February 27, 2014

CSUN 2014 Hackathon

UPDATE: The hackathon will be held in La Jolla A, and starts at noon Saturday until…

Hackathon, Saturday March 22, 2014 - CSUN

So yes, we are looking to organize a hackathon at CSUN 2014 for Saturday Mar. 21st, the ‘we’ being a bunch of the usual suspects – we love what we do and we love creating community – that’s all that counts, right?

The details are still fluid, but the idea is this: ARIA is here (cue the cheering), but working devs still need to deal with backward compatibility – what works where, and what doesn’t work where? I’m sure a number of you have started the effort around building out a support matrix, only to realize how gnarly that task really is, and how complicated it is to do the testing. Oh, on the surface it looks innocent enough:

[Operating system + versions] + [Browser + versions] + [Assistive Technology + versions]

…but when you start walking down that mulch-dimensional array it gets scary fast. And even more complicated is assembling a lab to run those tests.

But, if ever there was a collection of users with varied OSes and browser versions and AT versions all in one place, CSUN would likely be your first guess, right? That’s what I thought too. And developers who can write and contribute ARIA tests – yes again to CSUN

And so that is/was the germ of the idea. What we are setting out to do is to create that gnarly database (as a SQL db – and as granular as possible), collect (or write) appropriate tests against the ARIA specification, get them into a location where users can test and report, and then crowd-source the testing and reporting. The output will be a simple SQL dump (but if somebody wants to play with a presentation layer using the big data that would be a fun hackathon effort too). The final data will be Open and available to anyone who wants to use it – property of the community that built it, use it in good health. We want to also make sure that participation does not require a physical presence, so that you don’t have to be in San Diego on Saturday (but for those that are, come hang out and have some fun, and do something cool and useful for our community). And finally, we really don’t think it will be finished in one day, so there will be plenty of stuff to do past Saturday: this really will take the community to do right.

Details? Uhm… Saturday the 22nd. Time? To be confirmed (but likely around 11ish). Location? To be confirmed, but a huge hug and kiss to Sandy Plotin for agreeing that this sounded cool enough to give us a room. What can you do to help? Be ready to jump in. We don’t have lots of details just yet, but stand by, we’ll get them out as soon as we have them. We will be using GitHub, and we have kicked off the following:

Never used GitHub before? Bring your lap-top and come learn how – a bunch of volunteers will be teaching the uninitiated, as it will be a critical tool in this effort.

…and… that’s it. It’s a little messy, a little unstructured, it is, after all, a hackathon. See you there!

  1. #1 by philljenkins on March 12, 2014 - 4:56 pm

    Is the IAAP also sponsoring, aware of or promoting this activity? Seems like a natural fit for a sub-class of International Accessibility Professionals – Web Developers – agree?

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