NoCoffee: Visual Impairment Simulator

Four years ago, on a snowy February day, Aaron Leventhal huddled in his unheated home and created a Chrome extension called NoCoffee. This extension allows users to experience web content through different lenses of visual impairments.
I recently ran across this extension again, and thought it is high-time we ported it to Firefox. Firefox’s support of WebExtension standards means that this should be trivial. It was! With Aaron’s permission, I posted the source to github and did some tweaking and cleanup.
You can now try out the extension in Firefox!
Not medically or scientifically accurate._

Firefox's Accessibility Preferences

If you use Firefox Nightly, you may notice that there is no more Accessibility section in the preferences screen, this change will arrive in Firefox 56 as part of a preferences reorg. This is good news!
Screenshot of the new "Browsing" section, which includes scrolling options as well as search while you type and cursor keys navigation.
Cursor browsing and search while you type, are still available under the Browsing section, as these options offer convenience for everybody, regardless of disability. Users should now be able to find an option under an appropriate feature section, or search for it in the far upper corner. This is a positive trend, that I hope will continue as we imagine our users more broadly with a diverse set of use-cases, that include, but are not exclusive to disability.
Thanks to everyone who made this happen!

Dark Windows for Dark Firefox

I recently set the Compact Dark theme as my default in Firefox. Since we don’t yet have Linux client-side window decorations yet (when is that happening??), it looks kind of bad in GNOME. The window decorator shows up as a light band in a sea of darkness:
Firefox with light window decorator
It just looks bad. You know? I looked for an addon that would change the decorator to the dark-themed one, but I couldn’t find any. I ended up adapting the gtk-dark-theme Atom addon to a Firefox one. It was pretty easy. I did it over a remarkable infant sleep session on a Saturday morning. Here is the result:
Firefox with dark window decorator
You can grab the yet-to-be-reviewed addon here.

Pain Management

Close your eyes, take a deep breath and fast forward four years when Trump’s administration will be roundly rejected. Feel in your body the hope that will overwhelm you. Conjure up your future restored faith in humanity when people from all walks of life stand together against hate.
I have never felt so pessimistic and defeated than in the last week. The press will normalize him, the Democratic minority will indulge him, and voters will grow apathetic and disengaged. No matter the scandals, past and future, that will embroil Trump and his goons; they will continue to consolidate power. He can’t be “exposed” for who he really is, it has been in plain sight all along.
Trump and his kind will not go away, and the establishment is not coming back to rescue us. Cory Booker, Joe Biden, Michelle Obama, or any other Democrat star will not pull us out of this tailspin. They will try to convince us, as Hillary tried, that the electorate will embrace a competent centrist. They won’t, and the right will only grow in influence. This nightmare can endure for decades.
The only thing that will save us from a populist racist oligarch demagogue is a populist anti-racist anti-neoliberal progressive with a mobilized movement behind them and serious contenders up and down the ticket.
Before Trump got elected, we already had our work cut out for us: Black Lives Matter, equitable health care, reproductive rights, equal pay, housing justice, clean water, criminal justice, equitable education, prison abolition, gender justice, free Palestine, voting rights, indigenous rights, refugee rights, migrant rights, campaign finance reform, friggin’ climate change and climate justice.
We don’t get to put those issues aside until the next Obama is elected and we clear up our heads. We *amplify* those struggles and use their leverage to restore democracy and propel us forward to a revolution. We don’t have four years, we need to have our ducks in a row for the midterms in two.
Am I being too preachy? I’m sorry. This is my catharsis. It’s the take-charge method Penny Simkin recently taught us in class.
There are countless people who’s security and future are called into question with this turn of events. If you, like me, are shrouded in privilege – don’t let it paralyze you. Don’t be an ally, be an actor. Own this struggle. I would bring up that famous Murri quote, but you already know it.
I know many smart, strategic, and dedicated people who work on this stuff every day, and I am so humbled and thankful they do this work and the sacrifices they make.
We are anticipating a wonderful life transition soon (more on that later?), as the dust settles from this election and as we find our stride as a family I look forward to working on our liberation with you all.
Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and borrow just a little bit of the hope and restored faith you will feel in four years.