Open letter to the community

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a.radtke
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Open letter to the community

Post by a.radtke » Sat Sep 01, 2007 11:54 am

http://blog.der-auftritt.de/?p=27#respond  or the whole text:


I have been working with Joomla! (formerly Mambo) for a number of years. Already at the beginning of my work did I notice that it was not possible to create barrier-free, standard conform webpages with Mambo, as a clear separation of user logistics and HTML output was not foreseen. Therefore, Robert Deutz and I developed the first Run-Digital Hack which overwrote the responsible core files so that a structured output was made possible.

I then joined the design- and accessibility team of Joomla! so that the entire Joomla community could use these features.

To be able to work without barriers for me is more than a nice feature but also more than taking over public sector projects. It is something that is really important for me. A system that is as widely distributed as Joomla! has the power to modify the net, to make accessible pages more natural and thus to make access to information easier for so many people.

With Joomla1 1.5 we now have the opportunity to overwrite the preset HTML-output in the template itself.
On this basis, I started to develop Beez; the first accessible Joomla! Template.

Beez’s goal is twofold: One, it makes possible the development of accessible pages, second, it makes it possible in a way that it can also be used by people who only have a limited knowledge of programming.
Wouldn’t it be great if even the football club that my daughter is a member of had an accessible website?

For professionals it is a lot easier with BEEZ to create barrier-free projects-the development time is a lot shorter, this saves money, barrier-free webpages become more reasonable. This is a market advantage for Joomla! which must not be underestimated, as in many countries we are obliged by public sector contractors to fulfill high standards of accessibility (Section 508 or BITV).

The possibility of the template override, however, does not cover all demands of an accessible webpage.

Two really important features are missing, and that’s the snag:

The contents of the so-called ‘read more’ link cannot be influenced.

With Joomla!, the user can create article overview pages on which single articles are teasered. Behind each of these teasered articles, one finds the note ‘read more’. Whenever this link appears within a web presence, it has the same wording: ‘read more’. Since tools may only show the links of one page, it is necessary that the contents of link texts be formulated- this is one basic precondition of all accessibility standards. The naming of links isn’t part of programming logic, it’s a part of document content too.

Is this not fulfilled, a website will fail at its first mechanical test as concerns accessibility.

In our hack for versions 1.5, we quickly found a solution; we use the parameter title-alias which had up to now not been allocated. However, without consulting with us, the title -alias was used differently, and we could no longer use it.

Early this year, we pointed out to some core members that it is necessary to differentiate the link texts. However, we were put off until later. Like this, it is impossible for the foreseeable future to create webpages with Joomla!/Beez, which correspond to Section 508 or BITV. An easier solution to the problem (effective working time 5 minutes!) as well, which Robert suggested in the forum was not taken into consideration. In fact, we did not even receive an answer.

Header hierarchy

Beez offer the chance to modify the header hierarchy of the actual contents to control the semantics of the documents in terms of contents. This offers the necessary flexibility, which only makes the creation of semantically correct documents feasible. This feature has been a component of Beez since its inception.
A few days ago, someone pointed out that this solution was too performance-consuming.

Enno Klasing and Robert Deutz suggested a possible solution to that specific template performance problem and informed those responsible.
They did not receive an answer.
This important feature for the creation of accessible pages was deleted from the trunk without any consultation.
The explanation that was offered later was more than flimsy. Allegedly it was not Joomla!’s goal to incorporate a perfect, barrier free template in the core but only to show how flexible Joomla! has become. They suggested that we could develop a Beez-Pro, offer it for download and thus demonstrate our technical knowledge…
Like this, the core team has said good bye to the goal of ‘no barriers’. It will be impossible to develop barrier free pages with Joomla! without having to fall back on (often quite unreliable) hacks or own core modifications.

The decision to scrap a major feature after publication of the RC1 does not seem very professional and fair to me.
Who should get involved in Joomla! 1.5 if they don’t even know what else will be changed before its release?

Just as frightening is the lacking ability of working in a team displayed by the some core members.
Why are feasible suggestions simply ignored? Why don’t we receive an answer to our questions?

