standards compliant library websites

When we’re not doing the coding ourselves, sometimes it’s hard to make sure that a website or technology project goes the way we want it to. Learning to communicate expectations before the project really gets going is much better for everyone than trying to retrofit your desires post-launch. The web4lib list, which has been interesting reading in all sorts of ways the last few weeks, has a short discussion about why web standards are important. Thomas Downling explains the ethical obligations and why standards compliance is not as hard as most people say and Karen Schneider follows up with a warning about holding your ground about standards when talking to vendors. Carrie Bickner Zeldman wrote an article about standards for Library Journal in 2002 but the information is just as important, and I’d argue easier to implement, today.

presentations without powerpoint, how I do it

I give many of my talks using a very basic HTML template that creates the illusion of slides. It has a few advantages

  • it’s free
  • it works on any browser and any OS
  • my talks take up very little space, file-size-wise
  • I’m not using someone else’s proprietary software or the same old clip art you’ve seen a million times before
  • talks are available in the same format online and off
  • easy print option with extra space for hidden notes [new!]

There are a few downsides as well

  • it’s not totally standards compliant. If you need total compliance, use S5, it’s great.
  • you do need to know a little HTML to make it work for you
  • Since you’re not using PowerPoint, you may tend towards wordiness.

People have been asking about it, so I’ve decided to make a blank presentation with all the stylesheets and whatnot, available for downloading. It’s just a basic HTML page, two stylesheets, a sample image or two, and a styleswitcher. Try it out, tweak it, let me know what you think.