We are proud to introduce the latest offering from Crazy Bat Designs, the phpBB WASO.
What started me on this project was the interest in the creation and the use of a successful Web Application that was being used by a large, diverse user group. In this case, I chose to look at one of the more popular open-source forums being used; the phpBB forums.
I wanted to get to the core issues of what it was that has made phpBB as successful as it is. To start, I thought of Web Applications as a whole and came to a logic conclusion. To create a successful Web Application, there are two key factors that are vital; functionality and user interface design.
One of the most important things with Web applications should be that it functions properly. You wouldn’t want to use an application to not perform what it is you want to do. If it doesn’t work, no one will use it.
Next to this, the User Interface is the next item of focus. Along with a fully functional Web application, you want to make sure that the usability has been well thought out to allow for the most ideal user
experience. Again, if it is not usable, no one will use it.
However, what I see that needs more awareness is Web Application design that meets Web and Accessibility Standards. One of the most common and overlooked aspect of Web application design that should be as equally vital as functionality and user interface design.
I believe this is because the majority of users who use Web applications don’t immediately see the impact of it being well structured and designed with accessibility in mind. I think the way of thinking is that if most users can use it, then the benefit of conforming to Web and Accessibility standards is negligible.
Keeping in mind that Web and Accessibility Standards are more in focus these days, I’m sure that the people responsible for developing the next generation of the phpBB have these standards in mind. To compliment this, what I am showing here is that it’s possible to take an existing Web application, like the phpBB, and make it more Web and Accessible compliant. In addition to the immediate benefits of easing on bandwidth and making it simpler to update the phpBB template files, I am also attempting to reach the most people possible.
The overall objective of this project is to rework the existing phpBB with the intention of;
- Attempting to meet the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines – Level A
- Striving to validate all forum pages as XHTML 1.0 Strict
- Separating structure/semantics from presentation using CSS for layout
For the latest files available for download, visit the Crazy Bat Design forums on Github for more information.
phpBB is a high powered, fully scalable, and highly customizable Open Source bulletin board package. phpBB has a user-friendly interface, simple and straightforward administration panel, and helpful FAQ. Based on the powerful PHP server language and your choice of MySQL, MS-SQL, PostgreSQL or Access/ODBC database servers, phpBB is the ideal free community solution for all web sites.
phpBB are a group of individuals based internationally who believe in Open Source software. The project has been stable since its creation in June 2000 without changes in licensing, leadership or corporate associations. Our goals remain unchanged and clear, to continue developing and supporting a stable, free, Open Source forum system.
About this project
I am a firm believer in open-source software as well as reaching the most people possible. This project is intended to contribute and add value to the already popular phpBB framework by making these enhancements open for everyone to use.
As well, I am also a promoter of Web and Accessibility Standards. This project is an example of taking the existing phpBB and reworking the front-end so that it becomes more standard compliant, with only minor changes to the core functionality. It’s to also show that it is possible to achieve standards compliancy, regardless of the complex nature of phpBB’s functionality and default user interface.
If you have found any value in this project, please feel free to copy, use and distribute the provided image. Spread the word about phpBB WASO.
Thank you. Marco.
(Marco Battilana) (firstname.lastname@example.org)