Communication is the linchpin of good project management, which, at least with us, leaves a lot to be desired in a number of cases.
I have put a lot of time and effort into the development of Beez. This effort did not get put into the development of the code itself but repeatedly into trying to get myself heard. This is most tiring. I am worried about the advancement of Joomla!. To me, decisions appear to be little transparent; one gets the impression that they lie in the hands of only a few people.

Isn’t it true that the potential of open source lies in pooling knowledge and competencies?

Finally, I would like to say that the advancement of Joomla! is very dear to my heart, and that I would be very happy if my ideas did not fall on as deaf ears as they have so far. I would like to make a difference.

Angie
Last edited by a.radtke on Sat Sep 01, 2007 12:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Open letter to the community

Post by Vince » Sat Sep 01, 2007 12:55 pm

Hi Angie,
Reading your post has saddened me.
I truly hope that your issues will be resolved soon, or at least a reasonable explanation.

Best wishes,

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Re: Open letter to the community

Post by hachilles » Sat Sep 01, 2007 2:04 pm

Hi Angie!
Incomprehension prevails about the behaviour of the core members. They have the possibility to create one of the first completely barrier-free CMS at moderate cost, because most of the work is already done  ......
But they just ignore it….
It is clear that not all desirable features can be always integrated, but an open discussion about contents, purposes and approaches is indispensable for a team project like Joomla. In particular in this time, where even the policy recognises the importance of barrier-free websites in the life older / disabled people, the developer team of Joomla does a backward step. There you have to ask yourself, which goals the Core Members want to reach with this strange behaviour …
I can only hope that your concern will not fizzle out, but will start a discussion to initiate a development for a barrier-free future of Joomla.
Best wishes
Hendrik

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Re: Open letter to the community

Post by StarShaper » Sat Sep 01, 2007 2:13 pm

I don't know the reason why a specific function was removed from the core. This is a decision made by the core team. However, a better communication policy wouldn't be bad. This is the spirit of Open Source.

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Re: Open letter to the community

Post by artemide » Sat Sep 01, 2007 3:24 pm

Hi, Angie!
Usually I don't use Joomla very often, although it is a very useful CMS I should like to prefer for many websites. The first reason (making difference between static and not static content) will be removed with vs. 1.5. The second reason is far more important: Joomla doesn't deliver the content straightforward, without tables. I'm using Wordpress and TYPO3 (for different target groups and purposes) where such things are no problem.
So I was very happy to use your 508Hack: anyway - a hack is not the solution being not fit for upgrading the system. You know this of cause.
Looking forward to vs 1.5 I was confident to find a medium for accessible, standard-proof websites. After your posting I've got the impression that this is no longer the aim of the developer team. This makes me feel sorry - not only for my customers but for Joomla as well.

Susanna

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Re: Open letter to the community

Post by Hackwar » Sat Sep 01, 2007 5:00 pm

Hi Angie,
I share your sadness over the loss of the function of the configurable header tags. I liked it. However, I also sympathise with the lead developers here on their decision. The implementation of the feature was not the best way possible. I had similar problems before and I allready proposed additions to the Joomla API to solve the issues, that lead to this problem. These, again, are to extensive to be included in 1.5. I just want to release this version and finally get to the point, where I can add my favourite features to the core. :)

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Re: Open letter to the community

Post by StarShaper » Sat Sep 01, 2007 5:12 pm

artemide wrote: I'm using Wordpress and TYPO3 (for different target groups and purposes) where such things are no problem.
Typo3 is really huge and complicated. With Typoscript is is not very user friendly. Hence I prefer Joomla for specific tasks. However, if you want a big professional CMS, Typo3 is not a bad choice.

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Re: Open letter to the community

Post by sa1003 » Sat Sep 01, 2007 8:32 pm

Hi all,

as webmaster in german governement I can not believe, that they really want to kick the simple possibilities for Joomla 1.5 to create barrier-free websites.

Long time we were waiting for this and now the core team only wants to show "the flexibility" of the system?

Dear CT-members, now is the chance to make Joomla to an OpenSource-CMS that is accessible for everyone and because of this can be used in governmental organisations.

