Google Summer of Code congrats to Charl van Niekerk

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Charl van Niekerk has been accepted for the Google Summer of Code. Here is a little snip of his application. Find out more at Charl’s blog. Congrats Congrats Congrats Charl!

Currently, the web can be a real challenge to those living with
disabilities. Screen readers, Braille displays and other accessibility
tools convey data but yet often fail to help the user understand that
data. Visual cues such as colours, text formatting, layout, graphics,
etc. help to convey certain meanings to the typical user but can
easily leave others behind.

Also, many tasks that are currently being performed by hand can be
automated. For example, when I view a web page with a person’s contact
details, I have to copy and paste the information into the relevant
fields of my address book application in order to save it for easy
reference. The computer should be able to know which information is
where on the page and do this job for me with only one or two clicks.

Web Standards and the Semantic Web are the W3C’s solutions to these
problems. The idea is to not only store data, but also some of the
meaning that’s associated with it. This will help the computer
‘understand’ the data better and will enable it to not only convey
this meaning to users in a customised fashion (in the case of disabled
users) but also automatically do some tasks with the data not before
possible.

Correct user of technologies such as (X)HTML, Microformats and RDF
that already exists today can create improved accessibility and
automation for all kinds of users. And because these technologies are
royalty-free open standards, they can be implemented and used by
anybody in an inter-operable fashion.

The project will focus on the improvement of the (X)HTML output from the Joomla core, going as far as possible to ensure that valid and semantic markup is used. Semantic Web technologies such as Microformats and RDF will also be utilised wherever possible in order to make an entrance into the semantic web.

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