Announcing AppleVis 2.0: The Second Decade Edition

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

The Editorial Team and I are pleased to announce a major upgrade and redesign to the AppleVis website.

When I created AppleVis ten years ago, I built it quickly and with little idea of where the site would go... and certainly no expectation that it would become as popular, valuable, and successful as our community has made it.

AppleVis has surpassed all of my hopes and expectations, and I truly thank everybody in our community for this.

Over the past decade, the content management system that's at the core of the site has served us well. But in the past few years it has begun to show its age and present numerous challenges and restrictions.

Consequently, for the last several months I’ve been working on a ground up rebuild of AppleVis.

My goal was to retain as much of the site user experience as possible to how it was before, but to also make some accessibility and usability enhancements. It is my hope that low vision users in particular will enjoy an improved experience, most notably on mobile devices.

While I've made every effort to keep the new site compatible with the old one, there will undoubtedly be some teething problems - there will be things that I missed during development and testing; there will be unforeseen issues that only surface now the site is being used; there are things which simply could not be addressed until the site went live; and there are things which I delayed for practical or technical reasons .

In the past, our routine site maintenance and upgrades have involved mainly under-the-hood improvements; however, because there has been no ‘in place’ upgrade path this time, the process has been significantly more involved--and it has necessitated some changes to features and functionality.

While I was able to rebuild a lot of the old website's functionality on the new platform, some features were not able to be carried over because of technical limitations with the available tools; one of these features is the auto-posting of new content to our Twitter accounts. I realize the value that these posts have to many in our community, and I am currently exploring possible alternatives to automate this process. In the meantime, our plan is to manually tweet links to blog posts, podcast, and trending topics on our forum.

All of that to say that you should expect to notice fixes and further enhancements in the coming days, weeks, and months. I ask that you please bear with us during this transition period.

Later this month, AppleVis will celebrate its tenth birthday. Our community would not be what it is today without the support of all of our users and visitors, and it is my hope that this upgrade will place AppleVis on firm technological ground for many years to come.

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I'm using Jaws 2020 and the Brave browser. Jaws with Brave definitely worked in the previous version of Applevis. This is the link that Brave displays for my last comment:

https://www.applevis.com/comment/115802?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=t…

I don't see any anchor in that URL. That's why I'm reporting this. I think something might be broken in the URL produced for the tweet.

Submitted by Jeff on Friday, August 21, 2020

Michael, David, somebody... Can I get an acknowledgement that the anchor links are missing or not working in the ApplevisXL tweets? I've brought this up 2 or 3 times and each time my posts seem to be ignored. If you're aware of the problem, why hasn't it been fixed?

Hey Jeff,

Michael Hansen did reply to your earlier comment on this.

As he said, there is a great level of variation in how different combinations of screen reader, browser, and platform handle links to a specific position on a web page. The links posted to Twitter are to the position of the comment in the thread, but I've yet to find a way of having the site handle these which is consistent across all screen readers, browser, and platform combinations.

Submitted by Jeff on Friday, August 21, 2020

In reply to by David Goodwin👨‍🦯

David, I realize not all browsers work consistently when handling anchor links, but Brave *does* handle them correctly when they are constructed properly. I responded to Michael's post showing that the anchor is not present in the Twitter link. There needs to be the number-sign character (#) preceeding the anchor in the URL. Here is the URL for your response above from the tweet:

https://www.applevis.com/comment/116114?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=t…

Note that there is no number-sign (#) in that URL. Now, from the email I received because I subscribe to this thread, it contained the following link to this comment:

https://www.applevis.com/comment/116114#comment-116114

That URL *does* take me directly to your comment above using the Brave browser.

Basically, you need to construct the URL for the tweet the same as you construct it in the email you send out for subscriptions. I hope you will correct this problem, or at least, explain why you won't.

Jeff, your tone in recent posts hasn't done anything to make this more of a priority over the other tasks on my ToDo list or to feel a need to explain anything to you.

For what it's worth, I have made some changes. They don't change the behaviour for any of my test combinations of screen reader, browser or platform, but you do at least now have the number symbol that you were demanding.

Submitted by Jeff on Friday, August 21, 2020

In reply to by David Goodwin👨‍🦯

I'm sorry my tone came acrosss as negative. I was just feeling ignored and frustrated. As you can see above, I responded to Michael's answer with an explanation of what was happening. That was a week ago and I never saw any response from him or anyone else. And that was at least the second time I had described the problem with no response.

Anyway, I can't explain why your tests haven't worked for you, but they certainly have worked for me. With the latest tweets, I now land on the specific comment referenced in the tweet. Thank you so very much! It's working again like it used to work and I'm very, very happy.

Hi Jeff,

I did see your reply last week, and it honestly fell off my radar. I was definitely not trying to ignore you--I just read the comment, had no immediate answer, and then went on to reading and doing other things. Again, I definitely did not intend to ignore or disregard your feedback and concerns.

That's ok, Michael. As I just posted, the problem has been fixed, at least as far as I can tell. Frankly, I'm surprised it didn't fix the problem for other browsers/platforms, since this format of URL encoding has been a standard for years. But it works with Brave, and I suspect for other chromium-based browsers. I don't use Safari, which is the browser you mentioned. Thanks again for getting this fixed. It's great!

Submitted by Nikola Jovic on Saturday, August 22, 2020

Greetings,
there is a workaround, though not ideal you can use for Voiceover on iOS to focus the new comments correctly. This might require some mussle memory, but once you get used to it, it's fairly easy and I am able to consistently do it.
Once you click on such a link, while the page is still not loaded, touch the area of the screen below the address bar, which would be close to the top but not at the top exactly. You can also touch the center of the screen I believe. Keep your finger on that place until the page has finished loading, and this will prevent Voiceover from jumping to the top of the page, and once you lift your finger you should be able to swipe to the new comments or at least be relatively close.