Getting involved in Mozilla effort [Re: An introduction to XML User Interface Language (XUL)]

  • From: Aaron Leventhal <aaronlev@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2007 10:01:41 -0400

There are tons of ways to get involved in Mozilla which don't involve actually coding in the large Mozilla C++ codebase. I hope by providing a list of a lot of possibilities I don't scare people off :) 1. Make Mozilla work better in open source screen readers (these tend to be written in Python) 2. File bugs or help us track down the causes of bugs in Mozilla or screen reader support for Mozilla (either open source or proprietary screen readers). Help us evangelize the importance of fixing Mozilla bugs to proprietary screen reader vendors. 3. Play with the technologies (e.g. ARIA, XUL, Dojo etc.) and provide feedback, or write a tutorial on developing accessible applications using Mozilla technologies. Help us evangelize ARIA so that we get more industry adoption. 4. Help add ARIA support to a budding open source Javascript toolkit like JQuery, GWT, YUI, Scriptaculous, Prototype, etc. Or help fix bugs in Dojo's ARIA support 5. Develop a Firefox extension that helps end users with disabilities, or with accessibility testing, or help fix accessibility issues in existing Firefox extensions so more people can use them (the extensions are written in XUL + Javascript) 6. Develop an accessibility validation testing tool for ARIA or XUL (or preferably add support to an existing tool such as Firebug or DOM Inspector) 7. Help us developer end-user documentation for accessibility (for the help system or the website) 8. If you're really brave, you can help us look into MathML or SVG accessibility -- that would require an API design sense, cross-platform API knowledge and a willingness to work with the entire community (standards, open source AT and proprietary) to reach a consensus. We also need to implement it, so C++ developers who are not scared of the Mozilla codebase are welcome -- but that's definitely not for the faint of hear. 9. Help us implement accessibility for OS X, or fix existing accessibility bugs in our IAccessible2 or ATK support I could go on :) The sky is the limit, and often the best contributions come from people that want to "scratch their own itch" and do things we haven't even thought of. We're a very open community. 10. Help developers on our newsgroup or IRC channel with questions about good accessibility behavior -- e.g. help the grantee working on Chatzilla accessibility by testing and providing ideas.


This community accessibility work continues to be extremely fun, interesting and challenging. I do hope someday to see more end users actually join our community and benefit from the work or participate in these projects which benefit everyone.


In the past there was at least one talented blind developer who tried to get deep in the Mozilla project right away, but didn't get the support they needed to get started. This is why I've added a lot of starter and intermediate projects to the list above. I think it's often better to get started by dipping your toe in, and just using/testing/document the technologies rather than trying to fix bugs in the core.

If we see a community volunteer that is doing good work, who wants to do more but needs to be paid for their time and expertise, the Mozilla Foundation have been known to provide grants to allow them to continue work in open source accessibility. In my opinion, the Mozilla Foundation is quite visionary in the willingness to support the community in this way, and deserves to be commended. As much as possible I'll continue to facilitate using this program to bring talent to bear on a11y problems which benefit the entire community.

- Aaron


james.homme@xxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
Hi Arron,
In what capacities can people get involved. Speaking for myself, I am a
good HTML person. I can do CSS if I have a reference in front of me. I can
do scripting with a reference in front of me. I can definitely document. I
can test and give clear feedback. Just ask Jamal. I give him good feedback
most of the time.

Jim

James D Homme, , Usability Engineering, Highmark Inc.,
james.homme@xxxxxxxxxxxx, 412-544-1810

"It's more important for me to start to do the right thing than it is to
wait until I think I
can do it just right."




"Aaron Leventhal" <aaronlev@moonset .net> To Sent by: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx programmingblind- cc bounce@freelists. org Subject Re: An introduction to XML User Interface Language (XUL) 10/24/2007 10:56 AM Please respond to programmingblind@ freelists.org



I know of at least one screen reader user who's been able to fix bugs in
Firefox's UI using XUL.

You may be interested in the XUL accessibility guidelines:
http://developer.mozilla.org/en/docs/XUL_accessibility_guidelines

Because XUL is declarative it makes it easier to arrange and debug and
UI, and also makes it possible to write a validator that checks
accessibility. Work started on those projects (from WebAIM), but it's
currently stalled. We'd love to see that kind of work keep going.

- Aaron

james.homme@xxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
Hi,
I don't know how useful this would be, but I got a link to it and thought
someone might want to read it.


http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/edu/x-dw-x-xulintro.html?S_TACT=105AGX54&S_CMP=A1018&ca=dnw-840

Jim

James D Homme, , Usability Engineering, Highmark Inc.,
james.homme@xxxxxxxxxxxx, 412-544-1810

"It's more important for me to start to do the right thing than it is to
wait until I think I
can do it just right."


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