Crack on MDN: Better accessibility with regard to MDN Web Docs

From Saturday, September 22 in order to Monday, September 24, more than 20 people met in London to work upon improving accessibility on MDN Internet Docs — both content about accessibility and the availability of the site itself. While a lot remains to be done, the result was obviously a considerable refresh in both respects.

Attendees at Hack on MDN listen to a lightning talk simply by Eva Ferreira

Participants at Hack on MDN pay attention to a lightning talk by Avoi Ferreira. Photo by Adrian Roselli.

Hack upon MDN events

Hack on MDN events evolved from the documentation sprints for MDN that were held through 2010 to 2013, which introduced together staff members and volunteers to publish and localize content on MDN over a weekend. As implied from the name, “ Hack on MDN” events expand the range of individuals to include those with programming and style skills. In its current incarnation, every Hack on MDN event includes a thematic focus. One in 03 of this year focused on browser compatibility data .

The Hack upon MDN format is a combination of hackathon and unconference; participants pitch tasks and commit to working on concrete jobs (rather than meetings or lengthy discussions) that can be completed in three times or less. People self-organize to operate on projects in which a group could make significant progress over a long weekend break. Lightning talks provide an unconference split from projects.

Availability on MDN Web Docs

Making websites accessible to some wide range of users, including those with bodily or cognitive limitations, is a crucial topic for creators on the web. However information about accessibility on MDN Internet Docs was sparse and often out-of-date. Similarly, the accessibility of the web site had eroded over time. Therefore , availability was chosen as theme for your September 2018 Hack on MDN.

Hack on MDN Accessibility in London

The folks who gathered at Campus London (thanks to Google for the space), included writers, developers, and convenience experts, from within and outside of Mozilla. After a round of introductions, there was clearly a “ pitch” session delivering ideas of projects to work upon. Participants rearranged themselves into task groups, and the hacking began. Adrian Roselli gave a brief crash course upon accessibility for non-experts in the space, which he fortunately had upward his sleeve and was able to existing while jet-lagged.

In late each morning and afternoon, we do a status check-in to see just how work was progressing. On Weekend and Monday, there were also super talks, where anyone could existing anything that they wanted to share. Past due Sunday afternoon, some of us took a while out to explore some of the offerings from the Shoreditch Style Triangle , including playing with the “ font” comprised of (more or even less sit-able) chairs.

Glenda Sims, Estelle Weyl, Janet Swisher and Adrian Roselli pose along with metal letter-shaped chairs spelling "HACK" and "MdN"

Glenda Sims, Estelle Weyl, Janet Swisher and Adrian Roselli pose along with metal letter-shaped chairs spelling “ HACK” and “ MdN”. Picture by Dan Rubin.


One particular project focused on updating the WAI-ARIA documentation on MDN Web Documents, using a new ARIA reference page template created by Estelle Weyl . Eric Bailey , Eric Eggert , and several others completed documentation upon 27 ARIA roles, including suggesting appropriate semantic HTML elements to make use of in preference to an ARIA role. The particular team even had remote members, with Shane Hudson writing about the particular ARIA notify role .

Several participants worked on adding sections upon “ Accessibility concerns” to appropriate HTML, CSS, and JavaScript webpages, such as the < canvas> element, display real estate, and the Computer animation API .

Various other efforts included:

Also, a fun time has been had and the group enjoyed coming together. Check the #HackOnMDN tag on Tweets for photos, “ overheard” rates, nail art by @ninjanails and much more. Also see blog posts by Adrian Roselli and Hidde de Vries for their perspectives and more details.

What’ s next?

There is plenty of work remaining to make MDN’ s accessibility articles up-to-date and useful. The list associated with ARIA functions, states, and properties is far from complete. More research pages need “ accessibility concerns” information added. The accessibility from the MDN Web Docs site nevertheless can be improved. As a result of the excitement from this event, discussions are starting regarding doing a mini-hack in connection with an upcoming availability conference.

If you find problems that need to be addressed, please file the bug against the site or the content . Even better, get involved in improving MDN Internet Docs. If you’ re unsure where to begin, visit the MDN community forum in order to ask any questions you might have about how exactly to make MDN more awesome (and accessible). We’ d love to have got your help!

Janet will be the Community Lead and Project Supervisor for MDN Web Docs. The lady joined Mozilla in 2010, and has already been involved in open source software considering that 2004 and in technical communication because the 20th century. She lives in Austin tx, Texas, with her husband plus a standard poodle.

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