Take the chance!

Guido

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Re: Open letter to the community

Post by masterchief » Sat Sep 01, 2007 10:43 pm

Hi Angie.

I'm a bit lost.  What exactly are you trying to do with those two features?
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Angies open letter to the community

Post by svenje » Sun Sep 02, 2007 7:11 am

For reasons to listen to Angie Radtke:

1) The joomla! project is only a few steps away of a very important milestone. The milestone is for many people a very important one and a longtime awaited one too. It's about an open source cms that is open minded enough to be accessible to everyone, remember: «The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.» (Tim Berners Lee 1993) In this sense, the joomla! CMS needs to be a package that is by itself modern and accessible, without hacks. Take it as a matter of course.

2) Non profit organizations are dependent on a stable groundversion that is really accessible. Quality matters. In Switzerland the law defines the requirements (for all governmental and community-based websites) with WCAG 1.0 AA and a few points of AAA. That quality-level is strict and a must. So listen to specialists like Angie or read the requirements at WAI (techiques for WCAG 1.0). The Foundation Access-for-all which i work for is the independent non-profit-organisation in Switzerland that makes the accessibility-testings here. We would recommend you to implement what Angie needs.

3) The accessible template BEEZ made by Angie Radtke is a really good one. We have tested it with some accessibility-specialists and 6 persons with disabilities and their equipment. As well as the blind with a screen-reader as the visually impaired both and the physically handicapped can use joomla 1.5 BEEZ very good. Angie listened to the feedback of our testers and optimized BEEZ to a recommendable one.

4) Angie Radtke is a very competent developer and i'm a little bit lost, when Andrew Eddie - Joomla! Lead Developer (!) asks whatfor the two features are. Becose she explains it very detailed. What is the reason for your ignorance?
Go and read the posting of Angie and notice the needings for the desired accessibility-quality. It's not a feature it's a must for semantic and good webdesign. Wrong project, wrong time for a demarcation dispute.

Sven Jenzer
Assitant CTO
Access for all
Swiss foundation for technology adapted to people with disabilities

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Last edited by brad on Mon Sep 03, 2007 8:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Open letter to the community

Post by micharl » Sun Sep 02, 2007 7:20 am

masterchief wrote:
I'm a bit lost.  What exactly are you trying to do with those two features?
Most countries - US, GB, Australia, Germany, Austria ... - have strict regulations for the accessibility of web sites of public bodies. These precepts are based on the W3C's "WCAG 1.0". In the US, thats "section 508", in Germany, it is "BITV". Both require categorically, that link texts on our pages are unique. You can't have "read more..." two or more times on one page - it must be "read more about communication" and "read more about professionalism" and "read more about teamwork".

The rationale behind this is to help people who use accessibility technology and therefore (sometimes) only see (hear) the link texts, to differentiate between them. It is no fun to hear 10 times "read more dot dot dot" in a row - and have no idea what this refers to.

Automatic accessibility checkers like "Cynthia says" or "WebXact" detect multiple link texts at first glance and spit out a "Test not passed". You cannot sell websites that do not pass these simple automatic tests to any government or communal agency in most developed countries. In other words: Those of us who sometimes build sites for public agencies can not use Joomla if it produces multiple link texts with the same wording.

Things about header hierarchies are a bit more complicated - it's all about semantics. Bur if you don't have the possibility to manipulate the hierarchy you end up with pages sporting serious  barriers to most users of accessibility tools.

If these two features aren't reintroduced into the next RC, I won't be the only developer loosing any interest in Joomla. Joomla promises great features - but without conformity to accessibility regulations it is simply unusable.

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Re: Open letter to the community

Post by masterchief » Sun Sep 02, 2007 8:36 am

Hang on guys, you're reading this the wrong way.  I'm lost because both things are possible *now*.  What I'm a little lost about is exactly *how* Angie wants them achieved.  I know she's a good dev and knows how to do them but she's obviously got a particular way in mind.  I'm guessing it's additional parameter support or something to make it more tick-and-flick from the administrator.

