Transcription: Web Axe Episode 87 (Web Axe 2010 Year in Review)

[Introduction, woman's voice over music] Welcome to Web Axe, practical web accessibility tips. Web Axe dot blogspot dot com. Web Axe. Web site accessibility. Web standards. Web Axe dot blogspot dot com.

Dennis: Hello and welcome to Web Axe Podcast number 87, the 2010 year in review. This is your host Dennis.

Ross: And I am Ross.

Dennis: Happy Holidays.

Ross: Yeah, Happy Holidays, I am trying to think of how many holiday pod cast we have done now.

Dennis: Let us see four, 5, yeah.

Ross: OK.

Dennis: It is all kind of a blur.

Ross: So it has been a good year.

Dennis: Yeah. Every year actually gets better you know, gets busier and gets better so it has been a very busy end and excellent year. We have a whole bunch of stuff to talk about that happened.

Let us see and yeah, as usual another year our RSS Subscriber rate has grown. I do follow the feed burner, get some interesting facts from there. So thanks again Google for buying that awhile back and making all the nice features free.

Ross: Not shutting you down or ejecting it to another company like Delicious.

Dennis: Let us just open source it and somebody else take it over.

Ross: Right, right.

Dennis: Yeah, we're talking about Delicious if you did not catch on.

Ross: Right, Yahoos, we do not like you anymore [overlapping discussion] someplace to throw you.

Dennis: You know I feel for them though I mean it is a business decision. What are they going to do.

Ross: I do not know how they're really trying to monetize this anyways.

Dennis: That is probably why they're getting rid of it.

Ross: Suppose that is right.

Dennis: Anyways, we have over 6500 subscribers now, which is really cool. So thanks to all the fans out there for following. We have been getting a few more comments and blog post lately so keep it up. We love hearing your feedback.

Ross: Yes, I feel like all of our listeners are quite smart and they leave some interesting comments so that is cool too. It is like you read some of these smashing magazines post which are good and the comments are just a little out there.

Dennis: Oh yeah.

Ross: We get a lot of high quality comments.

Dennis: Exactly, yeah I do monitor though.

Ross: OK. Maybe that is why.

Dennis: But actually, I do not think that is why though because I monitor the comments mostly for spam. I mean most of the ones I do not really, you know I do not not publish anything maybe one or two a year I will not publish. Just because it is like completely off the hook.

Ross: Which I think any site is going to get any, yeah.

Dennis: Yeah.

Ross: Comments in sites are going to have people who are just like [makes sound] .

Dennis: You get a ton of traffic; you get a lot of comments on your personal blog right?

Ross: I get my fair share of really good comments and then some are just like upset that my grammar isn't better or something like that which I acknowledge my grammar is not great.

Dennis: You mean your punctuation.

Ross: Yeah.

Dennis: And your spelling.

Ross: Spelling, punctuation, all the above.

Dennis: That is funny; if that is the worst comment then I think you're doing pretty good.

Ross: Yeah, I do not let it get to me. I figure everybody gets that starting to get traffic, it is just who people who want to complain.

Dennis: So yeah, we have a lot to discuss but you found a few really good links to talk about.

Ross: Yeah. Just kind of seems to be that there is always something going on and what accessibility area of the web which is great. I think that is why we're both quite interested in it.

The first one I came across was you know I never seen this before but the WAI, Web Accessibility Initiate now has a page up of about mobile accessibility. Which I think is really interesting because I do not know, I mean you work at Rim so mobile is really big for your world.

Kind of working more with the clients and kind of smaller to medium websites. They're just now getting to the point where they're talking about maybe we should think about a mobile site. And I think a lot of people are kind of at that point. Should we do a mobile site? And I think it is a perfect time to say, "If you are you still have to consider accessibility", because there is a lot of people who have phones or might browse on a mobile device. They have accessibility issues.

Dennis: That is right.

Ross: Actually, mobility brings up some accessibility issues of course like you know if you think about the iPad or the iPhone as a mobile device or a mobile browser it does not have the ability to Hover. So if you have anything dependent on Hover like a lot of sites used to have its not very accessible.

Dennis: Like with the iPad too it has become a big issue. Which is a big win for Accessibility it is like, "We told you so. Hello."

Ross: Remember that first thing you should do this.

