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FireFox not only nolonger compatible with WAVE Accessibility Toolbar, but never will be?

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WebAIM.org is reporting that, not only is the WAVE Accessibility toolbar no longer compatible with the updated version of Firefox, but also that "the Mozilla add-on developer environment no longer supports the functionality required for toolbar evaluation" (http://wave.webaim.org/toolbar/). Is this likely to be true for the foreseeable future? I can't believe that Firefox has closed off access to this important tool that faculty and staff in education use to evaluate the accessibility of our websites for people with disabilities. Shame on Firefox for eliminating the ability to use this tool--it seems like Firefox is going backward at just the time that the rest of us are trying to go forward in trying to ensure accessibility for all people.

Do I have any choice other than to go back to the older version of Firefox to restore compatibility with the WAVE toolbar? WebAIM recommends the Chrome WAVE toolbar, but it is not nearly as good as the one that used to work for Firefox.

WebAIM.org is reporting that, not only is the WAVE Accessibility toolbar no longer compatible with the updated version of Firefox, but also that "the Mozilla add-on developer environment no longer supports the functionality required for toolbar evaluation" (http://wave.webaim.org/toolbar/). Is this likely to be true for the foreseeable future? I can't believe that Firefox has closed off access to this important tool that faculty and staff in education use to evaluate the accessibility of our websites for people with disabilities. Shame on Firefox for eliminating the ability to use this tool--it seems like Firefox is going backward at just the time that the rest of us are trying to go forward in trying to ensure accessibility for all people. Do I have any choice other than to go back to the older version of Firefox to restore compatibility with the WAVE toolbar? WebAIM recommends the Chrome WAVE toolbar, but it is not nearly as good as the one that used to work for Firefox.

Chosen solution

https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/add-on-signing-in-firefox

Override add-on signing (advanced users): You can temporarily override this setting by changing the xpinstall.signatures.required preference to false in the Firefox Configuration Editor (about:config page). Support is not available for any changes made with the Configuration Editor so please do this at your own risk.

Will only work in Firefox 43, but when Firefox 44 is released there should be an "unbranded" version of Firefox that won't enforce "signing".

But if WAVE isn't available for download any longer that won't help you.

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More Information

the-edmeister
  • Moderator
5391 solutions 40020 answers

Chosen Solution

https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/add-on-signing-in-firefox

Override add-on signing (advanced users): You can temporarily override this setting by changing the xpinstall.signatures.required preference to false in the Firefox Configuration Editor (about:config page). Support is not available for any changes made with the Configuration Editor so please do this at your own risk.

Will only work in Firefox 43, but when Firefox 44 is released there should be an "unbranded" version of Firefox that won't enforce "signing".

But if WAVE isn't available for download any longer that won't help you.

https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/add-on-signing-in-firefox <blockquote>Override add-on signing (advanced users): You can temporarily override this setting by changing the '''xpinstall.signatures.required''' preference to '''''false''''' in the Firefox Configuration Editor ('''about:config''' page). Support is not available for any changes made with the Configuration Editor so please do this at your own risk. </blockquote> Will only work in Firefox 43, but when Firefox 44 is released there should be an "unbranded" version of ''Firefox'' that won't enforce "signing". But if WAVE isn't available for download any longer that won't help you.

Question owner

Thank you so much! I overrode the signing requirement and the WAVE Toolbar I had already installed is working again! I am also going to try to find a file for the extension to download. I have requested a copy of the file from the WebAIM.org developers, or maybe I can get one through contacts in the accessibility community. From now on I am downloading all extension files to my local computer!

In the meantime, I hope Mozilla and WebAIM work something out, as the WAVE tool is indispensable.

Thanks again!

Thank you so much! I overrode the signing requirement and the WAVE Toolbar I had already installed is working again! I am also going to try to find a file for the extension to download. I have requested a copy of the file from the WebAIM.org developers, or maybe I can get one through contacts in the accessibility community. From now on I am downloading all extension files to my local computer! In the meantime, I hope Mozilla and WebAIM work something out, as the WAVE tool is indispensable. Thanks again!
jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8569 solutions 70085 answers

You could back up the extension from your existing installation. Often extension names on disk are long codes. To discover the "ID" for the extension, you can check the support information page. Either:

  • "3-bar" menu button > "?" button > Troubleshooting Information
  • (menu bar) Help > Troubleshooting Information
  • type or paste about:support in the address bar and press Enter/Return

Scroll down to the Extensions heading and check the table that follows. The ID should be listed here along with its familiar name.

Next, scroll back up to the first table on the page and click the "Show in Finder" button. This should launch a new window listing various files and folders.

Double-click into the extensions folder and look for a file or folder matching the ID and copy that to a safe location to back it up.


I noticed on the Chrome extension page (http://wave.webaim.org/extension/) that they say the Firefox toolbar wasn't as advanced as the Chrome extension. Hopefully in the future they will adapt the Chrome extension to work in Firefox, which seems like it would be the best solution for Firefox users.