Look, this whole layout shebang was created solely so you guys can make compliant output to whatever standard you like - because everyone I talk to has a different opinion and even if Joomla! takes the middle of the road stance in future versions it's still not going to suit everyone.  So we don't even try to suit everyone - we let everyone do what they want.  Joomla! provides you will a way of achieving compliance, but it's up to the designer to deliver a compliant site.  Let's not lose the plot here, ok?
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Re: Open letter to the community

Post by a.radtke » Sun Sep 02, 2007 9:16 am

masterchief wrote:.  I'm lost because both things are possible *now*. 
Hi Andrew,

If you know how we can have an influence of the readmore -text without hacking the core, please tell me.
I'm not a programmer you are. I don't know how. I need answers.
Robert told me that we need one more parameter .

To change the header-levels in an easy way is a feature what  is necessary for users without that knowledge in programming.
I know that there are some technical probs with it.
Enno told me he found a possible solution for that, but he get no answer.
If Ennos idea is wrong, please tell me.

I'm a pragmatic, I doesn't matter for me how it works, when it works .
But the solution must be useable .


Angie
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Re: Open letter to the community

Post by masterchief » Sun Sep 02, 2007 11:06 am

Hi Angie.

In both cases what exactly do you want to do?  Or to put it another way, in Joomla! Admin land, what are you expecting to be able to control?

Like for the Read More, just change the contents of the Read More anchor tag to whatever you want in your override, um, something like:

Code: Select all

		<a href="<?php echo $this->article->readmore_link; ?>" class="readon<?php echo $this->params->get( 'pageclass_sfx' ); ?>">
			<?php echo $this->article->readmore_text; ?>
		</a>

// change to:

		<a href="<?php echo $this->article->readmore_link; ?>" class="readon<?php echo $this->params->get( 'pageclass_sfx' ); ?>">
			<?php echo 'Read on about '.$this->article->title; ?>
		</a>
Some additional trickery would be needed to translate that string, but it's not impossible.  Personally I think I'd go with the linked title more often than not.  In fact I'd like to see more layouts with less options than having one default layout that is so over-parameterised that it becomes too complicated for the lay Joomla! user.  But that's just me (yes, I know, I invented to stupid things in the first place).

On the headers I thought you'd already done that in Beez.  What exactly were you trying to do there?

I suspect most of the problems are that there is simply not enough documentation on inventive ways to use the new layout overrides (yet) - even I'm still finding (and trying to dream up) new ways to do things or to get around challenges.  And if you are missing a parameters, just invent your own layout with it's own xml and you're done.  I cannot over-emphasise enough that almost anything is now possible, but Joomla! natively is only going to offer a faction of a percent of the possible combination and permutations that people are going to come up with.  Milkyway, and even Beez are merely suggestions or working examples - if the packaged templates covered all bases then the template-club scene would not exist.  Even the views and layouts we provide are simply suggestions.  If you want to push the envelope (show me a client that doesn't), just add your own view and race on from there.  If you are still stuck then you might have to engage someone professionally to examine your specific case or otherwise just wait until the documentation and community tutorials reach a critical mass.
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Re: Open letter to the community

Post by micharl » Sun Sep 02, 2007 1:11 pm

masterchief wrote: Look, this whole layout shebang was created solely so you guys can make compliant output to whatever standard you like - because everyone I talk to has a different opinion and even if Joomla! takes the middle of the road stance in future versions it's still not going to suit everyone.
That's just nonsense. Nobody talks of suiting everyone, and there are no possible different opinions regarding multiple link texts: WCAG1, section 508 and BITV say: no multiple linktexts - and the developers better follow these standards.

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Re: Open letter to the community

Post by Hackwar » Sun Sep 02, 2007 2:31 pm

For all worked up about the readmore issue, take a look at the trunk. :)

EDIT: Still working on some more improvements, but for now: Have fun!
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Re: Open letter to the community

Post by hannul » Sun Sep 02, 2007 6:38 pm

The decision to scrap a major feature after publication of the RC1 does not seem very professional and fair to me.
Who should get involved in Joomla! 1.5 if they don’t even know what else will be changed before its release?
That second sentence has the most of it. Last few weeks were the only ones since beta1 release that I did not visit this forum. I got enough different releases that had very missleading information attached to them about its stability and maturity and usability. Now I came to check if there is RC2 just to find out that there is yet to be RC3 before release. And there is no quarantee that there wont be RC4.

