Thursday, April 19, 2007


FluidToday I attended, in an advisory capacity, a day long meeting to launch the Fluid project. The core architecture is being designed here at the ATRC, which is located at the University of Toronto; but there are many partners including other Universities as well as industrial partners and other projects. What is Fluid? The website has this text:
"The FLUID project will create a user interface architecture that enables the creation and consistent use of modular, reusable, and swappable user interface components. The project will develop a living library of robust, usable, accessible UI components, which can be reused across applications, contributed to, and evolved by the community."
I think the components will be DHTML based. Fluid will investigate and hopefully be able to choose an exisiting Javascript GUI toolkit to build on.

There were about 17 of us at the face-to-face meeting and it went very well. Most time was spent on the topic of governance which is so important to get right early (see a related blog:Handling Disagreements in Open Collaborative Projects by Frank Hecker)

It was a great first meeting.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

IMG onload reassignment

Hacking on a dojo dijit widget today I came across some strange behaviour that only seemed to happen in IE. Turns out the reassignment of an image node's onload was causing the new onload hander to fire. Here's the code that reassigns onload:
img.onload = function(){ self.onImageLoad(); }
IE is not open source so I can't diagnose exactly why the onload fires when reassigned. I worked around it by making sure that the premature firing would not be harmful.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Aaron Anderson and XUL Accessibility

Aaron AndersonAaron co-founded

He joined WebAIM about two years ago, and last Fall began a xul accessibility project funded by the Mozilla Foundation. His project has recently concluded, and produced the XUL Accessibility Guidelines and a XUL Accessibility Tool. The guidelines help XUL developers write accessible code, and the tool provides a report on the accessibility of XUL files.

Aaron also keeps a blog.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

I'm here! Thanks jdub.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

HTML inputs, MVC, changing the view

I did some exploration recently into how one might take advantage of built in (browser) form input widget "model" and "control", while providing a different "view".

Some approaches:
1. transparent overlay test, are mouse and keyboard events captured by the invisible overlay? ...not in IE.
2. off screen test, html radio buttons are to the left and above the browser client area (works but might have accessibility issues).

Note code quality is exploratory.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Charles L. Chen

Charles L. ChenCharles L. Chen is in the US working on the Fire Vox and CLiCk, Speak extensions for Firefox.

Fire Vox is a screen reading extension for Firefox. It has features not commonly found in commercial screen readers, such as built-in support for MathML, CSS 3 speech properties, and WAI-ARIA Live Regions.

Unlike Fire Vox which is designed for visually impaired users, CLiCk, Speak is designed for sighted users who want text-to-speech functionality. It has a simple, mouse driven interface that is designed to be easy for users familiar with point-and-click graphical user interfaces.

Charles recently created test cases of accessible AJAX live regions by using the WAI-ARIA live region markup. This work was funded by the Mozilla Foundation.

In his spare time, Charles likes to help out Knowbility.