Accessify Wiki: Proposal
2016-01-06 09:30:00 -0800
16:32, 3 June 2013
13:07, 15 July 2013
- Working together to fix accessibility on the Web, one site at a time. Working with those of all abilities.
In a nutshell - various versions:
What is Accessify Wiki? Accessify Wiki is a way of authoring [[Wikipedia:Web accessibility| accessibility]] fixes for a site, without having control of that site, then delivering the fixes to a user during their normal browsing experience. This is not intended as a long-term accessibility solution for a site.
So, for example it allows anyone to author accessibility fixes for popular and busy sites like Facebook, Google and Baidu.
Accessify Wiki is also a way of describing accessibility fixes to a non-specialist human (eg. a Web developer or designer) in a clear, un-ambiguous format, so that they can fix their web site themselves.
- A repository/database and [Wikipedia:API](query API) to allow the end-user extension to request fixes;
- Site-owner tools to allow owner-developers to understand and package up/ integrate the accessibility fixes;
- A standardized way to author and store the fixes for editing, validation and re-use (proposal: [[Wikipedia:YAML]] + [JSON-Schema][def-jsonschema]).
- Components 2 and 3 may be combined - different views of the same repository/ Wiki.
- It is hoped that through careful choice/ development of tools and documentation, the author of fixes need not be a skilled Web developer, but can instead be someone with a passion for accessibility, a willingness to explore and learn, and the desire to help.
- [https://github.com/nfreear/accessify-wiki All code to be open-source]; accessibility fixes to be open-source/open-data/[open content][def-opencontent], eg. GPL, MIT, Creative Commons [CC-by/CC-by-sa] (are fixes data or code?)
- To date (April 2013), we have [prototyped][pr-accessify] components 1, 2, 3 and 5.
How are fixes created?
The idea is:
- To design usable authoring tools,
- To create a low barrier of entry to authoring accessibility fixes,
- And, to use [crowd-sourcing][def-crowd],
- You/ we/ the community as a whole authors and maintains the fixes. So, this project follows in the footsteps of Wikipedia, [Project Gutenberg][pg], [Fix the Web][fixtheweb], [Scripting Enabled][scriptingenabled] and others.
How are fixes used?
It is envisioned that accessibility fixes will be used in at least three ways -- a typical life-cycle for fixes might be:
- Eventually, when the site is undergoing maintenance or a re-design, most accessibility fixes are hard-coded in HTML templates or 'view' files. The developer uses the human-readable YAML file as a precise specification or recipe. Note, in between the steps the fixes are likely to need editing as they are broken by small or large changes to the site in question.
There are naturally limitations to the accessibility fixes that a system like Accessify Wiki can apply. For example:
- It cannot be used for the whole-sale simplification or clarification of the language of textual content,
- It cannot re-order content to make pages more usable -- it may be possible to pre-pend or append text/HTML to parts of a page (proposal),
- Currently it can't make widespread fixes to CSS stylesheets -- this may change (proposal),
- Fixes will tend to break over time as third-party sites are edited and re-designed,
- ...? Notwithstanding these and other limitations, I suggest that Accessify Wiki will be a useful tool to improve the Web for all.
Legal and author guidelines
We don't have any terms of service or formal guidelines yet. So for now:
- Remember that the fixes that you write can directly affect an end-users' online experience,
- Respect the end-users' privacy and security,
- Specifically, don't write fixes for the secure areas of online banking services, online shops or other areas where private and credit card details are entered or displayed (guidance for the moment, may be relaxed),
- No bad/ inappropriate/ offensive language or harassment please. We do not approve user submissions, but reserve the right to take down unsuitable content,
- ...DISCLAIMER: "There is no warranty for the program, to the extent permitted by applicable law. Except when otherwise stated in writing the copyright holders and/or other parties provide the program “as is” without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose." (Source: GPL)
- You keep your copyright and right of attribution for any accessibility fixes or software code you contribute -- specific free/open source/open-content licenses to be decided.
Is it a Wiki?
Ah, you noticed! At present you can only submit fixes via a form, that you author elsewhere. This functionality will be added - soon hopefully. Likely candidates are [MoinMoin], [MediaWiki] or [DokuWiki].
What is ScraperWiki? [http://scraperwiki.com ScraperWiki] is a set of online tools for data manipulation and analysis. We're using it to prototype the Accessify Wiki idea. It may not be the long-term home for the project. Thank you to the team at ScraperWiki for creating a great set of tools. Check out the [ScraperWiki Beta][scraperwiki-beta].
- Get feedback from the community,
- Author more fixes * ...?
How can you help?
- Provide moral support, be a critical friend, leave comments, show some love ♥ ...
- Try authoring some fixes -- and pester Nick to provide examples and write a tutorial when you get stuck,
- Help write tutorials(!)
- Help with specifications including the JSON Schema,
- Provide web-hosting