This is open source project, so not complaining though. It can not have the same quality like f.ex. in Microsoft programs. Still I am very much gratefull for coreteam for their effort and will expect great things from J1.5.

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Re: Open letter to the community

Post by SageMan » Sun Sep 02, 2007 8:37 pm

hannul wrote: That second sentence has the most of it. Last few weeks were the only ones since beta1 release that I did not visit this forum. I got enough different releases that had very missleading information attached to them about its stability and maturity and usability. Now I came to check if there is RC2 just to find out that there is yet to be RC3 before release. And there is no quarantee that there wont be RC4.
I think part of the problem has been the mis-use of Beta & RC.
We've become used to using so-called 'beta' programs for years:  gmail, and any number of Google products, plenty of Joomla extensions like Fireboard, etc.

It seems like developers have covered their butts by claiming 'beta', and keeping it beta for months, even years. And users have accepted 'beta' as 'pretty much ready'.

So one should not complain about changes in Beta, and RC1 - RC9, when they are actually what they say they are. incomplete/any can change.

I have to say that the Joomla project appears to have properly labeled each release, and have pretty clearly warned that everything is subject to change and do NOT use on a production site.  That's pretty clear.

just my thoughts.

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Re: Open letter to the community

Post by masterchief » Sun Sep 02, 2007 8:43 pm

Um, let's keep things on topic please.  If you want to debate your relative opinion of what Alpha, Beta, RC means to you start another thread.
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Re: Open letter to the community

Post by StarShaper » Mon Sep 03, 2007 12:49 am

SageMan wrote: So one should not complain about changes in Beta, and RC1 - RC9, when they are actually what they say they are. incomplete/any can change.
There is no confusion about development strategies. A beta version is a beta version and a release candidate is a realease candidate! Read the article about dev stages on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Development_stage
Release candidate

The term release candidate refers to a version with potential to be a final product, ready to release unless fatal bugs emerge. In this stage, the product features all designed functionalities and no known showstopper class bugs. At this phase the product is usually code complete.

Microsoft Corporation often uses the term release candidate. During the 1990s, Apple Computer used the term "golden master" for its release candidates, and the final golden master was the general availability release. Other terms include gamma (and occasionally also delta, and perhaps even more Greek letters) for versions that are substantially complete, but still under test, and omega for final testing of versions that are believed to be bug-free, and may go into production at any time. (Gamma, delta, and omega are, respectively, the third, fourth, and last letters of the Greek alphabet.) Some users disparagingly refer to release candidates and even final "point oh" releases as "gamma test" software, suggesting that the developer has chosen to use its customers to test software that is not truly ready for general release. Often, beta testers, if privately selected, will be billed for using the release candidate as though it were a finished product.

A release is called code complete when the development team agrees that no entirely new source code will be added to this release. There may still be source code changes to fix defects. There may still be changes to documentation and data files, and to the code for test cases or utilities. New code may be added in a future release.

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Re: Open letter to the community

Post by masterchief » Mon Sep 03, 2007 12:54 am

And I say again ...
masterchief wrote: Um, let's keep things on topic please.  If you want to debate your relative opinion of what Alpha, Beta, RC means to you start another thread.
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Re: Open letter to the community

Post by AmyStephen » Mon Sep 03, 2007 3:54 am

Angie -

As I read Micharl's post, I thought, hmm..., a plugin that affixes the "read more" link with the article title could be quickly developed to resolve this problem. Then, I continued reading and saw Andrew's post and I chuckled. Again, he shows us the way. Andrew implemented the concept I had, but, he did so using the template override system. Angie - you can take Andrew's code, put it into the BEEZ template and your problem will be solved.

My plugin concept is old school and it's a perfect example of how it will take awhile before we appreciate the vision the developers have in the template override system. Joomla! means "All Together, As A Whole." Providing for those with disabilities was the *driving motivation* behind it! Accessibility is a particular challenge because it is an emerging field of study, and, as such, it is also a volatile, moving target. That is one reasons why this approach is brilliant. The vision is elegant and simple - it gets "out of the way" of site developers and provides a tool that can be used to ensure quality of access *and* easier adaptations as we go along.