Dennis: OK. So will put a link to that on the show notes, it is yeah a great little known page or section of the W3C WAI site Web, Contact, Accessibility and Mobile Web.

And you found something cool from the Pascal group.

Ross: Right, right so they kind of posted again, I just came across this. It seems like you seen it before. They did a test of how the old text is treated on images and various different browsers. And it is pretty drastically different depending on what browser you use. It is somewhat nice to go through, see, and realize kike OK, if you are using Internet Explorer and the image does not load this is what happens on IE8 verses Firefox, verses Safari. Just be aware of that so you can design your site around if this does not load, and this is how the out text is, treated, is it still usable and accessible.

Dennis: Yeah, so you might want to, it gives you a good tool. It gives you a chance to optimize it in a way that you prefer.

Ross: Right.

Dennis: But yeah, it has not only examples but has just a lot of good data along with that. There is a data table it's kind of summarizing the results. So yeah, they compare IE8, Firefox 36, Opera 10 10, Chrome four and Safari 4. It is a good five, a little known gem. Another goodie from the Pascal group.

Ross: They publish a lot of really great content. It would be a good page to bookmark, maybe not on Delicious but someplace else.

Dennis: Yeah.

Ross: The last article I came across, which I thought was really cool. Have you heard much about you know kind of this whole idea of Augment Reality Know?

Dennis: Yes, I heard a lot about it, I do not know much about it.

Ross: Yeah, that is kind of where I am at now. So anybody who is not sure what that means. The idea is now we've got these phones that have these video cameras on them. I guess primarily the iPhone and the Android, right? Although the Blackberry's have the same thing too, so you could do that as well but the screen is a little bit smaller.

So the idea is that you could have your video camera out and point it at something. And then there could be a program that interprets and does something with that video to kind of augment your reality. And I think the coolest one I've seen so far and this was just released recently is there's one that will actually translate words. So if you're in another country, let's say you're in a Spanish speaking country but you only speak English.

You can turn on your camera, your video camera point it at a sign. And it will live real time show you on that same sign what it says in English.

Dennis: Oh, no way.

Ross: So it actually translates. It's pretty cool. But so this one . . .

Dennis: Yeah. I heard something about like, is it Google Maps or something where you can just take a picture on the street and then it will figure out like where you're at.

Ross: Yeah.

Dennis: Something crazy like that.

Ross: Yeah. That's the idea. Or eventually you can get to a point where you point your video camera at a restaurant and all the Yelp reviews will show up next to it. You can see, "OK. This worth going to or not."

Dennis: Wow. The future is now.

Ross: Right.

Dennis: It's crazy. OK. But for accessibility we have this article that addresses some color blindness issues?

Ross: Yeah. So I guess the idea is with this iPhone app you can adjust the color levels of the video being recorded to potentially correct your colorblind issues. So if you are colorblind you can look through this video camera through your phone. It makes some corrections to basically balance out the color problems. And then it can more or less prevent some of the legibility issues with your color blindness. Which I think is really cool. And I suppose that can be applied to the screen at some point too, I don't see why not.

Dennis: Yeah. Sorry I'm a little distracted. I'm looking at the picture of the girl in the article.


Ross: The Greek girl.

Dennis: The green girl. And then I'm looking at the alt text, seeing if it's sufficient. If I was visually impaired I don't think that it would suffice.


Ross: Everybody is going to jump at that article now like, "What's the green girl with the poor alt text."

Dennis: OK. Cool. So yeah, some exciting new technology and accessibility again is a good part of it. And I think accessibility as a whole enhances and even inspires a lot of this cool new technology coming out.

Ross: Right. And I think it's cool that this technology isn't just all bells and whistles but it can also assist in accessibility.

Dennis: Yeah. It's like, practical.

Ross: Right.

Dennis: And cool.

Ross: Exactly.

Dennis: All right. Let's move on to our year in review. And I've got a pretty good list going here.

Ross: Yeah. A lot of cool stuff happened this year.

Dennis: Yeah. It's just a lot of stuff. So the first issue I want to discuss is the recent cancellation of the AccessU West conference that was supposed to happen January 10th and 12th in San Jose, California. So that was a big disappointment. And speaking of comments though, we got several really good comments on the blog post that I wrote about it. So check it out if you have not seen that blog post. So yeah, it was unfortunate not only because you know it would have been a good Web Accessibility conference. Also because I was slated to doing that Tinos speech on the first day.

