To err is human, and coders too, like us are humans and are bound to make mistakes while coding, especially if the needs of the project are complex and if they adhere to the true meaning of agile.
This article was initially posted as a guest blog on The Digital Echidna Blog on December 2, 2016.
Lots of organizations are working hard to see that their IT is accessible to their visitors and staff. Reducing barriers for effective two-way communications is really important for businesses that want to engage fully with their community. Unfortunately, many organizations overlook the many challenges with online web forms.
Organizations who adopted Drupal 7 benefit from having semantic labels associated with their web forms automatically. This is a particular problem with custom built web-forms, but the Drupal community made an effort towards solid accessibility defaults and continues to do so.
Drupal 8 takes web forms further, adding WAI-ARIA to provide additional semantic markup around descriptive text. Drupal 8 is the first CMS to embrace the HTML5 details/summary elements. These elements allows Drupal 8 forms to use fieldsets for what they are intended and avoids the problem of nested fieldsets, which were inevitable in earlier versions of Drupal.
Adding other HTML5 tags to Drupal Core helps build more semantic sites. Users are encouraged to use tags with meaning which help screen-reader users as well as search engines.
The Accessibility Team wasn’t satisfied with this and realized that we needed to address Guideline 3.3 of WCAG 2.0 AA, which states that all users need to:
- Be aware that an error has occurred and understand what is wrong
- Be given suggestions for correction of an input error if it is possible
- Be provided with safeguards to avoid serious consequences resulting from mistakes
- Have their input checked for errors and be provided an opportunity to correct them.
These really don’t sound that difficult, but unfortunately they are. Brandon Bowersox-Johnson spearheaded this back in 2012 outlining what needed to happen.
This required many changes to Drupal’s Form API, which is used on almost every Drupal admin page and with all of its web forms. An issue to address this was started later that year in the Drupal issue queue and Inline form errors for accessibility and UX resulted in over 600 comments over four years.
It also got into Drupal Core, although not for very long. It became clear that there were a number of regressions which were major enough that Drupal 8 could not be released without their being fixed. Rather than continue to hold up the release, the community decided to roll this back into an Experimental Core module.
This was absolutely the right call for 8.0. More attention has gone into the many sub-issues and several of them have been fixed. Drupal Core needs to be stable and predictable. Several developers have been very active in trying to fix these issues. In no particular order I’d like to highlight just some of the folks who have contributed to addressing these issues: Pieter Frenssen, Tim Plunkett, Baris Wanschers, Daniël Smidt, and Scott Carpenter.
There has been a lot of effort from some really smart folks going into this very important issue. Unfortunately it isn’t enough. Inline Form Errors need to be enabled by default. Everyone benefits from this better UI. Right now only a small fraction of Drupal 8 sites have enabled this module, because it is an optional Experimental Module and there are serious warnings included with it.
This module is also slated to be removed from Core and brought in as a regular Contrib module. There are good reasons to do this, but it makes it less likely that this improved pattern will ever get into Core.
This is not a trivial request, but it is an important one. For all agencies who are legally required to meet WCAG 2.0 AA, this is an area where your site likely fails. Although there are workarounds that can be done for individual sites and specific modules, we really need a centralized solution for this.
Please consider investing time or money in addressing this outstanding Drupal 8 meta issue and seeing that Drupal remains a leader in this space.Topic:
On Friday, December 9 we are organizing a global virtual Drupal UX sprint. As always, many different features and projects are currently worked on. We'll use this day to work on issues that need UX input or feedback.What will happen that day?
Join the #ux channel on drupal.slack.com (get an invite automatically at http://drupalslack.herokuapp.com/) to participate all day.
- UX mentors will be available to help onboard designers who want to contribute
- We'll pair designers and devs (as available) to work on actionable tasks
- Planning to do some ad hoc usability testing
- An introduction to the main strategic initiatives and their UX components will be provided
You can join us even after the global UX sprint. We have meetings every Tuesday at 9pm CEST and every Wednesday at 9am CEST on the #ux Slack channel at drupal.slack.com (get an invite automatically at http://drupalslack.herokuapp.com/). Bring your issues there to discuss! CEST is the timezone observed in Amsterdam.
Here is where we bring awareness to Drupal modules running on less than 1% of reporting sites. Today we'll consider Markup, a module which allows you to insert additional markup on the node/edit form just for content authors.
The first Drupal IronCamp took place in the beautiful capital of the Czech Republic in Prague at the end of November 2016. More than 200 attendees from 27 countries took part in four days of sprints and two days of sessions.
In such a relatively small group of people I could get in touch with everyone I liked to, keynote speakers, CEOs, friends and other drupalists.
So here is my summary of the sessions I have attended and which I found of interest.KEYNOTE - Michael Schmid (@Schnitzel): The Future of Drupal
Michael showed us what people had in mind at the beginning of the 20th century when they wanted to predict the future now. It was both interesting and predictalbe, but also showed us that we still have not reached everything those people had in mind. The focus of this keynote was on Personalisation, Decoupled, Microservices and Containers - four fields, in which Drupal is already prepared for the future but not yet fully developed.
- Personalisation: Websites won't be looking the same anymore. For disabled persons or based on a user's preferences websites will display only partial content or different content. This results in complex testing scenarios.
- Microservices: Split up larger tasks into smaller ones, but keep an eye on coding standards and used programming languages and libraries.
- Containers: A consistent website environment for development, testing and live will be achieved with the use of docker containers.
The core theme of this presentation was the introduction of a new Drupal 8 module Configuration Split, where you can easily use Drupal 8s configuration managemen and split configurations for the use of different environments or different use cases.@Crell): Software Management Lessons from the 1960s
Has project management, described in "The Mythical Man Month" by Frederick P. Brooks Jr. in 1975 and 1995 changed in today's world? Most of the thesis described by the pioneers of modern computer architects and project management are still true. Larry and the audience had to admit this with no regret, but with relief. So project and software management has a steady and solid fundament to build upon and to rely on. This is good for companies working in collaboration with other companies and especially for the open source community to work together in such a large project as Drupal.@nod_), Mathieu Spillebeen (@MathieuSpil): Offline-Drupal
Comparing the approaches of Google's AMP, Facebook's instant articles, Appcache and Serviceworkers with real-world examples. Some techniques have limitations in browser support. Serviceworkers seems to be the most promising technology for caching websites in the browser, but unfortunately this still lacks support from Apple Safari.
Only 0.5% of the users of Drupal contribute to the community. In this keynote Janez engaged the listeners to contribute to the community as well. He also showed the pros and cons of free software and propriety software and the processes in development with too many discussions and too few releases and too few contributers and missing functionalities. Engagement of developers is the core key for a community driven development.Tamás Hajas (@eccegostudio): Short Twig recipes for Drupalers
Basics and advanced examples of Twig templates, inheritance, embedding, including and other useful recipes around Twig. An interesting talk but sadly a small crowd.
Wolfgang had quite a big audience and lots of talk after the session. It seems that many developers have not worked so intensly with composer yet. But this session provided an overview of possible workflows and showed practical solutions for building and deploying composer-managed projects. Wolfgang shared his experiences with handling Drupal projects and focued in his talk on approaches that can be shared across projects and team members.
A beautiful city but cloudy weather. Nevertheless the christmas market at night was shiny and also the after-parties had some surprises like the Cinema Zapping on Friday or the secret visit to Unijazz on Saturday. In two years the event will be back in Belgrad and I'm sure to be there too.
It is with great excitement that we officially invite you to join us at DrupalCon Baltimore! Our website launches today, and there are already many ways that you can already get involved.