Written at 17:19, on Wednesday 2 November 2005. Tags: personal usability webdesign .

Just wanted to say all those all two of you feedreaders that I’ve restyled my site a bit. I created it with Halloween in mind, but of course I managed to be a day late with this launch. I’ve achieved the worn look thanks to a set of brushes (via).

My blog anno 2005

Also check out my new contact form, which is now more or less unobtrusively enhanced with asynchronous javascript (aka AJAX). Thanks go to Dustin Diaz for sharing his ajax contact form after much begging and threatening. There are some improvements to be made to make it fully accessible and unobtrusive, for example, it doesn’t handle errors with PHP now, and there’s some hidden text in the contact form which is read by screen readers. But still great work for a 0.9 version!

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Written at 16:16, on Saturday 15 October 2005. Tags: webdesign .

Today, October 14th, the worlds’ standards bodies IEC, ISO and ITU celebrate World Standards Day. (The site seems to be slashdotted at the moment, but there’s a Google cache page available). It’s up again. It’s too bad that the developers of the websites of these organisations are so unaware of the importance of standards, thus causing the websites to violate every standard, unless you can call tag soup a standard. I’m referring to the underlying HTML code here.

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Written at 17:15, on Friday 7 October 2005. Tags: accessibility usability webdesign website .

This is just a collection of hacks I’ve implemented for my Textpattern installation, and a note on update management..

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Written at 19:26, on Sunday 2 October 2005. Tags: personal .

The upgrade to Dreamhost is now complete. Besides a far greater disk capacity (4200 MB!) and bandwidth limit (120 GB per month!), this migration has also solved some annoyances which I had with Lycos.

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Written at 17:40, on Sunday 2 October 2005. Tags: personal .

Yesterday, I signed up at Dreamhost and will transfer this site to them. That will mean the end of a three-year long relationship with Lycos. I was pretty satisfied at first with their services, but compared to other hosting companies, their plans are pretty meager. Above all, I regularly experienced website outages, something which Dreamhost has experienced recently as well, but at least they’re being open about it. They even have an off-network status blog for easy on-demand notification.

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Written at 22:22, on Wednesday 28 September 2005. Tags: webdesign .

Andy Budd recently had a change of heart on Macromedia’s Flash and considers its potential for Web2.0. Since it already solves a lot of problems that AJAX -based RIA‘s currently struggle with (such as maintaining state), he considers its current strengths as development platform: the Flash platform is already able to separate presentation and business logic, it’s asynchronous by nature, it’s fully object-oriented, etc. Like everything, I think web developers/designers should use Flash when it’s the best solution for your website (i.e. if it serves your business goals, your website goals and your audience). Nevertheless, it’s important to realise that Flash is still a proprietary solution, which is a serious drawback.

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Written at 17:03, on Wednesday 21 September 2005. Tags: personal .

This article was originally published on the 9th of December on my old blog. I’ve republished it here to prevent linkrot.

Today, I announced my retirement as the Linux From Scratch website team-leader and as maintainer from the FAQ. It was a hard decision, but now that I made it, I know it was the right one. I had been neglecting my work for months now, always promising to myself and to the community that it would be better when the CMS came. However, I began to realize that the CMS would not come.

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Written at 12:41, on Sunday 18 September 2005. Tags: accessibility webdesign .

Joe Clark’s article on ALA, entitled Big, Stark and Chunky didn’t attract much attention at first. However, during his @media2005 presentation, he pitched the idea again and gave the audience a homework assignment to create zoom layouts for their personal websites and weblogs. Douglas Bowman was already half done when the presentation ended, and his is a beautiful example indeed. Apart from Joe Clarks’ original article, various resources, experiments and best practices have come up. But what is a zoom layout exactly?

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Written at 16:51, on Tuesday 30 August 2005. Tags: accessibility webdesign website .

Garret wrote about his Textpattern hacks quite some time ago. One which I’m surprised which wasn’t integrated into the recently released first stable version, aptly named version 4 yet is that there are no <label> tags for the comment form. Adding these in the presentation comment form is trivial, of course, but then your site won’t validate anymore because Textpattern doesn’t automatically generate the id parameter for the form elements. And as everyone knows, the reason for this is that it provides an explicit association to the form control for assistive technologies. For example, a screen reader will read the associated label for a particular form element if it has been marked up with a label.

So, how do you add <label> tags for the comment form while still keeping your site validated? Here’s how.

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About this website

My name is Jeroen Coumans, I'm a freelance web designer, front-end developer and Drupal ninja from the Netherlands. I love to create beautiful, usable and accessible websites. On this website, you can find my portfolio as well as my personal weblog. Interested in hiring me? I'd love to hear from you.

After completing my BA in Arts and Culture I'm now doing a MA in Communication and Multimedia Design. More …


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