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View Full Version : Text-Only version of TFArchive?


Lady Quickswitch
2011-09-12, 01:19 AM
Is it possible to have an accessible version of the site for screen readers? I think this would be a good idea and I hope not too much trouble. The print-friendly version of threads is invaluable, but the overall site is hard to navigate without good eyesight.

Thanks!
Lady Quick

Blackjack
2011-09-12, 02:29 AM
For the forums, at the right-bottom corner there is 'Contact Us - The Transformers Archive - Archive - Top'. Click 'Archive', it brings you to a bare-bones version of the forums.

On the downside html codes like bold, italic and quotes don't show up but it's bare text.

Lady Quickswitch
2011-09-12, 05:31 AM
That's awesome. Thank you! :)

Blackjack
2011-09-12, 02:16 PM
To post or whatnot IIRC you still have to open the full site, though. :)

Denyer
2011-09-12, 06:02 PM
I hope not too much trouble. The print-friendly version of threads is invaluable, but the overall site is hard to navigate without good eyesight.
It's an ugly mess of hacks -- legacy pages and code that doesn't pass validation, content that's the work of numerous people, and although Blackjack (who's younger than the rest of us and has a bit of free time not taken by family and day job) is doing a great job with things content-wise, DIY isn't how sites are typically built these days. It's not a sustainable development model.

Given time, we'd like to switch to a CMS that would resolve a lot of these issues, because there are a lot of advantages -- screen readers, search engines and modern browsers would all benefit. There's a rough plan, with the obstacles being learning curve, need to convert content, and the need for the backend to be secure and maintainable by more than one or two people. At the moment, I'm concerned that (asides from the time to convert content) anything I put in place wouldn't get actively patched.

If there's anything I usefully do quickly in the meantime, I'm more than happy to try. What are the main issues from your perspective? Would it be of any use to add a "Skip to content" link at the beginning of each page to bypass the header elements? What screen reader software are you using? Which bits of the site do you tend to read?

Blackjack
2011-09-13, 12:27 AM
It's an ugly mess of hacks -- legacy pages and code that doesn't pass validation, content that's the work of numerous people, and although Blackjack (who's younger than the rest of us and has a bit of free time not taken by family and day job) is doing a great job with things content-wise, DIY isn't how sites are typically built these days. It's not a sustainable development model.

I suspect updates would come quite a bit seldom compared to the past, too, because things are beginning to catch up on my end, and most of them are being taken up by gaming and the RPG and stuff. ;)

But yeah, I have more free time than y'all.

But DIY isn't how sites are built? Curious, how are they usually built nowadays?

Given time, we'd like to switch to a CMS that would resolve a lot of these issues, because there are a lot of advantages -- screen readers, search engines and modern browsers would all benefit. There's a rough plan, with the obstacles being learning curve, need to convert content, and the need for the backend to be secure and maintainable by more than one or two people. At the moment, I'm concerned that (asides from the time to convert content) anything I put in place wouldn't get actively patched.

What is a CMS? Is it like the wiki or something?

Denyer
2011-09-13, 04:44 AM
Content management system. Blog, wiki, or other framework (eg, Joomla).

Pre-fab software + people, basically. Although as we've demoed it can more-or-less look the same, the advantage is that more people can have a direct input.

Auntie Slag
2011-09-13, 11:15 PM
Ooh I love that print version! As a side question, will there/is there a mobile version of the Archive for phones? I know I can turn off graphics for faster rendering of pages on a phone, but the layout doesnt resize decently to a small screen. Maybe it costs a lot of time and money, but I wanted to ask just in case there such a version and I've just been a muppet not seeing it!

Lady Quickswitch
2011-09-14, 04:13 PM
If there's anything I usefully do quickly in the meantime, I'm more than happy to try. What are the main issues from your perspective? Would it be of any use to add a "Skip to content" link at the beginning of each page to bypass the header elements? What screen reader software are you using? Which bits of the site do you tend to read?

The screen readers(s) I use are Windows Narrator (bleh) and NVDA (which does a decent job for being free). There's header handling but it's rather confusing.

The main issues from my perspective are the screen readers wanting to read everything, even when I tell it to read from only a specific point. There are a lot of header elements and it reads those each time as well as ad links. A skip to content link sounds good, but I don't want to be too much trouble, especially if it comes down to me not just knowing everything about the screen reader I'm using.

The RPG is the forum that tends to be frequented the most by far. The Archive bare-bones link is excellent and so are the printable versions of threads. I could always subscribe to threads and bookmark them so you don't have a ton of work to do for one person. There's just a lot of graphics which are colorful and blurry. Makes me think I've taken a wrong turn into the 1960s. ;) I wish I could see them, but they just take up space from my perspective.

NVDA is so quirky it can pronounce cantaloupe perfectly but it can't pronounce Warcry! It says Warcreee. ROTFL. I need to fix that.

Denyer
2011-09-14, 09:00 PM
Header means a block of content at the top rather than header tags in this context. The whole site shares a header document, so I've added two links to the start of that -- one to skip to the main content block, one to try to skip most of the other stuff before the content starts, with an equivalent shiv into the forum navbar template. This is a traditional method suggested for Lynx and JAWS: http://diveintoaccessibility.org/day_11_skipping_over_navigation_links.html

However, having given NVDA a quick whirl, it's more of a general system tool than a browser, and it doesn't unstyle text. It does integrate pretty well with Firefox, but I don't think you can click in the page and tell it to read from there -- the "specific point" is where in the page structure the reader function is. Starting at the top, you can "fast-forward" through using the up and down arrows. There's an overview of shortcuts at http://webaim.org/articles/nvda/

I'm not sure the vision in my right eye without glasses is any approximation of yours at the moment (I can't read anything on the screen. Can just about make out the letters in the TFARCHIVE logo) but I got best results with Windows Magnifier set to the maximum magnification factor of 9 covering half of the screen, and dragging the pointer down over lines of text.

edit: The "English West Midlands" voice setting is surprisingly accurate.