The point I will grant you, Angie, is that we do need to improve our communication. As we learn to work with Joomla! v 1.5, we are going to struggle from time to time with these new methods. Let's turn to each other and draw on the strength of this community. Post challenges in the community forums and draw others into the discussion. Not only does that approach generate good ideas, but it also informs others as to why access is an important problem to solve, and educates others on how they can do so, as well.

But, I very strongly caution against public attacks, Angie. Those approaches destroy trust and chip away at the enthusiasm in a community. The accusations in your note were both incorrect and unkind. Now, an apology is in order and I hope it is delivered as broadly as the attacks.

What disappoints me the most is to see the developers villanized as not caring about access, when they have contributed so much towards that end. It was their commitment to "access by everyone" that was the driving force and vision and code that resulted in our template override system. The BEEZ template is merely the "first trip across that bridge" and, as such, serves as a useful tutorial. But, the BEEZ template did not bring accessibility to Joomla!, the Joomla! developers did. Credit where credit is due, Angie.

Sven Jenzer - I am glad we have your involvement.You need not remind anyone of the importance of this issue, there has been considerable and ongoing commitment, awareness and respect. And, you need not trust anyone, either! Continue testing and share your results in the forums so that any issues can be discussed and resolved to the benefit of everyone. I also appreciate the Tim Berners-Lee quote you provided. If we look for models of leadership in communication, then timbal is a good one to focus on. He is always gently nudging this massive Internet movement forward, guiding and leading, but never attacking or blaming. In doing so, he draws in supporters, enthusiastic and willing to contribute towards solutions.

Angie, please feel free to contact me if you believe I might be of help. You are valuable to our community and I would gladly assist, especially if do so will help avert any future attacks. Let's stay positive and work together. With respect, Angie.
Amy :)

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Re: Open letter to the community

Post by uweD » Mon Sep 03, 2007 4:18 am

Thank you Amy.

Joomla is amazing. It is by far not perfect - but by far the best system I have seen especially with regards to accessibility.

Core Team: Please keep the (very) good work up - it is appreciated,
Uwe
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Re: Open letter to the community

Post by hannul » Mon Sep 03, 2007 6:22 am

There needs to be no debate whether RC was released as production ready:
we consider the RC ready to be used on production sites.
especially notice bolding on that text.

http://www.joomla.org/component/option, ... 105/p,390/
Last edited by hannul on Mon Sep 03, 2007 6:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Open letter to the community

Post by Hackwar » Mon Sep 03, 2007 6:36 am

Please discuss this in another thread. This thread is not about the meaning of RC and Beta.
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Re: Open letter to the community

Post by infograf768 » Mon Sep 03, 2007 7:01 am

Hackwar wrote: For all worked up about the readmore issue, take a look at the trunk. :)

EDIT: Still working on some more improvements, but for now: Have fun!
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Re: Open letter to the community

Post by a.radtke » Mon Sep 03, 2007 7:11 am

Hi ,

we need no discussions about  readmore again, because the problem is solved in the trunk.

We have got a parameter for the readmore - alternative-Text now, and I'm absolutly happy about it.

This was an important step.
Louis offers me to find a solution for header level prob furher.
Now Joomla  is  the perfect basis  to build up  accessible  sites  :)
Joomla is one step beyond.

I'm  very sorry if I affronted uninvolved guys, this was a mistake.

