Issue 94

29 September 2021

by Lori M Olson

DRD094: Accessibility: it's really about better UX for *everybody*.

(image: Apple)

OPED — Lori’s Unvarnished Opinion

I Am Super Happy Because...

I’m finally back at my desk this week and working again! Although I’m pretty sure my hand would be happier if I took it easy for a while longer, at least I don’t have to wear my splint full time any more. I’m also happy to say that I’ve (hopefully, 🤞) reached the end of my 13 month long struggle with vision issues, having achieved a useful 20/20 level.

While I am not an accessibility expert, over the past year and a bit I’ve definitely had my share of accessibility challenges. There are so many ways that developers can help people with physical disabilities, and at the same time so many popular apps that utterly fail to provide even the most basic accommodations. As professionals, we can, and must do better.

Here’s a blog you can read on how to start:

‘Til next week, be careful out there.

6 Pack Apps for Entrepreneurs (live webinar edition) kicked off again this week. This session is sponsored by the WESTEM program through our local tech incubator Tecconnect. It is open to women in Southern Alberta (except Calgary—they have their own programs).

As this course progresses, I will be recording lectures for the version of this workshop that will be offered through my online school. This is basically about a year late in happening, because of my vision challenges over the last year, but, as they say… better late than never.

If you know any business owners or entrepreneurs who could use this program, please share the link to the newsletter. I’ll be providing play-by-play updates as I go.

SPOT — Spotlight On…

OK, this has snagged our attention: Smaug, a brand new package manager specifically for the DragonRuby Game Toolkit. We think this is a big step in the professionalizing of DRGTK development. That said, its eventual success depends on a broad range of developers contributing packages. So we urge you to at least take a look and see if that on which you’re working can eventually wind up in Smaug at some point in the near future. Everybody benefits. In Amir’s words:

Seasoned Rubyists want more control and are comfortable installing/managing external dev dependencies. I’m really glad that Smaug exists for these power users. Their website is gorgeous too, it makes look ancient.

‘Nuff said.

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TALK — Talk of the Tech

We like camel case. That said, we also recognize it’s one of the subjects which can instantly ignite a hot irreconcilable debate akin to the ‘The Dress. But now we can at least see the other side of the argument when we recently ran afoul of it when trying to diagnose a particularly intractable bug. Obviously, animatewithDuration is not the same as animateWithDuration. But, c’mon, you can stare at that for a long time and not see it.

Fortunately, in reaching out for help on the DragonRuby Slack, Amir kicked in with a great little tip on resolving API confusion.

Meanwhile, over on the game-oriented DragonRuby Discord, Amir also said back in August that “DragonRuby simply can’t be without a Zork/ZIL interpreter!” Again, there’s likely two sides to that debate but if you agree, here’s an opportunity to dive in, help out and potentially earn while you learn. Not money, exactly, but a free (for life!) DRGTK Professional License. Amir has generously offered exactly that for “[a]ll contributors to the PR”. And here’s some even better news: the deadline for contributions has been extended to the end of October.

Correct answer: white and gold. Debate over.

GAME — All Things Gaming

Stress tests are great for three things: 1) a beautifully non-invasive method of diagnosing certain types of heart conditions, 2) figuring out if flaky banks deserve a second chance and 3) (ta da!) determining how DRGTK stacks up against C# (ie. Unity).

Wait, what?

Yep, there’s now a DRGTK Stress Test which addresses that specific requirement and, once again, we have Amir to thank for his recent tweet on the subject. And, as you would expect on Twitter, it settled nothing and kicked off yet another ‘hot irreconcilable debate’.

APP — All Things App

Do you like Bacon? No, not that kind of bacon 🥓—that would be a dumb question—but Bacon, the pure-Ruby RSpec clone. We’re guessing that if you have used it, the answer is yes. That said, one fairly well-known deficiency is the documentation, which does leave a little to be desired. Never fear though, nature abhors a vacuum or in this case, Jamon Holmgren abhors a vacuum at least when it comes to documentation. So he came up with his own Bacon Cheat Sheet.

So, once you’re hooked on Bacon with Jamon’s help, why not level up your testing game by treating yourself to the WNDX School’s RubyMotion Testing in Depth. You’ll be glad you did.

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TWIL — This Week I Learned…

While we’re on the subject of documentation of subjects with a Tolkien-esque turbidity, there’s Git. Whether the documentation is good or bad is a worthy candidate for a Twitter bun fight another day, but suffice to say for now that there’s enough complexity in Git that little nuggets are always there to discover. To wit, time-based comparisons as tweeted out by Trevor Brindle recently, such as latest@{1month}.

HAHA — And They All Laughed

Whoa, that’s cold. Thanks to Lotte May’s wife for this one.

Somebody (maybe Lotte’s wife?) needs to come up with an STL file for this. A few runs with it on our 3D printer would take a bunch of items off our Christmas list, like, instantly.

That’s a Wrap!

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“Life is short: make sure you spend as much time as possible on the internet arguing with strangers.” — Anonymous

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