Batman: The Making of a Hero

Geek Tyrant posted about a rare find on YoutTube, a behind the scenes making-of documentary of the 1989 Batman movie. It’s called Batman: The Making of a Hero.

I was 10-years-old when I watched this movie in the theater with my dad. To this day, it still stands as one of the most enduring memories of my childhood and the first piece of media that really made me go, “Wow!” Ever since then, I’ve wanted to be Batman, anger issues and all. 🙂 I loved getting a peek at some of the behind-the-scenes material of the movie.

Don’t Console Me

Steam’s big holiday sale started yesterday. Like most Steam sales, I still have games I bought from the last sale I haven’t played yet. 🙂 But that’s okay. I also have an XBox 360 I haven’t touched in awhile. That’s better than okay.

I grew up as a hardcore console gamer, owning and/or playing almost every system since the Commodore 64. The Xbox 360 may be my last. Well, except for maybe a Steam Box. No games on the consoles excite me. Nothing exist there that I can’t find on my gaming PC. I bought an Xbox 360 because of Gears of War. I don’t see that type of lure now.

I purchased my gaming PC about 18 months ago and love it. Games are cheaper, more plentiful, and the platform comes with more flexibility. Now I just need a bigger hard drive or more hard drives to store more games. Part of me misses the types of memories I formed around consoles when I was a kid, but I think I’m just fine without them. Don’t console me.

Welcome to A11y

Roaring fire

Dear Accessibility Newcomer,

So you’ve gotten yourself into a project that requires accessibility. That big scary word comes along with the acronyms Section 508 or WCAG. You drop a few search terms into your favorite search engine thinking you can figure out this accessibility thing in an afternoon and have an answer before tomorrow morning. But in a world where we want clear guidance and battle-hardened code snippets at the end of a few keystrokes, you find nothing but conflicting opintions and technical specifications.

You feel deterred. Maybe you’ll leave accessibility to the specialists. After all, users with disabilities and special needs seem like just a mystery. But we need you. If you want to design solutions and craft code that does not exist, we have challenges ready for you. And guess what? You can use JavaScript! If you want to make the web better for everyone, we have a place for you. Welcome to A11y.

Oh, you may not know what a11y means. That stands for accessibility – 11 letters between the “a” and “y”. Get it? So why do we need you?

Expanding the Body of Knowledge

The accessibility community needs a body of knowledge that the Web community can rely on for correct information plus design and code samples that evolve along with the Web. We need your help knowing what makes sense, what questions you have and what solutions work best for the busy web worker.

Conflicting Opinions

In the accessibility world, we’re great at handing out different opinions on how to solve problems. We just want to help you see how empowering accessibility can become for not just you, but all the users of your site. You can help us stay pragmatic, test our assumptions and create better solutions to accessibility challenges.

A11y is Everywhere

Most of the time, web designers and developers try to corral web accessibility into one phase of a project. But that doesn’t work because accessibility effects everything. It can’t fit it into a simple list because it’s just as much part of the research process as it is design code and testing. You can help because we need people with skills and passions in all those areas so we make accessibility happen seamlessly.

Your Voice Matters

Read some of the popular accessibility email lists, blogs or Twitter, and you’ll see many of the same names. Many web workers involved in the accessibility community have been here for awhile. In addition to that veteran talent, we need to find and cultivate new voices. That’s you! Speak up and ask questions – we want to hear from you!

Going Faster into the Unknown

Much of the Web fails when it comes to accessibility. I’m not talking about advanced techniques, but basic foundations like keyboard accessibility. Trying to find cutting-edge examples of methods like using ARIA well to power a JavaScrript-based web application is even harder. We should not see this as a frustration, but opportunity. We need you to help us lay the groundwork for a more accessible Web. If you want to design what’s never been designed and write code that’s never been written, you’ve found the right niche.

You’ve found a place where what you do can make the Web work everywhere for everyone. We look forward to getting to know you. Welcome to A11y.

Yours in accessibility,

Burnout in Free Software Communities

Siobhan McKeown has an excellent post on Burnout in Free Software Communities, with tips for how to avoid it. This tip is one that I’m trying to get better at myself:

Think about the area in which you can have the most impact and focus on that doggedly. Tackling one problem will have greater impact on the project than trying to do a million things at once.

Hat tip: Joe Dolson.

Blogging Dreams

I’ve blogged for 26 straight days. It has reaffirmed my love for writing, and I’ve had fun watching what has happened as a result. I’m going to write more about this later, but one thing I realized a few days ago centers on impact.

As a writer, you always want to make a difference with your words – be helpful. In the last month or so I’ve had a handful of people I really respect link to my posts or call attention to them on Twitter. One teacher even used one post in a college class.

I’m writing every day and making an impact. Call me a writer. 🙂