Some more meanderings on Git

In my last post, The frustrations of VoiceOver, I alluded to “actively using Git/ Github in my workflow to my advantage” in the process of building a WordPress theme, bA53. And I’m still on it. But I’d very much like to flesh out a few idea’s concerning how I use Git towards my web development efforts.

What is Git? While one couldn’t be blamed for thinking I’m referring to the British noun “git” — and no, I’ve never heard of it either prior to tripping over it on Google — which apparently means an “unpleasant or contemptible person,” I’m not.

Rather Git, I’m speaking about the software now, “is a distributed revision control and source code management (SCM) system with an emphasis on speed.” I’ve mentioned my use of Git previously, as far back as my first post on this blog, in fact.

But I’ll save you from the pain of having me actually explain something I (still) barely understand, so I’ll simply recommend watching these 4 video’s that do a far better job of explaining Git than I could ever do. And it’s done. Read “Some more meanderings on Git” in its entirety

The frustrations of VoiceOver

First off, the title of this post is obviously link bait. I don’t seriously believe this to be a real “issue.” But if you’ve not read my last post, it might be worth reading for some context, I’ve found an answer as to why I was having issues using VoiceOver. And I thought I’d share.

What I didn’t divulge last post was I was primarily trying to use VoiceOver with my work. Again, as I alluded in my previous post, I’m talking about VoiceOver on OSX. For sometime I’ve been very casually building what I refer to as “an orderly, semantic mark-up centric, un-styled and accessible WordPress starter theme” — for which, as of this writing, it’s technically none of the above. But I’ve named it bA53.

My goals with this personal project are many. But most importantly I’m using this opportunity to push myself to learn about a few different aspects of web development, specifically.  Web Accessibility Initiative – Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA), how Screen Readers actually interact with what I build and actively using Git/ Github in my workflow to my advantage — I’m the master of the tiny commits and the much too frequent push’s. Read “The frustrations of VoiceOver” in its entirety

My life with a Screen Reader

So for quite some time now, much longer than is even remotely justifiable in fact, I’ve been having my share of difficulty both with using and understanding how to use Screen Reader Technology. Or more to the point, I just don’t get how this particular technology is usable to Blind and Low-Vision users.

Just to be crystal clear, I’m not knocking the technology or anyone who uses it, I’m only speaking towards my experience with it. And since my experience is limited, take this for what it’s worth, which isn’t a hellva lot.

Using said technology is an almost maddening endeavour each and every time I try to use it. I cannot wrap my head around making personal, productive use of it — and when I refer to “it,” in the interests of full disclosure, since I design and develop on a Mac, I mean VoiceOver. Read “My life with a Screen Reader” in its entirety

Accessible font icons

I recently posted a somewhat personal post on my other blog that I wrote concerning “creative constraints.” And how a renewed interest in typography specifically has made me realize the value limit can play in my life.

Leading a life with creative aspirations foremost in mind hasn’t always been the most productive or fruitful of endeavours. Meaning at times it can be quite frustrating. Add to that a level of technical detail I seem to need to keep my interest piqued merely adds complexities to a situation that, if anything, would benefit from less difficulty rather than more.

But it would seem this interest in type, and web fonts in particular, will be quite the challenge for me going forward. There’s no shortage of nerdy details to occupy my mind with for years to come. I’m actually quite looking forward to it.

And if that wasn’t enough there is also this thing I’ve recently been made aware of called font icons. “Font icons are awesome.” But more to the point of this post today, they are “accessible” (but they come with some things to watch out for, hence the quotes). And that really makes my dorky side drool. Details, details, details… Read “Accessible font icons” in its entirety

The Applicability of Keyboard Access

Back in December of 2011 I wrote (which is almost impossible for me to believe);

“[I]n searching for alternative methods of access — which essentially means [the] ways [in which] I input my intentions into a computer, and I’ve also begun to experiment with a trackpad, too — I discovered the keyboard is my ideal method of access. I had to change a few [Operating System] OS specific key commands, for usability’s sake, but using the keyboard to control a computer cut way down on the time I used to fumble with the mouse.”

Habit is powerful thing. I’ve spent virtually the entire time on my computer “fumbling” around with various input devices. Specialty mice (specifically programmable mice), not so special mice (the Apple hockey puck comes to mind), trackballs (I hated using a trackball), Wacom tablets and most recently an Apple Track Pad. All had their pro’s but each had a lot of con’s. Mainly in terms of my ability to use them. More often than not, the trackball especially, they were just awkward for me to use in any productive fashion.

The irony of it all is the most productive means of access was sitting right there in front of my face, the whole time. The keyboard. And as time lapsed I was gravitating my use increasingly away from those various input devices I was trying to use to the keyboard without realizing it. Not because it was more natural feeling, rather it was just easier for me. Read “The Applicability of Keyboard Access” in its entirety

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