So this time I’ll take the opportunity to write a blog post here at icinga.org as well. It’s all about a topic that is mostly overlooked:

Accessibility

Especially in open source it’s not rare that software is either not being adjusted or way later than the initial production use, given the ever-increasing interest and the integration of disadvantaged individuals. In most cases, this is due to the development model. Someone requires a particular tool that doesn’t exist yet or is not as functional as it could be, leading to a new or customized solution that is made available to the public and being adjusted by interested users. In the majority of such conditions, the number of actual users is usually not or only partially predictable, so accessibility is not considered.

In projects that are developed or commissioned by large companies, is, however, usually a special interest in this subject. The product must be fully accessible either because of marketing reasons or prescribed company guidelines, before it can be sold or used productively. Since some time ago a large German company has spoken to us, the „Team Web“ will increasingly put a focus on this subject so that the final version of Icinga Web 2 is really accessible.

We will be guided by two specific standards, but only partially. Especially the “WCAG” standard describes a large number of requirements, whose cost is very high, their relevance for Icinga Web 2, however, is either too small or can’t be estimated by us yet.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) as well as parts of ISO 9241

These two standards describe the basic features of accessibility in modern web applications as well as the requirements for a successful interaction between man and machine:

  • Colours and contrasts
  • Dialogues
  • Control
  • Navigation
  • Legibility
  • Intelligibility

Accessible Rich Internet Applications Suite (ARIA)

This standard extends HTML, so screen readers can navigate within the web application without error and advanced features that would otherwise be accessible only with the mouse, are also made fully usable with just the keyboard.

In addition, we’ll make sure to use HTML semantically correct. The ever-popular <div> is thus under high scrutiny.

Many improvements will be directly integrated into the framework, but all adjustments limiting Icinga Web 2 in its graphical functionality and the variety of operating elements are realized by means of a dedicated module.