FF >= v57 a11y -- separate toolbars for Search & URL?

alanpers at cluemail.com alanpers at cluemail.com
Mon Aug 14 16:34:27 UTC 2017


With Firefox 57's move to 'next-UI' & WebExtensions, I've been told on #irc that modification of major UI elements will be "not possible" anymore.

That was echoed in #firefox, #accessibility & #webextensions.

To be clear, the message was that these existing/historical capabilities WILL be dropped, and going forward WON'T be available in core, and WON'T be available in webextensions.

For an accessibility (a11y) population (vision-challenged ...), testing with current v57 (yes I know it's early), without those capabilities, the results are not good atm -- it's simply a non-starter until I can find some sort of manageable workaround.

I was told to ask further here.

Generally, persons with clinical vision disabilities need (both functionally, and within constraints, legally) to be able to access & see displayed data.

Ideally, search and url fields 'should' have the width to display "lots of alrge-font chars" (meaning, terms, full url, path, etc etc), without scroll. And preferably without all sorts of 'cute' animation.

Lots of FF extensions have provided that capability for years.  In this case, the extremely popular and widely used 'Classic Theme Restorer' has been a perfect solution.

It tests well.  Because of its capabilities/flexibilities that got high marks with various user & legal constituencies, training, procedures, etc have been invested and put in place.

IIUC, with FF >= v57, those capabilities go away.

I'm aware of the a11y initiative @


but it currently appears to miss the boat on field widths; for large font + bad vision, I need to separate Search & URL fields onto their own, 100% width toolbars.

Using userChrome, I *HAVE* found how to relocate/reorder EXISTING elements (Tab bar, bookmarks bar), but not yet how to ADD new populatable toolbars.  And, there was at least mention of the possiblity that userChrome may go away.

So, the easiest way to ask the question is:

	What timely, functional options do, or will soon, exist in FF going forward?

	If not this list, where is the right place to have this conversation to help affect change in FF, so we don't "lose" to proprietary options from Apple & Microsoft?


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