Saturday, October 27, 2007

FSOSS 2007 (part 2)

Wow. The Free Software & Open Source Symposium (FSOSS) sure attracts some interesting people.

I enjoyed all the talks I attended but I want to specifically mention David Eaves' presentation titled "Community Management as Open Source's Core Competency" where he took a critical look at communication and negotiation in open source communities. It was just great. I also enjoyed the colourful session which followed, by Jesse Hirsh, "The Problem with Open Source: Know Your History". During both of these talks I found it refreshing to stand back and take a critical look at the open source communities. I am sorry to have missed the related BOF, but I had a lunch date with Frank Hecker from the Mozilla Foundation to discuss accessibility and to blue sky for a bit; which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Anyways I feel honoured to have been invited by David Humphrey to give a talk on Accessible DHTML, which I had more teasingly titled "Accessible Rich Internet Applications". Simon Bates and I co-presented on Friday and discussed and demonstrated keyboard control, ARIA semantics, and other bits related to our Dojo toolkit work. I think Simon's iterative coding demo showed that adding keyboard and semantics to DHTML is not that difficult, but is undeniably important; which was our main goal.

For those interested, Simon has provided the slides and source code on his site.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Building Firefox with Accessibility on OS X

I wanted to check out Minefield on Mac OS X so I went about doing what I do in my Ubuntu virtual machine. I ran into a few snags that were a result of my own silliness. Once I created a clean profile and ran Firefox the right way on Mac it was all good. Here's a rough log of what I did:

cvs -d co mozilla/
cd mozilla
make -f checkout MOZ_CO_PROJECT=browser
cvs -d co mozilla/browser/config/mozconfig

I created a .mozconfig file with debug options:

. $topsrcdir/browser/config/mozconfig
mk_add_options MOZ_OBJDIR=@TOPSRCDIR@/ff-debug
mk_add_options MOZ_CO_PROJECT=browser
ac_add_options --disable-optimize
ac_add_options --enable-debug
ac_add_options --enable-accessibility

Then I installed some mac ports as suggested by the Mozilla docs.

sudo port selfupdate
sudo port install libidl
* this installed glib-2.14.1 for me
sudo port install autoconf213
make -f build MOZ_CURRENT_PROJECT=browser

Running ff-debug/dist/bin/firefox crashed so I got onto #developers and Colin Barrett (cbarrett) helped me out. I asked him if my FF2 addons could be interfereing and he suggested I create a clean profile. I forgot about this, arrg. After creating a clean profile ff-debug/dist/bin/firefox ran!
Still no apple menu though a bit more chatting and Colin mentioned I need to run the the Mac way: dist/

Woohoo! VoiceOver is sorta working too, I just have to figure out why it reports Firefox is busy sometimes when it doesn't appear busy. I think HÃ¥kan Waara warned me about this.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Mozilla and GNOME Summits

I wasn't able to attend this year's Boston summits for Mozilla Accessibility and GNOME. If you know me, you know this was painful to miss and I'm sorry I was not able to blog about it for others who couldn't make it this year. Fortunately Steve Lee has blogged about it on a sleepy train ride back home.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Debugging Dojo

I'm a firebug fan so I use fireclipse. It is basically firebug with support for debugging into eval() expressions. It is quite impressive considering SpiderMonkey is not designed to support easy debugging of eval(). If you are curious about the bug I recommend reading John Barten's great description of the problem. I'm not sure when that might get resolved.

In the meantime, I'm grateful for fireclipse.