Ross: Right.

Dennis: My first one, I guess I will have to wait for another opportunity to pop up.

Ross: Yeah, it's unfortunate I wish there were more interest in the area I am sure you will get another chance.

Dennis: In my blog post, I wrote a few ideas on why I think it might have been canceled, why I think there were not enough registrations. And there were a couple of other thoughts in the comments. Therefore, if you have a thought on that please joins in on the conversation.

The next item I want to discuss briefly is the accessibility tool kit that Web AP's created on 140. If you are not familiar with 140, it is a good website, the website to go to for Twitter applications. If you want to find a Twitter app or something or another.

They have something called took kits. Which they are encouraging people to use and to create a tool kit. Therefore, I made one Accessibility tool kit, and that is a collection of Twitter apps that you know have some kind of theme.

Therefore, I made an Accessibility one of course and I think there's four listed right now. So if you have any ideas of what else can be listed there please let us now. Have you ever used them Ross?

Ross: I looked at the accessibility one, and it seems like a cool site. However, I have not really browsed.

Dennis: Yeah, it is cool if you are looking for something. They also have like this question and answer thing that I just started using that is cool. So you can post and answer questions related you know to twitter it is neat.

Therefore, anyhow I also wrote a blog post recently about adding which provides alternative texts to this humorous info graphic that was going around. It is called, "If web browsers were celebrities" and of course many of these info graphics and many of these comics and stuff going around Twitter and the web is great. I swear 99½ percent of them do not have sufficient alternative text.

Ross: Right, if any at all.

Dennis: Yeah, I cannot believe it. Therefore, I wrote this blog post providing all text for this one and it is going to be a little series. I am going to try every month or two you know come out with a blog post that provides alternative text where it is needed and something. A lot of humorous things or like these info graphics and stuff like that.

Ross: Right, this one in particular I feel like the info graphics was pretty funny, "if web browsers were celebrities." My favorite one was IE6, which was "everyone thought I died a long time ago but still seem to crop up all over the place", and it would be Betty White.

Dennis: IE6 is still around, Betty White is still around?

Ross: Yeah, I guess.

Dennis: Yeah, that is funny. OK. If you want more laughs go check out that blog post.

Ross: And actually interestingly enough I prefer reading it the all text you have then to looking at the graphics. It's like easier to read through.

Dennis: Really?

Ross: Yeah.

Dennis: It is easier to scan that is for sure. OK. Another somewhat recent blog post was about the Twitter keyboard short cuts. I thought that was crappy irony of Twitter to be you know flaunting this keyboard shortcut "feature" that they have, because the site is not keyboard accessible. So I wrote this blog post about it and got some good comments on there, so check that out and let us know what you think about that. Do you have any thoughts on that sir?

Ross: Yes, I'm kind of surprised they didn't approve it because...

Dennis: Oh, my comment?

Ross: Yes.

Dennis: Yes, that's how it all got started. Good point, good point. I went to put a comment on this article. There was an article about the keyboard shortcuts on life hacker, and I wrote a comment and it didn't get approved.

Ross: Right. They're not the type of site to just disapprove if somebody disagrees. So I'm not exactly sure why they didn't bother to approve it.

Dennis: Yes, then I did a tweet reply to one or two people and didn't hear back, so that then I wrote the blog post. OK, HTML 5, where the heck are we at? I wrote a sort of follow up blog post, HTML five sanity check. Earlier in the year WebEx was getting a little excited about HTML 5, like most people, but the fine folks at the Paciello Group started to point out that in all practicality, HTML five has still a lot of issues to iron out.

They wrote an article and made a couple of presentations about it what things, and great ideas on fallbacks for things that aren't supported yet. I got some good comments on that post too! [laughs] But basically the idea was, I'm not saying don't use HTML 5, definitely, I'm a total advocate, but just when you do it you have to be smart about it and be careful because there's still a lot of holes there.

Ross: Yes. In my personal opinion it's kind of fun to work with. I haven't done any real serious sites with it, just because there's not really a need to at this point. It would be different if it was widely adapted - it's great to learn it because at some point it will be, but xHTML or HTML four, it does what I need to do.

Dennis: Right, I totally see what you're saying. Any HTML five site that you write for a huge general population, you're not going to use all the crazy advanced features, because they're not fully supported, right?

