A little over a year ago, we announced the beginning of development for WAVE5, the fifth major revision of WebAIM’s popular WAVE web accessibility tool. At the time, we were hoping to have it ready to release by the end of 2010. That obviously didn’t happen, but today we’re pleased to announce the availability of the WAVE5 technology preview.
It’s important to note that this technology preview is far from completion. We chose to release this preview for a few reasons. First, our lead software engineer, Aaron Andersen, is leaving WebAIM this week for a new position. He, along with other WebAIM staff, have worked tirelessly on updating the core WAVE5 functionality and we wanted to share his work before he leaves. We wish Aaron the best in his new endeavors. Second, we want to share our general vision for WAVE5 with the community. We believe the sidebar approach will allow much easier and more powerful evaluation. And finally, we want to solicit feedback about the general direction WAVE5 is going (we’re aware of bugs and will certainly be doing additional bug testing, so bug reports are less necessary now).
A few important notes on this preview release:
- Again, this preview is NOT complete. There are many known bugs, some things just may not work at all, accessibility is not complete, and it’s quite rough around the edges. Thus, it is a preview release, not even an alpha release… yet.
- Not all of the new, updated WAVE logic, icons, and rules have been implemented yet. We have entirely restructured many of the rules to provide more accurate and useful evaluation feedback. These will be available in a later beta release.
- Several new reports and views will be available in the future. These will allow new types of evaluation and customization of the icons you see.
Please check out the WAVE5 technology preview at http://five.wave.webaim.org/.