📯 letter@marcus.io Issue #2: Firefox's a11y inspector, switches, EU Directive 2102, and ethics

Hello again 👋

this week I'm happy to share picked links of the week, but also a new side project of mine. Here we go:


Firefox 61 was released this week and brings web developers an interesting new tool: with the accessibility inspector pane in dev tools you can discover how assistive technologies consume your websites and web apps by the means of the accessibility tree. The most exciting feature, in my opinion, is that the inspector enables a new context menu entry: Just like "Inspect Element" you can now "Inspect Accessibility Properties". Read more on Marco Zehe's blog about the complete feature set.

Axess Labs published an in-depth-article about Switches (which are an important, but often forgotten important type of assistive technology) and gives advice on how to make your web product switch-friendly (spoiler: the essential parts are: ensuring your interface is keyboard accessible, don't relies on hover and don't establishes time limits for interactions).

This May's General Data Protection Regulation was not the only standardisation of laws in the European Union this year: The so-called Directive 2016/2102 aims to harmonize Web Accessibility laws in member states, at least for websites and apps of the public sector. I built a small one-pager (directive2102.eu) for everyone who has heard the keyword but needs more info on the directives scope, applicability, exceptions and deadlines. Beware that the first important one is not far away: September 23, 2019. Also, feel free to contribute to this project on GitHub!

Ethics and web development

Each of Anselm Hannemann's texts is recommendable, but this one in particular: In "Built to last" he describes his work ethic and approaches with special emphasis on longevity, focus, an overall vision, and - especially - patience. Not only as a philosophical contemplation but by supplying concrete examples from his company Colloq and also Basecamp (via another great article by Jason Fried).

Since the last newsletter I learned*

​(* Yes, that headline is a total stealing of Stefan Judis' Today I learned section 😛)

This finishes letter@marcus.io issue #2! As always I'm eager to learn what you think about it: just drop me a note at - who'd have thought? - letter@marcus.io or ping me at Twitter: @_marcusherrmann. If you are enjoying this letter, please spread the word about it.

Best wishes and
until we read (from each other) again,