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Re: Accessible Joomla 1.5


From: Joshue O Connor
Date: Mar 3, 2008 3:40AM

Hi John,
> Joshue O'Connor - if you are reading this - I noticed you have a fairly new
> book on the topic of Joomla Accessibility - wondering what your thoughts are
> on the new version.

Thanks for the query. In truth much of what I know about Joomla! comes
from working with the 1.5 (beta) version which I used when I wrote the
book. Did you migrate from an older version of Joomla! or a different
CMS? I can't really comment on any versions previous to this. Migration
from old to new however can be fraught at the best of times.

I was impressed by the 1.5 version. Joomla! is not a *perfect* CMS by
any means but I do think it is one of the best FOSS CMSs available, in
part because the back end is pretty solid and screen reader friendly. I
would also highly recommend Drupal for the same reason.

There are probably many others that are as good but I just haven't used
them. My publishers run an annual award for best CMSs voted for by their
users, and there are a couple of others that may be worth looking if you
just don't like Joomla! for whatever reason - such as CMS Made Simple,
MODx, dotCMS etc but I have no experience with them as of yet. [1]

> The next surprise came when I discovered basically no documentation on the
> new version

Hence the growth in publishing ;-)

>and that all of the extensions/components that I was interested
> would not work in the new version unless I installed some "legacy mod" which
> I presume pushes the app back to a 1.0.x way of doing things.

When I was writing the book (last summer) 1.5 was still in beta and I
see now that the latest stable version Joomla! 1.5.1 (Seenu) was only
released in Feb this year. I don't know much about developing Mods etc
but if a core rewrite is substantial they may have to be rewritten for
the new version and this can take time. So I guess that your favourite
mods will appear in a way that is compatible with the new stable version
in time without using 'legacy' components or hacks.

There are lots of nice templates available that are free or not too
expensive, if don't have time or don't want to develop your own. You can
also tweak them in any way you choose. [2] [3] [4] [5]

> I am pleased
> that my new site passes XHTML standards and The Wave shows no accessibility
> issues.

Thats good to hear, I hope that as your site increases in size and
complexity that you can still remain accessible. I think getting this
right is largely a matter of approach and good planning - of course a
good toolkit helps.

Good luck with using Joomla! and I would be keen to hear more about your
experiences using it so please feel free to get in touch off list also
and I will help you if I can.



[1] http://www.packtpub.com/award
[2] http://www.joomlart.com/
[5] http://www.pixelsparadise.com/index.php


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