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In our way to WCAG 2.0: Accessibility Improvements (Episode 1)

Company Blogs February 15, 2010 By Julio Camarero Staff

Hi everyone,

After introducing our goals and objectives for Liferay 6 regarding accessibility, I just wanted to highlight some of the improvements we have done lately. There have been a lot of people involved (JuanSergioEduardoNateJorge, Brian,...), so I won't detail what everyone did, but just go through some of the most interesting improvements:

  • Alloy UI Forms. Alloy UI is an amazing framework for building web applications. Alloy Forms are a set of taglibs that generate secure, accessible and consistent forms. They are also integrated with localization, service builder and many other cool features. Today we can say that around 90% of Liferay forms are now converted to Alloy Forms. Some of the accessibility improvements provided by them are:
    • Explicit labels automatically handled for all the input fields (some assistive technologies do not correctly handle implicit labels)
    • Accessible help messages for any field
    • Warning the user if the context changes when changing the value of a field
    • Correct Html markup (not tables anymore :)
    • ...
  • Html validation. Yes! we did it! Liferay 6 validates by default HTML 5 and it  also validates XHTML 1.0 if you change the doctype of your pages and add the xmlns attribute. 
  • CKEditor. This is a great improvement! this editor is the latest version of fckEditor which brings a lot of accessibility improvements (keyboard navigation, tested in the screenreader JAWS...)
  • ReCaptcha. (Contributed by Boubker TAGNAOUTI) Captchas are those images with some distorted text inside in which you have to find out the text to demonstrate you are not a machine but a person. The problem is that they are usually based on an image that you can see, so these mechanisms are not valid for blind users. Recaptcha adds an audible alternative for all those users who can't see the image or find it difficult to understand.

And this is just the beginning... keep tuned for the next episode in our way to WCAG 2.0!

See you soon!

Threaded Replies Author Date
Nice feature! Thank you, Julio. Jonas Yuan February 15, 2010 7:24 AM
Is there a way to use recaptcha "offline" (in a... S L B February 15, 2010 7:43 AM
I don't think so. I think you need internet... Julio Camarero February 15, 2010 7:50 AM
+1 on recaptcha! Great work everyone! Joshua Asbury February 16, 2010 8:37 AM
The accessibility stuff is great! At my last... Stephen Kostas February 16, 2010 9:24 AM
Liferay's accessibilty features gets more... Bavithra Rajendran February 23, 2010 3:42 AM
I have just downloaded the nightly release of... Ruben Aguilera February 28, 2010 1:02 PM
Hi Ruben, that is strange... do you have any... Julio Camarero March 2, 2010 11:50 PM

Nice feature! Thank you, Julio.
Posted on 2/15/10 7:24 AM.
Is there a way to use recaptcha "offline" (in a intranet where the server doesn't have access to recaptcha's servers)?
Posted on 2/15/10 7:43 AM.
I don't think so. I think you need internet access to use recaptcha. However, the captcha mechanism has been modified in Liferay to allow integrating other captcha engines very easily, so it shouldn't be very difficult to integrate another captcha engine which works offline. If you want to help to do that, post a message in the contribution forums and we can talk about it.
Posted on 2/15/10 7:50 AM in reply to S L B.
+1 on recaptcha! Great work everyone!
Posted on 2/16/10 8:37 AM.
The accessibility stuff is great! At my last job, we were constantly making "emergency" fixes because some new feature broke JAWs compatibility. Since I was working at a bank, we were liable to be sued if someone who was blind was unable to access their money.
It's good to see that we're keeping these things in mind as we're making updates and improvements.
Posted on 2/16/10 9:24 AM.
Liferay's accessibilty features gets more interesting with ALLOY UI and Recaptcha.emoticon
Posted on 2/23/10 3:42 AM.
I have just downloaded the nightly release of 28-02-2010 and the W3C validator says the Welcome page has 6 errors.

I have seen some of these errors are caused by layout because has been implemented with valign attribute.

I think this is an error with easy solution and I hope this issue will be fixed in the final release.

I think the correct validation of HTML is the most important thing for improving the accesibility of amazing product.
Posted on 2/28/10 1:02 PM in reply to Bavithra Rajendran.
Hi Ruben, that is strange... do you have any custom layout? I removed all the valign attributes. After settings this property in your portal-ext.properties the welcome page should validate using the W3C validator and validator.nu

com.liferay.portal.servlet.filters.validhtml.ValidHtmlFilter=true

che­ers!
Posted on 3/2/10 11:50 PM in reply to Ruben Aguilera.