You could back up the extension from your existing installation. Often extension names on disk are long codes. To discover the "ID" for the extension, you can check the support information page. Either: * "3-bar" menu button > "?" button > Troubleshooting Information * (menu bar) Help > Troubleshooting Information * type or paste about:support in the address bar and press Enter/Return Scroll down to the Extensions heading and check the table that follows. The ID should be listed here along with its familiar name. Next, scroll back up to the first table on the page and click the "Show in Finder" button. This should launch a new window listing various files and folders. Double-click into the extensions folder and look for a file or folder matching the ID and copy that to a safe location to back it up. ---- I noticed on the Chrome extension page ([http://wave.webaim.org/extension/]) that they say the Firefox toolbar wasn't as advanced as the Chrome extension. Hopefully in the future they will adapt the Chrome extension to work in Firefox, which seems like it would be the best solution for Firefox users.

Question owner

Thanks so much as well! I now have a copy of the extension file backed up to my computer.

I'm not sure what functionality they have in mind. For me, the biggest advantage of the Firefox Toolbar is that it is able to check files on your computer, so I can use it to check HTML files created by Microsoft Word or LibreOffice, for instance. The Chrome extension could only be used on webpages that were actually published on the internet--at least last I checked. That's the main reason why I need the Firefox extension, and the Chrome extension doesn't help there.

Thanks for all your help, and have a happy New Year!

Thanks so much as well! I now have a copy of the extension file backed up to my computer. I'm not sure what functionality they have in mind. For me, the biggest advantage of the Firefox Toolbar is that it is able to check files on your computer, so I can use it to check HTML files created by Microsoft Word or LibreOffice, for instance. The Chrome extension could only be used on webpages that were actually published on the internet--at least last I checked. That's the main reason why I need the Firefox extension, and the Chrome extension doesn't help there. Thanks for all your help, and have a happy New Year!
jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8569 solutions 70085 answers

Helpful Reply

For future reference, it's archived here as well: https://web.archive.org/web/20150811150229/http://wave.webaim.org/toolbar/

I tested the home page of my blog using the toolbar and the website:

Toolbar: 3 red-tag errors (missing form labels) Website: 11 red-tag errors (above + empty button and empty link )

If I filter the website to show only Section 508 errors under Styles, then the website matches the toolbar. But I digress; I don't know what the Chrome version does, maybe it's also more limited.

For future reference, it's archived here as well: https://web.archive.org/web/20150811150229/http://wave.webaim.org/toolbar/ I tested the home page of my blog using the toolbar and the website: Toolbar: 3 red-tag errors (missing form labels) Website: 11 red-tag errors (above + empty button and empty link ) If I filter the website to show only Section 508 errors under Styles, then the website matches the toolbar. But I digress; I don't know what the Chrome version does, maybe it's also more limited.

Modified by jscher2000

Question owner

Thanks so much for this additional information!! I bookmarked this webpage and downloaded a second copy of the toolbar.

I took a class on accessibility last semester, and one of the assignments was to create a web page (with a number of different elements) and then run a WAVE test. I created a website using one of the top, free blog sites, and found that the blog's design itself basically forced you to violate various accessibility rules. For instance, one of the accessibility rules is that you should use headers to highlight text (and not visual highlighting cues such as bold text or underlining) and that all headers should descend in order (header 1, followed by header 2, followed by header 3 etc.--it's ok to skip header levels going up, but not going down). On the blog site I used, however, if you used the blog's built-in tool to give your page a title, the title was in the style of header 2. That meant that, when I designed my page beginning with header 1, my page already violated the accessibility rules, and WAVE flagged the problem. The only way I could avoid this error was to fail to give the page a title on the blog site at all, or to start at header 3, which made the title of the page itself too small. I'm not surprised to hear that WAVE flagged some things on your blog's home page--some web services don't make it very easy to be compliant with accessibility rules. I wish more web designers paid attention to accessibility when they designed their online services like blog sites. If they built accessibility right into the service itself, then we wouldn't have to work so hard as individuals to make sure our own sites follow the best practices for accessibility. Still, I think accessibility is an important goal, and the WAVE tool can really help to get us there.

Thanks so so much again for your help. You have been tremendous!

Thanks so much for this additional information!! I bookmarked this webpage and downloaded a second copy of the toolbar. I took a class on accessibility last semester, and one of the assignments was to create a web page (with a number of different elements) and then run a WAVE test. I created a website using one of the top, free blog sites, and found that the blog's design itself basically forced you to violate various accessibility rules. For instance, one of the accessibility rules is that you should use headers to highlight text (and not visual highlighting cues such as bold text or underlining) and that all headers should descend in order (header 1, followed by header 2, followed by header 3 etc.--it's ok to skip header levels going up, but not going down). On the blog site I used, however, if you used the blog's built-in tool to give your page a title, the title was in the style of header 2. That meant that, when I designed my page beginning with header 1, my page already violated the accessibility rules, and WAVE flagged the problem. The only way I could avoid this error was to fail to give the page a title on the blog site at all, or to start at header 3, which made the title of the page itself too small. I'm not surprised to hear that WAVE flagged some things on your blog's home page--some web services don't make it very easy to be compliant with accessibility rules. I wish more web designers paid attention to accessibility when they designed their online services like blog sites. If they built accessibility right into the service itself, then we wouldn't have to work so hard as individuals to make sure our own sites follow the best practices for accessibility. Still, I think accessibility is an important goal, and the WAVE tool can really help to get us there. Thanks so so much again for your help. You have been tremendous!