use EXT but uses something that can be fully accessible--possibly plain HTML or some hybrid degradable JS/HTML interface.

              I have been told It won’t be ready for the initial release of 097 but is on the horizon and there will be an announcement when plans are made and additional information is available.

              So be assured that Accessibility is not a forgotten element but based on the current workload to just get 097 out the door (never mind the fact that the 0961- interfaces are not 100% accessible either) that accessibility will take its appropriate place in near future plans for MODx in some respect. It is my understanding that once an announcement is made the team will certainly look for community involvement and contributions to that end.

              All the best,

              Jay
                Author of zero books. Formerly of many strange things. Pairs well with meats. Conversations are magical experiences. He's dangerous around code but a markup magician. BlogTwitterLinkedInGitHub
              • The possibility of being able to create other manager interfaces through contexts is an excellent addition.

                I personally believe that it’s not possible to be completely accessible with a single means of viewing data in such a complex application.

                There are just too many different issues, and needs of various users - disabled or otherwise.
                • Quote from: ram at Feb 28, 2008, 03:28 PM

                  ...I personally believe that it’s not possible to be completely accessible with a single means of viewing data in such a complex application.
                  I can’t answer that but I don’t feel that it is entirely impossible. Main issues of screen readers and button navigation come to mind but touch screens and other devices will help. I feel that with the right guidance and some real testing that it is possible to make it very accessible though it may not have as many features or dynamic functions (I think that the ExtJS has too many, personally) it should allow people you use alternative interaction devices and means as well for those with visual impairments to manage and add content as well as perform other basic functions.

                  Quote from: ram at Feb 28, 2008, 03:28 PM

                  ...There are just too many different issues, and needs of various users - disabled or otherwise.
                  Accessibility, like perfection, is an aim not a destination. My thoughts are that to crack the enterprise and small governments that MODx should have some way for people to access websites. It is not about 508 or WAI or WCAG (although those are minimum benchmarks) but a way to help users be able to use an application to a large extent. Web applications should strive to be enabling and not by design exclude millions of users for gagetry whiz-bang.

                  There are significant advantages to using a JS library and client side scripting in a management interface but until client side technology is designed to handle such interfaces, alternatives will be necessary.
                    Author of zero books. Formerly of many strange things. Pairs well with meats. Conversations are magical experiences. He's dangerous around code but a markup magician. BlogTwitterLinkedInGitHub
                  • Quote from: OpenGeek at Jan 18, 2008, 03:35 AM

                    Where are my tutorial contributors/technical writers?

                    I asked last month in the Documents forum about starting on 0.9.7. The advice was that it was too early to start documenting 0.9.7. Is that still the case? I’d be happy to jump in and start working on it if 0.9.7 is stable enough.

                    Mike
                      Michael Henderson
                      MODxCMS + Dreamhost P/S + BBEdit
                      Safari + Mac OS X 10.8
                    • Once the official alpha distributions of 0.9.7 are released we will start a huge effort to build tutorials to compliment the API documentation (this will be written in DocBook XML and work committed to SVN (see core/docs/tutorials/ for samples of the structure/format). In the meantime, if you want to join us in writing general documentation for 0.9.7, and feel you can do so, sign up for a contributors account at http://svn.modxcms.com/jira/ and PM me requesting permission to author pages in our new official wiki.