SignOn.org.nz, By Greenpeace NZ

Earlier this year Jenn, Owen and I worked on a proposal for Greenpeace NZ. CivicActions didn't win the contract, but the website has just launched.

Sign On.  THE WORLD NEEDS US. There is no Planet B, Lucy Lawless. The shit is hitting the fan, Harry McNaughton. 4 all our kiddly-winks =), Keisha Castle-Hughes. Do it for your kids, Francesca Price. 'cos we care, Emily Barclay. The Science is Bloody Obvious, Jim Salingary. It's now or never! Toni Potter. Just Sign On, Bunny McDiarmid. It's everyone's issue, Stephe Tindall. It's time to be a good global citizen, Sarah Thomson. No regrets, Bonnie Soper.

SignOn.org.nz – a Drupal site – was implemented by Catalyst IT, a FLOSS software shop in Wellington New Zealand which employs Josh "fiasco" Waihi, Drupal 7 PostgreSQL maintainer and NZ IT Rockstar 2009 winner and Brenda "shiny" Wallace, Drupal contributor.

Catalyst has done an excellent job and the campaign was featured in NZ's national Sunday newspaper a couple of weeks ago.

They've got many Kiwi celebrities on for the campaign, some which are known internationally too; Most notably Lucy Lawless (Xena Warrior Princess) and Keisha Castle Hughes (From Whale Rider and award-winning other films).

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Accessibility For Humans; Usability Of Websites For Screen Reader Users

A graph from the article showing disabilities reported: Disabilities Reported Read the full article

I recently read a fascinating survey of 1000 blind and visually impaired internet users. It's a long article but is largely graphs and data tables – so is easily consumed. If you want the short version, check out the comments and conclusion.

The most surprising parts for me were;

  • Websites that auto-play music (MySpace most notably) are extremely difficult because the sound makes it hard for the user to listen to screen readers. Further, the flash music player is usually inaccessible for screen reader users, so the music can not be stopped and the page is completely unusable.

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New Zealand Government Rejects Microsoft

The NZ SSC has rejected Microsoft's offers for a new licensing contract. This is a big loss for Microsoft (Though I'm sure MS would have you believe otherwise and try to paint the picture back to front) and big win for NZ Government and NZ's IT industry.
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Views Filter Blocks In Drupal 6

Screenshot of Views 2 exposed filters in a block
Screenshot of Views 2 exposed filters in a block.

This video demonstrates how to setup Views 2 exposed filters as a block.

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Vertical Tabs In Drupal 7 Core! How Open Source Does Usability – The Process

Vertical tabs are finally in Drupal core!

Screenshot of vertical tabs on an 'Article Edit' page in Drupal 7.
Screenshot of vertical tabs on an 'Article Edit' page in Drupal 7.

A week ago Angie "webchick" Byron committed a large patch from #323112 Vertical Tabs to Drupal 7 core. This change is quite possibly the most significant usability enhancement to Drupal 7 to date. Two of the three formal usability tests did usability testing with vertical tabs and reported positively.

Screenshot of a 'Story Edit' page in Drupal 6, before vertical tabs.
Screenshot of a 'Story Edit' page in Drupal 6, before vertical tabs.

UPDATE: Rob Loach has created a patch to implement vertical tabs on the node-type form.

UPDATE: See other issues about vertical tabs in Drupal core .

What is more interesting about this however, is the process, time and effort that it took to get this change into Drupal core. It all started over a year ago, well before DrupalCon Boston 2008 even before Drupal 6 had a stable release. The discussion around part of that patch goes back as far as November 2007! Along the way countless people have been involved in many discussions, worked on heaps of mockups, lots of prototypes, and loads of code.

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Synchronized Mail, Contacts, Calendars Across iPhone, Google, Mail.app, iCal.app

I have spent considerable time over the last year or so trying to get my data and systems set up to have email, contacts and calendars available both online and offline on both my main computer, my mobile device and online as a guest user on others computers. All the while keeping my inbox clean from spam and bulk mail, contacts synchronized and access my preferred user-interfaces and applications. I've recently been able to get this pretty close to perfect. In this article I will describe the technologies I use and how I've configured them to achieve this.

Hardware & Software

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