Dreamweaver CS3, Spry widgets, and accessibility

I had a chance to try out Dreamweaver CS3 recently. One of the new features is called Spry. It’s a set of widgets that put some cool looking stuff on an HTML page with Dreamweaver ease. These work using JavaScript, XML, and CSS. While they are definitely cool, I suggest you test them carefully in differing circumstances before deciding to use them. Do at least the following browser tests.

  • Try them with JavaScript turned off to make sure your users can still get to your content if they are without JavaScript
  • Try them with CSS turned off to see how much sense it makes without styling
  • Run some online accessibility tests with Cynthia Says or some other test app

I’m not saying don’t use them. Each one of the widgets comes through testing like I just described in different ways. So much depends on which of the Spry widgets you pick that it’s hard to generalize about them all. Use them if you want, but only after making sure that your decision to do so is based on the knowledge that you aren’t making your content unreachable to large numbers of your visitors.

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