Accessibility Rules Format 1.0 now an approved Specification of OpenAjax Alliance

Blogged by: Jon Ferraiolo on May 21, 2011 at 9:33 am

The Accessibility Rules Format 1.0 Specification [1] has been approved by the OpenAjax Alliance Steering Committee as an official Specification of OpenAjax Alliance, and unanimous recommendation of approval by the OpenAjax Alliance membership.

The Rule Format 1.0 spec has been under development within the Accessibility Working Group [2] for a couple of years (with early work done in task force stage before an official Working Group was formed last year).

Here is a description of the Rules Format 1.0 Specification:

This document describes the requirements for the structure of OpenAjax Accessibility (OAA) Web validation rules and rule sets used by accessibility test tools. Version 1.0 of this rules format will be used to create validation rules for W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 targeted at HTML 4.X and WAI-ARIA. These rules are targeted at dynamic content and may be applied to a specific Document Object Model (DOM) node or to a set of DOM nodes or the entire document. Rules are to be written in JavaScirpt and rely on the W3C DOM with common browser extensions. Test tools can trigger the evaluation of these rules based on user interaction and external events. To see rule samples, in development, please see [3] or find the sources in the OAA repository on Source Forge [4].

Multiple companies/products that have stated publicly that they are implementing parts of this Specification:

* AInspector – the accessibility inspector for Firefox [5]
* Deque
* Illinois Functional accessibility evaluator 2.0 [6]
* Accessibility extensions for Firefox [7]
* IBM Rational Policy Tester
* OpQuast Reporting Tool [8]
* Parasoft

The co-chairs of the Accessibility Working Group (Rich Schwerdtfeger of IBM and Jon Gunderson of University of Illinois) expect that work will continue towards an updated version 2 of this Specification.

[1] /member/wiki/Accessibility_Rules_Format_1.0
[2] /member/wiki/Accessibility

Maqetta announced – uses OpenAjax Widgets (part of OpenAjax Metadata 1.0)

Blogged by: Jon Ferraiolo on May 21, 2011 at 9:31 am

On April 11, IBM and Dojo Foundation announced Maqetta, an HTML5 authoring tool for building desktop and mobile user interfaces. The announcement includes a new Web site that hosts the Maqetta application [1], and the contribution by IBM of the underlying source code as a new open source project at Dojo Foundation [2].  An eWeek article on the announcement is at [3].

Maqetta uses “OpenAjax Widgets” (the widget metadata part of the OpenAjax Metadata 1.0 specification [4]) .

[4] /member/wiki/OpenAjax_Metadata_1.0_Specification_Widget_Overview

OpenAjax Hub 2.0.7 – fixes for recent MS patch to IE6/IE7 – new transport for IE6/IE7 probably coming soon

Blogged by: Jon Ferraiolo on May 21, 2011 at 9:30 am

Recent Microsoft updates patched some code that was used by the RPC layer (from the Shindig project) to do messaging on Internet Explorer 6 and 7. OpenAjax Hub 2.0.7 fixes this by disabling the broken transport layer (NIX) and falling back to the fragment identifier transport (IFPC). Some further details can be found at [1] and [2].


It is likely that yet another update to the OpenAjax Hub open source project will happen sometime soon to include an alternate and faster cross-iframe transport technology for IE6 and IE7 (using Flash under the hood). This alternate transport approach is in the latest Apache Shindig open source trunk. An initial security assessment was done on this new transport approach and so far no security problems have been found.

Eclipse/Orion uses OpenAjax Hub within plugin system

Blogged by: Jon Ferraiolo on May 21, 2011 at 9:28 am

An exciting new open source project is the Eclipse Orion project. The Eclipse Orion project [1] (developer tools for the Web, on the Web) was announced in Jan 2011 and held planning meeting in March [2], where the Orion team showed the secure and extensible Web plugin technology approach that they are using, using OpenAjax Hub under the hood. Each “JavaScript plugin” gets isolated into its own iframe sandbox, and all communications across plugins are done with pub/sub messaging.