Angie
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Re: Open letter to the community

Post by masterchief » Mon Sep 03, 2007 7:20 am

Thanks Angie.  It's all still a big learning curve for everyone (including me, hehe).  And we've got lots and lots of little areas to polish, of which accessibility is one.
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Re: Open letter to the community

Post by rlparker » Mon Sep 03, 2007 7:45 am

AmyStephen wrote:
The point I will grant you, Angie, is that we do need to improve our communication. As we learn to work with Joomla! v 1.5, we are going to struggle from time to time with these new methods. Let's turn to each other and draw on the strength of this community. Post challenges in the community forums and draw others into the discussion. Not only does that approach generate good ideas, but it also informs others as to why access is an important problem to solve, and educates others on how they can do so, as well.
Improving communication is often one of the largest challenges to a community as diverse and "internationalized" as the Joomla! community. I read Angie's "Open Letter" as a most sincere attempt to do just that! It seems obvious to me that there was some degree of communication breakdown as she described her, and others, attempts to address this important concern met with no response; this is no one's "fault" - Joomla! is a big project and there are many things "on the table" competing for attention.
AmyStephen wrote: But, I very strongly caution against public attacks, Angie. Those approaches destroy trust and chip away at the enthusiasm in a community. The accusations in your note were both incorrect and unkind. Now, an apology is in order and I hope it is delivered as broadly as the attacks.
Amy, Shakespeare comes to my mind here: "The lady doth protest too much, methinks."  ;)

I understand, given the tenor and tone of some of the threads in these forums of late (GPL, emailed "Security Advisories", etc.), that many of us are "sensitive" to any hint of an "attack" - maybe we are *too* sensitive.  It would be unfortunate for the project, and for us all, if this sensitivity resulted in a "chilling effect" on committed community members considering lobbying stridently for a particular development priority or candidly sharing their frustrations or perception of not being heard.  It *is* about communication, and I feel posts such as Angie's are an important and desirable part of that.  Certainly different people interpret the tone and motives of any piece of writing in different ways; I saw no evidence of an "attack" or any "accusations" in Angie's letter.  Different cultures, regional or local social norms, and each individual's own experience have a bearing on how something is perceived.  What one considers "accusatory" another may well appreciate for being "direct".  I'm a firm believer in the old principal, found in play in the most successful online communities, that says, "First, assume no malice!".  We are all adults here, and, just for the sake of "balance", I'll share that I see no malice in Angie's words and feel no "apology is in order."  I see no "bad guys" in this thread at all; we all want the very best for Joomla! and the diversity of input in defining what constitutes "the best" is part of the richness and wealth of our community.  Of course, YMMV, and that *rocks*!
AmyStephen wrote: What disappoints me the most is to see the developers villanized as not caring about access, when they have contributed so much towards that end. It was their commitment to "access by everyone" that was the driving force and vision and code that resulted in our template override system. The BEEZ template is merely the "first trip across that bridge" and, as such, serves as a useful tutorial. But, the BEEZ template did not bring accessibility to Joomla!, the Joomla! developers did. Credit where credit is due, Angie.
Directly and passionately sharing one's experience in pursing a development goal they are passionate about shouldn't be viewed by anyone as "vilifying" the developers, and I'm confident Angie is completely aware of the developers' contribution to the Joomla! we all now enjoy. Let's lighten up on her a bit here, and avoid adding "ad hominem" style digressions to the thread, focusing instead on the accessibility issues she has raised. Angie is good people, and in light of her work on the project, we should give her the benefit of the doubt when assessing her motives and the spirit in which her words are offered.  PAX!

Rlparker
(edited for typos)
Last edited by rlparker on Mon Sep 03, 2007 7:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Open letter to the community

Post by AmyStephen » Mon Sep 03, 2007 1:59 pm

a.radtke wrote: Hi ,

we need no discussions about  readmore again, because the problem is solved in the trunk.

We have got a parameter for the readmore - alternative-Text now, and I'm absolutly happy about it.

This was an important step.
Louis offers me to find a solution for header level prob furher.
Now Joomla  is  the perfect basis  to build up  accessible  sites  :)
Joomla is one step beyond.

I'm  very sorry if I affronted uninvolved guys, this was a mistake.

Angie
Excellent, Angie. 

It works to turn to the community. I know you answer our questions in the forums, and that is very much appreciation, but the forums are also for you to get help. There have just been too many public attacks on this project through mass emailings and blog postings. We must start here, first, and give the process a chance. Otherwise, I fear our communication will never improve. We need to trust.

You are very kind in your response and Angie, that makes a big difference. Thank you very much for your contributions.

Amy :)


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