Accessibility CSS General Internet Explorer Microsoft Web Development Web Standards

Why “left: -9999px;” is Better For Accessibility Than “display: none;”

Update: Thierry Koblentz points out in the comments that either technique may be appropriate, depending on circumstances. I mention this in the last paragraph, but just to be clear, there should have been a “usually” or “often” or some such word in front of the “better” of the title. That, or a different title.

Update 2, December 2008: It is now accepted that it is better to use top: -9999px;, as using left: would cause a scroll bar on a page with right-to-left text.

A recurring question on various mailing lists such as the Web Standards Group discussion list is “How can I hide content but still have it accessible?” This is usually asked in the context of image replacement techniques, where one might for example wish to display a heading in a fancy typeface, but still have the content accessible to users of assistive technologies such as screen reading software.

Conferences General Macintosh Me Microsoft Photography Web Development WebDD

WebDD: Microsoft’s Reality Distortion Field is Fully Functional

A designer?

A designer?

Originally uploaded by writerus drivelus.

Last Saturday I went to the WebDD conference at Microsoft Campus, Reading. Following my standard conference procedure, I checked in, obtained coffee, and fired up my MacBook.

General satire

Forget Second Life…

Get a First Life!

barcamp barcamplondon barcamplondon07 barcamplondon2 Conferences General Web Development Web Standards

BarCamp London 2.0

BarCampLondon2 Feb 17-18

It’s back! BarCamp London 2 will be hosted by BT on February 17th – 18th. Check out the BarCamp site (above) for signup details.

Conferences General Scripting Web Development Web Standards WebDD

WebDD: February 3 2007

WebDD is a web design and development conference to be held at the Microsoft Campus in Reading, UK this coming 3 February (a Saturday). There is, naturally, a certain emphasis on Microsoft technologies, but not exclusively. Actually, although there are several presentations involving MS technologies, I was wrong to think that Microsoft were somehow involved in organising WebDD: they are providing sponsorship and hosting the event, but it is indeed a community-organised conference. Thanks must go to Phil Winstanley and Dave Sussman for organising this. With sessions covering Accessibility, CSS, Microformats and much more it promises to be an interesting event. Best of all, it’s “free as in beer”! Registration is opening Real Soon Now now full; my badge arrived in the post a few days ago.

General Urban Legends

Not This One Again

I thought this particular urban legend had died a death some years ago, but it surfaced again down the pub last night. So, as a Public Service Announcement, let me make it clear that:

Bob Holness did not play saxophone on Gerry Rafferty‘s song Baker Street.


BarCamp London, September 2 – 3 2006

BarCampLondon Sep 2-3

After a tense 24 hours or so, I got bumped up from the waiting list to become the bottom of the list of attendees at BarCamp London next month. I’m not sure what I’ll be offering in the way of a presentation yet, but there’s a good chance it’ll have something to do with XSLT and/or DOM Scripting.

CSS DOM General JavaScript Scripting Web Development Web Standards

Quirks or Strict: a Quick Way to Tell

If you’re working with (X)HTML and CSS you’ll be aware – or you need to be aware – that browsers render pages differently depending on whether they are in Strict or Quirks mode. (There are explanations of what these terms mean from Microsoft and Mozilla.) It can be useful to have a way of making certain which mode you’re in when tracking down inconsistencies in browser behaviour.

Elsewhere... General Photography

Keith Cooper in Colorado

Northlight Images photographer Keith Cooper is currently travelling through Colorado with his trusty Canon 1Ds, and is posting regular updates on his travels with some brilliant photographs. There’s no commenting so it’s not strictly a blog, but it offers an enjoyable look at a leading landscape photographer at work.

If only my work involved driving wherever the spirit took me, through the Rocky Mountains in the springtime – including a visit to the real South Park.


Hello world

Being a coder, I naturally intended to create my own content management system, implement a design which would look awful but be all my own work, and launch in a blaze of glory and obscure details of XSLT techniques. But, as with so many projects too closely related to what I do at work all day, nothing happened. I was tempted to modify the stylesheet to put a cobweb across the corner of the page; that would have been the most exciting update to the site in ages.

So I’ve bitten the bullet, installed WordPress (which seems like an excellent piece of kit) and will actually start saying stuff, instead of dithering over details until finally giving up and going down the pub.

I will gradually work out and implement a redesign, and will ultimately replace the WordPress code with my own, reinventing wheels being (as with all coders) virtually an obsession of mine. But in the meantime, I’ll even stick with the default “Hello world” that came with this; on with the motley!