Mike Cherim’s Blogging Past

These are older articles. Please bear in mind the further back you go, the more dated the material may be — in some cases.

Secure and Accessible Contact Form v3

Posted January 1st, 2008 by Mike Cherim

GBCF-vs Demo Site) I’m happy to announce the availability of version three of my GBCF-v3 Secure and Accessible Contact Form. It offers a ton of improvements over version two in the areas of perfected error management, easy language adaptability, passive set-up validation assistance — so the script can be tested before putting it on your site — security, usability, powerful flexibility, and enhanced accessibility. On this last front two notable features include: the form’s ability to automatically adapt to the user’s preferences maintaining the semantics and accessibility and; the form’s refined usage of labels and legends to make the experience of using the form a smart one for screen reader users.

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The Best of the Beast in 2007

Posted December 23rd, 2007 by Mike Cherim

I published a “Best of” list like this last year, too, so this will likely become an annual undertaking. Some of the articles were chosen because I really liked them, others because you really liked them. If you want more of the latter let me know what you’d like to see. Sometimes I get stuck for ideas — though I usually think of something — but requests help.

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Passive Accessibility

Posted December 16th, 2007 by Mike Cherim

Your visitors may not even notice and that’s sort of the point to it all.

A cornerstone of web usability is passivity. In other words, web interface elements should be found where expected and must work as expected. Accessibility, like usability, should also be passive. As said of usability, web interface elements should be found where expected and must work as expected, but I wish to offer this addendum: to everyone! People have said accessibility is essentially usability for the disabled. It’s an interesting perspective — one I won’t dispute. I know accessibility and usability are so closely joined, discerning one from the other is often difficult due to the sometimes indistinct boundaries. I, for one, happen to think they’re actually codependent in most instances.

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My Hometown: Nottingham, New Hampshire

Posted December 4th, 2007 by Mike Cherim

What’s your town like? I probably know of your online home. Hell, I’ve probably even viewed your source, but what I don’t know is what it’s like where you physically live. So, tell me.

First, though, fair is fair, I’ll go first. I live and work in Nottingham, New Hampshire (NH). For those who don’t know where New Hampshire is, it’s in “New England” — in the northeastern part of the United States. If you still don’t know where I’m talking about, here’s a site all about New England and another one all about New Hampshire. Okay, now that you know, let’s get back to the Town of Nottingham (map).

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How About a Little Spam-Busting?

Posted November 30th, 2007 by Mike Cherim

It really saddens me when I read some of the spam that passes though my inbox on its way to Deleteville. It makes me think that society is really more f’ck’d up than it should be. I do try to put it all into perspective, though. I remind myself that what I see is all crap and that it represents the thinking of an inconsequential percentage of the world’s population (or so I hope). But still, when you see enough of it — in concentrated doses — it’s sort of pathetic. In this post I will share two spams I see a lot and I will try to set the record straight, at least as I see it.

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The Joys of Consistent Web Practices

Posted November 27th, 2007 by Mike Cherim

Ever since I have been flying the web developer pennant in my occupational corner I have been trying to develop my own best practices based on existing web standards and accessibility requirements, and then applying them consistently. My goal is to gain the ability to perform a task the same way time and time again without having to think about it, meanwhile ensuring my works conform to standardized usability practices to guarantee at least satisfactory experiences for my site’s users. Consistency, after all, can be a very good thing for everyone. Let me explain.

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A Blue Beanie Day for Web Standards

Posted November 24th, 2007 by Mike Cherim

I figured I’d pass this along, albeit a little close to the eleventh hour. There is a Facebook event called “Blue Beanie Day 2007” that you can easily attend. After all, it is being held in your location. All you need is a Zeldman-like blue beanie hat (real or Photo-Shop’d), a photo of you wearing it, and an appreciation of web standards and accessibility. This event, which is scheduled for November 26th, is the brainchild of Douglas Vos, the fellow behind the Facebook Designing with Web Standards Group.

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Insights Into Screen Reader Usage

Posted November 20th, 2007 by Mike Cherim

Most developers who design sites to be screen reader friendly, aren’t actually screen reader users. I am no exception. Sure I’ve heard recordings of screen readers reading my pages, and I use Opera Voice, and I have a very good idea of what most content will sound like when read by screen readers so I’m not completely blind to the concept, but never have I plunked myself down in front of a computer with screen reader software and played around with it. But I am interested.

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Green-Beast.com v5: An Atypical Reboot

Posted November 19th, 2007 by Mike Cherim

In case you might not have noticed, I completely rebooted my my site’s main pages. The styling didn’t really change — I may do some tweaks in that department soon — but the underlying markup changed dramatically. I also completely rewrote all the scripting used to make the thing easier to upkeep. A complete rebuild, yet still a standalone as it always has been (the site is pre-blog), but now it’s tapped into the power of my blog’s style sheet as I did borrow the structure, throwing in a couple of new styles where needed. I think it was a sound decision.

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