Will Fris's WordPress Weblog

re: What constitutes a good website?

Stephen Hay:

“[…] a lot of government organizations and businesses don’t see the need to even try and conform to accessibility guidelines.[…]”

Another reply to Stephen Hay‘s request for more reasons to create accessible sites( if I interpreted and read his article correctly that is).
How can we get `the others` to see that it’s important to create accessible sites?

On a sidenote, in a broader sense this is an exploration into the world of `seducing your client` to ‘buy your story’.
A story which of course to you seems to be the best option.

client’s view on compliance

Reading through the comments on Stephen’s article quickly gives me more then enough arguments in favour of creating accessible sites.
When all these arguments can be produced on such a short notice and ‘shaken from the sleeve’, I guess those arguments are quite ‘out-there’/quite well known.
If so, how come businesses and the people in it are not picking up on it?

Frank Schaap:

“[…]So, why don’t people already care? Most people don’t care much for technology at all, or mayb[…]”

At this moment I imagine myself that it is a matter of time. The companies have not yet had enough time to feel and thereby take-note-of the fact that, if done properly, creating accessible and rich web-content really is a profession, something that can not just be done by someone who knows how to type on a computer.

In a more negative view I tend to think that this is an illusion
and most of them will never learn this lesson from mother father time.
Which brings me to another question; why should they ?

supplier’s view on compliance

Dutch government organizations will, if I understand correctly, soon be `forced` to create compliant content.

businesses only care about what is good for their business, not about technical things.
Therefore their choice will be based upon business-needs.
When this choice results in a non-compliant result they have made a `wrong` choice according to us.
But this choice might just serve their needs quite well.
If however it does not( or (in time )turn out not to) serve them well they will hopefully learn a lesson.
That’s where `we` should draw their attention and provide them with our insight(s).

Thinking about this, I noticed that they probably just cannot see these things as a problem.
This is because they have not( yet) experienced a problem with it.
So, ask yourself: Have you ever consciously solved a problem you did not know about ?
Herein might lay a solution.

Making it something to brag about, a viable solution ?

Frank Schaap:

“[…]Maybe we should have something like a webstandards F1 or WRC… make people want to have that CCS3 badge slapped on their shiny alloy footers. Make it bragable[😛…]”

It’s always good to provide stimuli, I have however become wary about badges like the w3c-badges
which people, without complying, just put on their sites.
What can be done to prevent such a monstrous atrocity ?

This seems to me as a reflection of men’s ignorance( which is said to be bliss).

Let them have it, an unfinished solution?

I’m sorry to say that I don’t know how,
but I do think that there is an answer in providing them with real problems.
It should however be a problem that will draw their attention, let their ignorance be ignored.

Another way probably is to make the product more economically interesting, another type of ‘letting them have it’.

Making the product economically more beneficial, a solution?

Well, essentially this will be most of the things Frank Schaap writes. 😛


While working in PHP today, I wanted to have a way to turn a string like:
(maybe even: name=value,name,name=value,=value,name=value )
I tried:
explode('=' , explode(',' , $array));
But unfortunately that did not work, since explode() does not except an array as argument. (And the small fact that I got the parameters mixed up first time around did not help either. 🙂 )

I could not immediately come up with a way to do this, so I searched for something like: `php recursive explode`.
Among others, I found `PHP split or explode`.
One of the questions that poster asks is: “Is it recommended to avoid to use the split() function and other PHP functions ?”
To answer this, I went to the php split-function page in the manual, which I can do by typing: `p split` in the location bar since I use firefox and made `p` the keyword for this search engine.
(I actually type: `:o p split`, since I am using the vimperator add-on for firefox, maybe more about that some other time though.)

Nonetheless, that page did not answer my question either.
I however digressed as I do very often, going off to write this blog-entry and to answer my new question:
What is the difference between str_split and explode ?
Well , in short to this is:

splits a string by a certain amount of chars and returns an array


splits a string by a certain other string and returns an array

This however did not solve the problem , so I searched a bit more: `explode to associative array` .
Which gave me some useful hits that were good for hints, but did not provide a way to do key-value_pairs.

I thought it took too long to find a solution, so I wrote my own, in the neglect of it being an `unelegant` solution.
So for now, this is my solution to the problem:

#I have absolutely no idea why explode() should have it's delimiter as first parameter(as it says in the manual).
function splita ($string , $delimiters = ' ')
		$array                                      =  array();
		is_array($delimiters) ? NULL : $delimiters  =  array_slice(func_get_args() , 1);//Check if array is empty?
		if (count($delimiters) !== 2){throw new Exception('Sorry, not yet supported.');}
		$arr                                        =  explode(current($delimiters) , $string);
		foreach ($arr as $index => $name_value_pair)
				$tmp  =  explode(current($delimiters) , $name_value_pair);
				if ($tmp === FALSE)
					{//echo 'geen value:' . implode(':',$tmp);
						$array[$tmp[0]]  =  '';
				elseif (isset($tmp[1]))
					{//echo 'name-value:' . implode(':',$tmp);
						$array[$tmp[0]]  =  $tmp[1];
					{//echo 'just-value:' . implode(':',$tmp);
						$array[]         =  $tmp[0];
		return $array;

I will probably change it again sometime, there’s also stuff I did not take into account yet.
Anyway, for now, it will do.

Update (Sun 2009-08-23, 15:55.47 CEST):
I knew it…
The parse_str() function… doh!

et cetera