Looking Forward to 2008 : Accessibility, Web Browsers and the Multipack

— 2 minute read

So, a new year, a chance to look forward to things to come and re-assess what's gone before. With that in mind, a post about the future in several areas:

Yesterday's Multipack meeting was good. The core members all turned out to discuss future developments. Attendance had been slightly off of late, understandable for any group a couple of years old, so we discussed a few options for re-invigorating things. Communication, we agreed, was the key thing. Mainly in promoting ourselves, our events and making sure new members turn up and old ones are aware of developments.

To this end I'm taking over as editor of the Newsletter, which had fallen by the wayside, and we all agreed is a useful tool for keeping folks interested and bringing them back. If you're a Multipack member and are up to anything interesting, let me know by the Friday a week and a day before the monthly meeting (next meeting is 9th Feb , so deadline for next newsletter is Friday 1st Feb). We're also moving forward on the website reboot begun last year and focusing meetings more by advertising a theme for discussion. Meetings are now definitely the 2nd Saturday of every month in the Old Joint Stock, Birmingham.

2008 looks like being an interesting year for web accessibility and web development in general. We've got the development of the Accessibility Interoperability Initiative, which promises amongst other things WAI ARIA support in Internet Explorer. This'll hopefully help with making heavy Javascript web applications more accessible, for some at least. This, combined with the news from Microsoft that Internet Explorer 8 passes the ACID 2 test makes for some very interesting developments. Of course we'll have to wait for it to be released, and people to adopt it...

On the Mozilla side, I'm currently using Firefox 3 Beta 2, which seems a lot more stable and less of a memory hog than version 2, and also passes ACID 2. Although that said it may just be that the lack of compatible extensions to slow things down keeps it fast... Similarly I'm using Safari 3 at home, which has a few nice improvements (support for Wordpress' TinyMCE for a start), though it has crashed on me a few times and Wordpress appears to lose the linebreaks on posting.