TPR4: Avoiding the JavaScript:void(‘’)

Monday, October 6th, 2008

Building Web Apps That Work Anywhere and Everywhere
Jason Pitoniak
| Educational Technology Specialist, Rochester Institute of Technology

I had to sneak in a little late and the only seat left was near the front. Sorry everyone.

Code like it is 1999

  • Use plain old X(HTML)
  • Follow current standards
  • make sure it works for everyone

Use progressive enhancement

  • if JavaScript is available add enhancements.
  • Form examples. Make sure that they can enter a date even if the JS calendar widget fails.

He uses jQuery and YUI libraries.

He says that document.ready can change the page fast enough that accessibility devices will read the final content.

WAI-ARIA: attemps to solve 2biggest issues when creating accessible JS.

  • Helps notify device when the DOM is changed
  • Gives better markup to objects (I am not sure what this means)
  • Operating systems define “atomic widgets” (labels, fields, tabs, etc…) ARIA works to interperate the widgets.
    • He gives a good example about tabs. Normally a screen reader would only see a list.
    • Add “role” attribute to define widget (long list available)States
  • States- define current status of an object.
    • example: aria-checked=”true”
    • stated very by role.
  • Live region – section that are likely to change
    • polite , assertive, rude define the importance of interrupting what the screenreader is currently doing.

ARIA looks like the key to  notification in AJAX. Currently only supported in FF.

FireVox is a screen reader plugin for firefox! Cool!

Using Vox, Jason showed several examples that are available on the mozillia site.

Unfortunately, his computer seemed to be posessed and kept skiping around. There were also some mic issues and his laser pointer died. Regardless, it was a great presentation and infortmation that I was really curious about.

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