Archived entries for Life...

Please Ignore This Post

sorry for this second test post, but I’m testing and it couldn’t be avoided. Thanks for your understanding.

My First Interview for a Podcast

I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Dustin Diaz for the sixth episode of his podcast series. It was my first time appearing on a podcast, though I’ve since given another interview for a second podcast (that hasn’t been published yet).

We primarily talked about my Graded Browser Support article, but also touched on other aspects of the Yahoo! User Interface Libary and web development in general. Each podcast Dustin does gets better and better (and I hope I didn’t break that trend — though I’ll let you be the judge of that).

Shoot me a note or leave a comment if you’d like to discuss general web development, the Graded Browser Support article and chart, CSS and DOM Scripting, the Yahoo! Developer Network, the Yahoo! User Interface Blog, or the recently-released Yahoo! User Interface Library on your podcast.

Accessible DHTML presentation at CSUN this week

It’s been so busy lately, both professionally and socially, that I haven’t been putting any time into this blog. I’m sorry about that, and have lots of ideas swirling around in my head that I hope to be able to write here soon.

In the near term though, I wanted to let you know that I’ll be in LA this Thurday presenting a paper at the CSUN accessibility conference. The paper/presentation, co-authored by my colleage Victor Tsaran, has the long title, “Yahoo! Experiences with Accessibility, DHTML, and Ajax in Rich Internet Applications”. The 45 minute talk will review the current state of web development and then offer three families of techniques for making the DHTML development that’s at the heart of Web 2.0 accessible to all users.

It’s an interesting and important topic. From 1999 thru 2004 the web became increasingly accessible with the broad adoption of Web Standards and related modern methodologies. Since 2005, these gains have been under pressure as we all race to push the limits of what’s achievable with DHTML in capable and modern browsers. While it is a myth that DHTML is not accessible, in practice the rush jobs and rapid innovations of the day often leave accessibility as but an afterthought. Additionally, as mouse-based desktop interactions — drag and drop for example — become more commonplace online, it’s tempting to exclusively rely on mouse-based input and manipulation which is a cause of concern to the accessibility community (and keyboard-loving geeks everywhere). The straw that often breaks the camel’s back is Ajax, which partial-page updates are often unnoticable to screen readers and other types of assistive technology.

I’ll post slides after the talk, and will be writing about this with Victor in an upcoming article for our Yahoo! User Interface Blog.

Yahoo! User Interface Library

It lives! I’ve been pushing and planning for this since last summer, and I couldn’t be more excited. Nor could I be happier with the response we’ve received so far from all of you. Thanks for the encouragement and all the kind words.

What am I talking about? About nine hours ago we publicly released and open-sourced two cool previously-internal libraries, a companion blog, and an article on Graded Browser Support that I authored:

Yahoo! User Interface Library – Industrial-grade JavaScript for DHTML and Ajax. The same libraries that power Yahoo! today.

Yahoo! Design Patterns Library – Our thinking and solutions on common interface design issues.

Yahoo! User Interface Blog – News and Articles about Designing and Developing with Yahoo! Libraries (rss)

Graded Browser Support (article) – An inclusive definition of support and a framework for taming the ever-expanding world of browsers and frontend technologies.

If you have any questions, let me know. I’ll be posting more details on the blog throughout the week (and ongoing), but wanted to get the links up now before bed.

For a more thorough introduction and more links, check out the first three posts on http://yuiblog.com.

Do You Hate To Read, But Love The Onion?

The Onion, America’s Finest News Source, began offering their Onion Radio News as a podcast this week. It immediately rose toward the top of iTunes podcast list.

The Onion Radio News Podcast, w/ Doyle Redland

Onion News is anchored by Doyle Redland, visualized by my dad.

Grab the podcast here or via the iTunes Music Store.

RIA’s, Accessible DHTML, Prime Rib and London

Phew, it’s been a hectic but great week. I’m off to London in a few minutes to participate in the Yahoo! Europe Web Development Conference (where I’ll be presenting and co-presenting four sessions), but I wanted to report on some of the things from this past week while they’re still fresh.

On Monday I gave a presentation to our User Experience and Design group. I work in the Presentation Platform Engineering group, and part of my job is to help bridge between Design and Engineering. (Before joining the Platform Engineering team, I worked on the Platform Design team, so I can speak both languages to some extent.)

With so much changing in interface development this year, it’s important to coordinate the creation of a new vocabulary for rich internet interfaces. I’ll write more on this in the coming weeks, but you can check out Bill Scott’s blog post for his take on my talk, where he focuses on Storyboarding Interesting Moments, a part of what I talked about.

Though all the words didn’t flow as well as they do sometimes for me, the presentation was well received and generated some excellent discussion. Larry Tesler, our SVP of UED, was one of several that had some kind words for me afterward. I would be remiss if I didn’t pass most of the credit to Eric Miraglia, a colleague and great mind who’s been instrumental in developing our vision. (More on that from Eric, here.)

On Monday night, I joined Victor Tsaran (our Accessibility Product Manager) at a casual dinner of about a dozen Bay Area accessibility folks from Adobe, Macromedia, Apple, IBM and Sun. Over Italian in San Mateo, it was a great chance to meet others addressing the needs of accessibility community. This theme continued for the rest of the week.

On Wednesday, I went to the Mozilla Foundation, for a co-presentation between IBM’s Accessibility Architect Aaron Leventhal and Yahoo!’s Victor Tsaran. They discussed the IBM/Mozilla Accessible DHTML project, first supported in the new Firefox 1.5. It’s great stuff, and will be critical as the web moves to richer interfaces.

On Friday, Aaron presented a technical overview of the capabilities to a team of our engineers, answering questions and giving guidance to engineers investigating the “Accessible DHTML” approach.

Friday night I had dinner in Pac Heights at the beautiful home of a friend of a friend, a promenient SF lawyer. The prime rib was perfectly cooked, and we laughed quite a bit. The five-course meal and case of wine took the wind from my sails so I didn’t get around to packing at all last night. As soon as I finish typing this post I need to quickly pack — clothes are almost out of the dryer, and I need to leave for the airport in about 66 minutes.

Phew…

Can’t wait to be laying on the white sands of Culebra in two weeks, away from web and world. (We went last year too, and couldn’t resist going again. I don’t have a Ph.D., but it’s still suits me fine.)



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