Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Address fields in Thunderbird message reader now accessible!

Until a few days ago, the From, To, Cc, etc. header fields in the Thunderbird message reader pane were inaccessible (or at least extremely painful) for those using screen readers. Using NVDA, I was sometimes able to read them with a lot of messing around, but I often found myself viewing the message source because it was so much easier to search for the header names in the raw message. In the few years that I have been using Thunderbird, this has probably been one of my biggest gripes with its accessibility. However, this has now been fixed thanks to Jason Lim Yuen Hoe, a student from a university in Singapore doing a course focused on developing for Mozilla. When I move to the header fields with tab or shift+tab, both the header name and its content is now announced instead of a whole load of nothing. It might seem trivial, but it makes my life a hell of a lot easier, and once again demonstrates the beauty of open source development. Thanks, Jason!

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