Ross: Right. The one place that I have used it, and it's more just a piece, and you kind of need a fallback or several fallbacks anyway, the native video playing and audio playing is kind of nice, but you still have to have some sort of Flash fallback for Internet Explorer.

Dennis: Right, that is nice. Some are supported but you have to do all the different codex and files and Flash backup and blah, blah, blah, blah. Anyways, it's food for thought so let's move on. I've been seeing more Web Accessibility job positions opening up. People are tweeting about it. Of course, there's Jennison's a11y jobs twitter account, but here and there, yes, I've been seeing you know some of them are contract but still there is more popping up which is a good sign. I noticed in the states almost all of them are on the East Coast though, I guess it's because Washington, DC is on the East coast.

Ross: Right, makes sense but it's good to know there are more jobs then it means there more budget things putting towards these things. People are valuing it more and all that so it kind of all good signs.

Dennis: Definitely, moving on in September we had our five year Web Axe anniversary pod cast. So that's worth a mention. We had nine guests on there, nine awesome folks sent in there audio clips. So that was a really good and long pod cast, it was pretty long its over an hour but it's really good stuff from nine Accessibility professionals around the world coming from different angles so it's really good to listen to.

Ross: Right, everything from each HTML5 info from Bruce Lawson and Opera to Drupal from Mike Gifford. So Paul Bowleg everybody knows Paul.

Dennis: Yeah, that was awesome he sent in something. He was the first one that replied. He's the pod casting guru so it wasn't difficult for him to do I imagine.

Ross: Right, [indecipherable 21:29] whatever recording he's already doing.

Dennis: Yeah, but thanks to everyone who submitted. That was great.

Ross: It's an awesome episode if you haven't listened to it yet, you definitely need to. That was pretty good.

Dennis: For sure, this year we were nominated three years running now nominated for the .Net Mag Awards. We have not yet made the final cut for the award but still it was nice to be nominated three years in a row.

Ross: Right. And next year maybe, next year everybody make sure putting it on your calendar so you need to vote multiple times.

Dennis: Yeah, major accessibility updates in Drupal seven and that was a big thing earlier this year. We did a pod cast on that.

Ross: Maybe someday Drupal seven will actually come out.

Dennis: It's out in beta right?

Ross: Yeah, yeah.

Dennis: I'm not sure what the status is now actually so...

Ross: A certain number of critical bugs that need to be finished going down like a scissor, quickly being squashed but yeah, it's still it's been a long time coming. You know I know a group of developers.

Dennis: So hopefully if you're listening Everett or Mike Gifford please leave us a comment and let us know an update. OK, earlier in the year I did a critique on Web Axe of the what was a new website for

Yeah, I did a big critique on that naming a list of improvements Web Accessibility improvements for the Unites States Section 508 website. So obviously, there is irony there and that got a lot of attention so that was cool to do and see on getting some response.

Along the same lines, I also did a review on, California's website actually, so they have this Website Accessibility page. I went to the home page of the site and measured it and it just did not match up. There were issues so I wrote a blog post about that. That got some pretty good notice and feedback. In addition, it turns out that the page that they had published accessibility page was just like weird generic page. That the web person just like basically cut and paste from somewhere else.

Ross: So they did not even go through, to bother to make sure [overlapping discussion] .

Dennis: I think it was some kind of like generic like government. I forgot, somebody pointed out one time where it might have come from. It looked like this generic like government accessibility page. Like a list of stuff why they are accessible and like it was completely wrong.

Ross: That is funny.

Dennis: But I can think of a different word then funny but [laughing] . Yeah, so anyways check that out if you missed it.

Ross: And they didn't end up fixing it right?

Dennis: In the first couple of days, they did fix a couple of issues. I am not sure what has happened since then. but, it definitely drew some attention so that was cool.

Ross: Yeah. They linked up Accessible Twitter on that page right? They had some related sites and Accessible Twitter is on there.

Dennis: Oh nice. That is right I totally forgot. That sounds familiar. I will have to look at it again. Cool beans, so let us see let's move on to BayJax. It is a San Francisco Bay area like Java scripts, Ajax kind of meet up.

