Writing Fanfiction for fanfiction.net: having a slight difficulty with the mac
OK. So, I did a search up here in the archives, and really couldn't seem to come across anything of any use, so figured I'd start my own discussion on this matter.
I'm trying to write some material for http://www.fanfiction.net. The problem that I'm facing is, when you go to create a new story, you must select a category and subcategory to place your works into on the site. Unfortunately, these dropdowns to do this are very very strangely classed. They're not exactly your standard popup buttons. They're not tables either though. On Windows, they're called listboxes. I admit, I've not tried this yet on the mac side of things, but I suspect based on how Voiceover works with most things like this, that I'm probably going to run into a very similar issue as I did on the Windows side of things. What happens is, a sighted person would click the little scrollbar attached to each of those listboxes individually. They would find the item within the listbox they need, then would click sed item to highlight, or rather, focus, their selection on that item. Once this is done, the subcategory box immediately in realtime refreshes dynamically. In other words, putting things a little bit more simply, every time your selection in the first listbox moves focus to another item, the content dynamically updates. So here's an example. Let's say that in the first box, the first option was fruit. As soon as fruit is selected, the second listbox might populate with things like bananas, oranges, grapes, strawberries. Now however, as soon as you move focus back to the first listbox then move down in the list, thereby moving your focus away from fruit, now to say... vegetables, the second listbox changes without you having to first hit a submit, or update button or anything. It's a realtime dynamic change. So, as soon as you arrow down to vegetables, not only is the second listbox repopulating, but the whole damn webpage is getting reloaded. Frankly this is a terrible! way to implement accessibility for a website, so any web developers, take note of this. Don't! use listbox dropdowns. They are a nightmare! Use standard popup buttons, or as Windows calls them with most all screen readers, combo boxes. What's worse is, these darn things aren't even multi-select boxes. This could easily have been coded in HTML within the form tag just by making them regular combo box dropdowns.
Anyway, being that the page completely refreshes in addition to the listboxes refreshing, that's where my problem is coming into play. I completely lose focus from those list boxes. Oh sure, there is VO+F to find, and get quickly back to that area. Sure, I could set up a sweetbox on that webpage, so every time a page within the fanfiction.net domain loads, it would automatically start me out right on those boxes, yeah, I probably technically could make a hotspot to quickly move there, and so it wouldn't conflict with other apps, I could even assign it as an activity within Voiceover just to Safari, or Chrome, whatever. I totally get all of this. I also do know the trick about interacting with the listboxes, then hitting VO+Shift+F3 to disable cursor tracking, Then VO+down arrow until I find the option I need, then VO+Command+F5 to route my mouse pointer, then VO+Shift+Space to click the item under the mouse. This way, without cursor tracking, as I VO+down arrow, I'm not actually moving the physical highlight focus. Thereby, I'm not refreshing the content, as the focus actually isn't moving. I get I can do all those methods, but God bless America! What a pain in the ass, excuse my language! Is there not perhaps an app for the mac which can interface through fanfiction.net's API? This way, maybe from an app, I could simply upload my stories, and content that way instead of using the website itself, and perhaps make this a bit more accessible? I looked at the fanfiction.net iOS app, and... yeah... Meh... It's kind of, ish, doable, but there're lots of unlabeled buttons, and half of the time I double tap on the ones that actually are labeled, either nothing happens, or I get very random, and very unexpected results. I did write the devs about this, so we'll see what comes of it, if anything, but yeah... in the mingtime...
I almost wonder if something like Mars Edit would have a way to connect to the API? Or maybe a Wordpress plugin I could use where I could link my fanfiction account to my own Wordpress selfhosted website, then could log into my Wordpress dashboard, and submit content that way which would get pushed to my fanfiction profile. I dunno... I'm just thinking outloud. It's a thought...
Anyway, I'm incredibly serious about wanting to start more fanfiction writing. It's a hobby I didn't realize how much I enjoyed, both from the reading side, and from the writing side as well.
I know about Scriviner, but I don't think that will let me actually push publish anywhere, last I remember looking. I definitely remember not seeing anything about fanfiction.net, so, yeah. There went that idea as well.
I'll keep monitoring this discussion thread. I feel like this is going to wind up becoming quite an interesting discussion, and I very very much look forward to any contributions to it!
Thanks guys. I really appreciate you all taking out your time of the busy day to read, and respond. It really does mean a lot.
I don't have a mac, so I can't help you there, sorry. I've stopped posting to fanfiction.net, though. I got tired of my formatting getting deleted and scene breaks not showing up. I use archiveofourown.org instead. I had somewhat high hopes that the iOS app for FFN would make it easier to post, but like you said, it doesn't work for that. Even sighted people say it doesn't work correctly for posting.
Does it work well however if all you're wanting to do is post from the website itself either with a PC, or the Mac?
It's a lot of typing. YOu have to type the fandom name, type out work-tags, etc. The Preview feature is nice, letting you view exactly what anyone who opens your story will see before you actually post it.
I use a website to convert my Word document into HTML code and choose the HTML option when posting the work-text. YOu can also just post it as plain-text, although that can mess with formatting too.
Glad I'm not the only visually impaired person who enjoys fanfiction. I know that isn't very helpful but i just wanted to get that out there.