More on Accessibility-First Programming

Todd Horn Opinion, Programming, Technology Snapshot Leave a Comment

A few months back, Aaron wrote about the high-level aspects of Accessibility-First Programming, its importance, and specific strategies and tools for applying it within your software development process. It included insights and suggestions for Color and Contrast, Focus Management, the use of ARIA tags and attributes, and testing strategies and tools – all of which are important things to consider. 

In this post, we’re going to dig in a little deeper on three of those topics that I used on my last project: ARIA, the WCAG and what is needed for compliance, and some design principles of accessible design. We’ll include insights and further reading on relevant topics to help you better understand how to implement accessibility-first programming in your own development.

Elm Language

Lou Mauget JavaScript, Programming, Single-Page Application, Technology Snapshot Leave a Comment

This blog is about my dalliance with Elm; a purely functional, statically typed language that has type inference. It compiles to JavaScript. Functional programming is compelling, but heretofore, I’d only woven cherry-picked techniques into large object-oriented projects. In FP parlance, I’m partially applied! The times, they are a-changin’.

In this article, I’ll:
– touch on the reasoning for giving a nod to functional languages and data immutability;
– move on to Elm; a blazing-fast, statically typed, purely functional browser-side language that compiles to JavaScript and follows the principles of functional reactive programming;
– survey background items and the Elm environment;
– show a simple type-and-click application, followed by a more realistic To-do application;
– end with my impressions from functional-programming semi-outsider point-of-view.

What’s On First: The Case For Accessibility-First Programming

Aaron Diffenderfer Opinion, Programming, Technology Snapshot Leave a Comment

When you think of common programming techniques and processes, what comes to mind first? Perhaps it’s test-driven development, writing an automated test to start your development cycle and putting testing at the forefront instead of the typical afterthought. Or maybe you thought of behavior driven development with stakeholders collaborating and defining the software behavior upfront thus mitigating the ambiguities from some requirements. But what if I told you that while testing and behavior are important, accessibility should be one of the first development considerations?

Maybe the whole concept of accessibility is nothing new to you, and you’re already accounting for it in all aspects of the development process. But, if you’re like most developers (myself occasionally included), accessibility along with unit testing are the two things you often save to the very, very, very end, or perhaps you save them for the newbies to worry about in a future sprint – neither of which is ideal. While it may not be quite as important in some industries as it is in others like government (where Section 508 is federal law regarding accessibility), addressing it should be in the forefront of your thought process, your code, and your testing.

State Management with MobX and React

Nick Brown JavaScript, Problem Solving, React, Technology Snapshot Leave a Comment

There are many options when it comes to managing the state of a React application. Choosing the right one for your application can feel daunting.

The most popular choice, Redux, is often thought of as verbose because it requires a lot of boilerplate code, thus slowing down development. Redux is also very opinionated so it will take time for those unfamiliar with its functional programming paradigm to become comfortable with it.

In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at an alternative that aims to solve issues in React application state: MobX. To do that, I built a simple calorie counter application that will be used to showcase MobX in use.