Web Directions South 2011

The Australian Web Industry Conference
October 1114 2011, Sydney

W3C South Track

Christopher Giffard takes us deeper into HTML5 Video; Lisa Herrod takes a role based approach to accessibility; Robert O’Callahan considers the open web platform in the mobile era; Andrew Arch makes progress with Accessibility; Peter Mika is making the web searchable; Adam Bell and David Peterson bring history alive; Rob Manson shows us standards based AR while Gian Wild uncovers the best of WCAG 2.

W3C South is presented in association with the W3C Australian Office at CSIRO

Making the Web searchable

Photo of Peter Mika

Presenter: Peter Mika

The key idea of the Semantic Web is to make information on the Web easily consumable by machines. As machines start to understand web pages as sources of data that can be easily combined with other public data on the Web, the promise is that search on the Web will move well beyond the current paradigm of retrieving pages by keywords. Instead, search engines will start to answer complex queries based on the cumulative knowledge of the Web.

In this presentation, we overview the basic set of technologies that can be used to annotate web pages so that they can be processed by data-aware search engines. In particular, we discuss the RDFa and microdata standards of the W3C designed for marking up data in HTML pages. We look at the ways in which this information is currently used by search engines, including the latest schema.org collaboration between Bing, Google, and Yahoo!, which provides a basic set of vocabulary items understood by all three major search engines on the Web.

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Accessibility for web teams: Recategorising WCAG 2 using a role-based approach

Photo of Lisa Herrod

Presenter: Lisa Herrod

The application of web accessibility guidelines in a holistic manner across all roles of a web team continues to encounter resistance. This is often due to a lack of resources and knowledge, or no sense of relevancy in certain web roles. While there is solid support of the guidelines by accessibility activists and many front-end developers, a large percentage of other web practitioners in non-technical roles do not know how to integrate accessible design practices into their daily work, despite wanting to.

By re-categorising accessibility guidelines into role-based groupings, such as visual design, content writing and information architecture, guidelines become more accessible to inexperienced web practitioners across a broad range of web roles. The application of accessibility guidelines then becomes more integrated and holistic, thereby reducing project timelines and costs while increasing the overall accessibility of a site from initial design stages.

This method enables practitioners to apply skills specific to their role to a narrow range of accessibility guidelines particular to their area of expertise. For example, the visual designer would create a design and evaluate colour contrast before submitting the design to the development team. Likewise, an interaction designer would consult with the Javascript specialist to ensure the menu design satisfies relevant accessibility guidelines.

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Web Accessibility – making progress

Photo of Andrew Arch

Presenter: Andrew Arch

The W3C and the international community are all making accessibility easier for everyone to understand and adopt. The Australian Government has been on its renewed path to online accessibility for some time now with the implementation of the Web Accessibility National Transition Strategy. This session will:

Web standards based Augmented Reality

Photo of Rob Manson

Presenter: Rob Manson

Augmented Reality lets you peel away the blinkers from your real world eyes to see the rich data and information that exists all around you. But up until now it has relied largely on proprietary tools and standards. Finally, we’re close to being able to augment our world using web technologies. Soon this will be a common part of the web browsing and mobile device experience. Now is the time to look at these future trends and the state of a specific list of API standardisation activities and the forces shaping them. We’ll also look at the current obstacles, risks and issues to explore what may prevent this landscape from evolving as it appears it will.

This presentation aims to document the AR standardisation efforts over the last few years as well as what’s possible right now and in the near future from a distinctly web-based perspective.

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HTML5 Video, Captioning, and Timed Metadata

Photo of Christopher Giffard

Presenter: Christopher Giffard

HTML5 Video has been a hot topic for the last couple of years — but with new additions to the specification, we can now extend it beyond all recognition. In this session we’ll look at basic timed data, closed captioning and more — and as we adventure into more sophisticated uses of the technology, we’ll explore what additional value timed data can provide to your video, with attention paid to how you can implement it today.

The key focuses of this session will be accessibility, searchable media, and enriching existing multimedia experiences with timed data, all with a liberal application of flashy eye-candy. And of course we’re using the freshly minted Timed Text Track specification, soon appearing in a browser near you!

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Bringing History Alive: Telling stories with Linked Data and open source tools

Photo of Adam Bell Photo of David Peterson

Presenters: Adam Bell & David Peterson

The Australian War Memorial is connecting and enriching online archives and collections toward building a platform for telling history. Through Drupal 7 and Linked Data, the Memorial intends to develop tools that designers, researchers and historians can use to help find new ways of building historical narratives.

During this session we will demonstrate some early prototypes and experiments, key uses of Linked Data, practical publishing tools and discuss how this work is unfolding inside one of Australia’s major collecting institutions.

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The Open Web Platform in the mobile era

Photo of Robert O'Callahan

Presenter: Robert O’Callahan

Mozilla is dedicated to ensuring that competition and innovation thrive on the Internet. In the last decade we rescued the Web from a near-monopoly and restored competition to the browser market. Now the standards-based Web platform is evolving rapidly — mostly in a good direction — and is defeating some of its competitors, such as proprietary browser plugins. However, it faces fresh challenges, in particular, single-vendor platforms for mobile devices that are attracting application developers away from the Web platform. In this talk I will describe the work we’re doing to ensure that the standards-based Web wins again — developing new technologies, extending Web standards, and shipping great products on all kinds of devices. I’ll talk about the challenges we face and what people who care about competition and freedom can do to help.

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WCAG2 accessibility: the hidden nuggets

Photo of Gian Wild

Presenter: Gian Wild

WCAG2 is a long series of documents. Gian Wild knows this better than most: she spent six years on the W3C WCAG Working Group writing them. It’s a lot to ask that every developer and project manager read the complete guidelines, including informative content. However there are some very useful — and sometimes hidden — techniques in WCAG2. And some are even at Level AAA. Join Gian to find out what these are.

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