I substituted, as a speaker for our dear friend Derek [indecipherable 25:41] at Yahoo, who unfortunately could not make it. Therefore, he asked me to speak for him so that was a great opportunity. So thanks Derek for asking me. So I presented on, "Making Java Script Accessible." A presentation I threw together in one day.

Ross: Accessible Twitter there is so many pops that there's pieces you can pull from there right?

Dennis: I did take a couple of examples from Accessible Twitter, from other sites as well. I think it turned out fairly well and actually; you can watch the video of it on Yahoo. Just kind of embarrassing but it's interesting you can find it on that. What is it? The Developer TV or something on Yahoo.

Ross: Oh, right, Yahoo Developer.

Dennis: Yeah, you can watch my presentation on there so I do not know.

Ross: Yeah. The Developer Network the [overlapping discussion] I think they call it.

Dennis: I do not like seeing my presentation video on the web but it is all good.

Ross: I am sure lots of people do it so [indecipherable 27:00] .

Dennis: I went to my first CSUN conference last March. And I hope to go, I am planning on going this year and so that was really cool. I was pretty excited about it. Jennison and I did a pod cast preview about it and then for my monthly link round up there is a special section with the CSUN presentations.

If you are not familiar, it is pretty much the biggest accessibility conference in the United States if not the world I am not sure. But it is just a great, great conference and Web Accessibility it is just a part of it too. It's awesome, it's in they moved it to downtown San Diego I think a year ago I guess and it worked out really well. It is a nice hotel and I hope to go again this year.

Ross: It is cool to take a step back to look outside the bubble. The Accessibility beyond the lab. You just kind of see where there is overlap and you know other areas. Obvious if you value Web Accessibility probably value all sorts of accessibility. So that is what seems cool about it, I always thought about going.

Dennis: Hey, are you going to South By?

Ross: That is a good question. I really want to go, I think we talk about it every year and never neither of us end up going.

Dennis: It is like this ongoing joke now.

Ross: Right.

Dennis: I doubt I am going to make it I like to go but.

Ross: It is a tough time of year I feel like.

Dennis: Well it actually overlaps one day with the Sea Sun Conference.

Ross: Right.

Dennis: That is the main reason I am not going in mid March so.

Ross: Right. You know I heard this is just hearsay that I heard that South By now has become more about like...

Dennis: Partying.

Ross: Going out and partying you do not have to learn anything interesting but you will drink with some cool people.

Dennis: I heard that to its more about, like the presentations are OK, but it's more about you know snoozing and meeting people which is also good but.

Ross: Right, right, just depends on why you want to go.

Dennis: Yeah, what your main priority is.

Ross: Right.

Dennis: And just a quick mention apparently in 2010 Web Axe was featured in a BBC pod cast, which was neat exposure. A Woman contacted me from the BBC and just asked me questions about Web Axe and Accessibility Twitter. So it was just cool.

Therefore, there is just, you know part of this one pod cast it is like a little interview with me about Web Axe etc. so that was neat.

Ross: Yeah, very, very cool. The BBC is awesome; I was very excited about that.

Dennis: A big year man.

Ross: A lot happening. So can only imagine what is going to happen next year.

Dennis: Yeah, you know it is weird. I think this year in Web Axe was bigger than Accessibility Twitter.

Ross: Yeah.

Dennis: You know once you sit back and look at it Accessibility Twitter is doing pretty well. Haven't lately had time to do many updates on it and I hope to make a lot more updates on it because there is lot of enhancements waiting to be done. So hopefully if not me somebody else makes them get going on you know improving that site.

Ross: Right, if there was only more time in the day right.

Dennis: Yeah, yeah, Accessibility Facebook took that will just take a couple of hours to do.


Ross: It is a little easier right makes an Axe Face book.

Dennis: Any way's all right I guess that is it.

Ross: Yeah, I think so. Thanks everybody for another great year of listening and all the new listeners. I think that is awesome with the readership not the readership, I guess the readership and the listener ship keeps growing.

Ross: Yeah, growing and growing so I do not know what to say besides it's been great and thank you everybody and hope to have just as good 2011. 2011 I cannot even say it its crazy twenty what do you say twenty eleven I cannot even get used to saying that.

Ross: You will get used to it quick. You got about a week or so and then.

Dennis: Yeah really, well Happy Holidays everyone and Happy New Year too.

Ross: Bye everyone.

Dennis: Bye.

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