Today was the day… I gave a presentation at the eLearning Guild’s DevLearn 2007 conference in San Jose. Topic? Captivate-to-Flash ActionScript Communication. Not a sexy title, I know, but there was a pretty respectable turnout… which indicates to me that a lot of people want to use Captivate but are feeling quite frustrated with its limitations. I had a few technical glitches with the laptop and projector (Murphy’s Law, I suppose), but otherwise all seemed to go well. The audience was very receptive and had some great questions. I even managed to give a little plug for SWFObject. While working …
These are video profiles of people with disabilities — mild to severe — who use assistive computer technology to improve their lives. Some people use the computers to simply help them with their jobs (such as a blind person who is a professional French-to-English translator), while others use their computers as a lifeline to the rest of the world.
Armed with a basic understanding of accessibility, and with a little planning, a web developer can create courses and/or websites that contain rich content — even Flash movies and videos — while supporting a majority of assistive computer/alternative web browsing technologies.
Here are my first impressions of Captivate 3’s improvements and new features.
Captivate 2.0 doesn’t include the ability directly manipulate Actionscript. This has been problematic for people like myself who have Flash-based ‘players’ that load and unload both Captivate SWFs and Flash SWFs; we often need the Captivate SWF to perform some kind of action when it reaches its end.
But I found another Microsoft product helpful today. It pains me to say it, but it’s true. I have created an XML template for an online course delivery system I’m building at my workplace. The course data for each course needs to be placed into a copy of this XML template. The problem is that I don’t want to work directly in XML all day, and my coworkers can’t be expected to write course content directly in XML format. I needed to devise an easy-to-use method for inputting data to an XML document (filling in the blanks). My initial research …
OK, most of you probably don’t know the difference between an XML file and an XSD (“XML Schema”) file. For a brief intro check out W3Schools’ XML Schema tutorial. A brief quote: “The purpose of an XML Schema is to define the legal building blocks of an XML document, just like a DTD.” This week I needed to create an XML Schema doc for work. The XSD file would be used to validate XML files I’ll be making for my online courses. Well, being a newbie to XSD files (though not XML), I was making decent but very slow progress …