Category: inspiration

A New Approach for Flash Accessibility

My colleague (aka running buddy, aka friend, aka fashionista) Andrea Hill and I had a pow-wow a few months back in anticipation of her Accessibility presentation at Spring </br> . Personally, I thought the conversation was a perfect example of how genius occurs at the intersections of knowledge domains, as we were able to take her expertise on Accessibility standards and my expertise in Flash and Actionscript and come up a back-of-the-napkin approach to Flash Accessibility that might just fix all the headaches caused by interfacing with Assistive Technology. Note that this solution does NOT absolve you from designing for visual impairments, hearing deficiencies and so forth- this is a way of interfacing with screen readers.

Application Release: Pandora & Practical Desktop

I’ve finally gotten around to fully open source my various applications, factoring and debugging the code, commenting and applying all the necessary licenses and other miscellaneous logistical duties to get my two AIR applications up and out there.

Practical Desktop

Practical Desktop appears to be a simple timekeeping application, though in reality it’s an open source widget framework that allows pretty much anyone to build a deployable block of functionality that can start interacting with other widgets. The wrapper’s there for you, go nuts. The source is here

From a personal perspective, I use it as a beta and explorative sandbox, because there are a lot of interesting things coming out in the near future that I’d like to offer some guidance on development best practice, and to do so I will have to figure it out myself first. Rest assured that the widgets I build will be functionally complete, though perhaps limited in feature support.


The Pandora Desktop application is really just a customized webkit browser that’s hardwired to the Pandora mini player. I’ve fixed the application so minimization works in Windows, and expanded it to include the player’s html wrapper as well. The reason I did this is because Pandora’s a free service, and I’d like to make sure that I’m not ripping them off by stripping out the ads. Optimally I’d like to help them convert their existing player to AIR, but until I have free time (or they pay me 😀 ) that won’t happen.