Macromedia simplifies Web accessibility kit

In the most recent release of its Web development kit, Macromedia Inc. has made it easier to handle cascading style sheets and other tools for building sites that are accessible to users with visual and mobility impairments.

Macromedia Studio MX 2004, announced this week, contains upgraded versions of Dreamweaver, Flash and several other Macromedia tools, said Bob Regan, a senior product manager at the San Francisco company.

Cascading style sheets help low-vision people by enlarging fonts or changing colors, Regan said. The click-and-drop interface of Dreamweaver MX 2004 lets developers incorporate the feature in pages with less hand coding than previous versions.

The Flash MX 2004 application uses scripts to prompt developers to insert tags for screen readers and keyboard mobility programs. Developers can also write extensions to third-party accessibility applications, Regan said.

The Studio MX 2004 package includes Fireworks MX 2004 and FreeHand MX graphics tools. It runs on both Microsoft Windows and Mac OS 10.2.6 platforms.

Government pricing for Studio MX 2004 is $809 per seat for new purchases and $359 for upgrades from Studio MX. Volume licensing is available.

(Corrected Sept. 2, 2003 4:32 p.m.)

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