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[GSoC 2009] Accessible Administrator Templates

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 2:53 pm
by atarr
My project for the Google Summer of Code is to create Accessible Administrator Templates for Joomla 1.6. See my next message for the original project specs.

Currently I'm busy refining my development platform and taking care of various administrative tasks such as setting up this thread :D , monitoring 52 google groups (er, slight exaggeration there), learning how to use Skype and finishing off other projects before the summer of code gets fully under way.

I am looking at my project proposal to see what needs to change. Need to make sure that it is realistic and can be accomplished in the time specified. There are also a number of decisions to be made going from a philosophical - let's make it accessible - to a specific set of goal/tasks.

The xHTML dev group is in the process of creating guidelines for the frontend which I will also look at using for the backend.

I welcome any and all discussion, comments and suggestions!

Re: [GSoC 2009] Accessible Administrator Templates

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 3:06 pm
by atarr
Abstract: Joomla! 1.5 made great strides in accessibility in the frontend. It is important that Joomla! 1.6 do the same for the backend. The primary goal of this project is to bring the Administrator into compliance with accessibility standards. Three different accessible administrator templates will be created. One similar to the existing, one which is customizable, and a stripped down model.


Create 3 accessible administrator templates
  • o Template that looks and feels like the current admin template but is accessible
    o Template that is stripped down that can be used as a basis for creating other templates
    o Template with a new look and feel with parameter customizations
Benefits to the Community

Having an accessible backend out of the box would open Joomla! up to a wider audience. People with disabilities need to access the backend just as much as they do the frontend. Accessibility is required in some projects and that will only increase with time.

Currently there are few templates for the backend. This project would enable developers to create a backend that fits better with the look and feel of the frontend. Because of all the documentation that exists using the current backend, having the ability to flip back to the old look and feel would be a great asset.

1. Accessible Administrator layout files

Ultimately, the goal should be to incorporate accessible files directly in the core.
The deliverable will be 3 Administrator templates with override template files for the Administrator/components views/tmpl files which will pass standard accessibility guidelines for WCAG/508. This includes, but is not limited to, removing tables that are strictly layout, adding proper headings to elements such as menus, filters, and headings, easier keyboard access to Add/New icons, proper use of alt tags, skip navigation.

If there are areas which cannot be made accessible via template overrides a patch will be created or, if that is not possible, the issue will be documented.

Testing of accessibility will be done both with automated tools and with actual users.

This project will meet WCAG/508a goals, but ATAG (Authoring Tool Accessibility) which require changes to the editor are outside of the scope.

2. Administrator Menu Accessibility/Usability

The deliverable will be a patch to administrator/modules/mod_menu which adds usability and accessibility. These changes include adding the control panel as a top level item, making the top level items actual links so they can get focus. Also, anywhere that “hover” initiates an action or a change, “focus” needs to do the same.

This deliverable is optional if the task is done in another project.