Flutter starter code with Skia logo in the middle, Flutter on the left and Dart on the right and a thumbs up emoji, all overlaid.

I have been scolded by the internet. By amazing, passionate tech enthusiasts and software engineering professionals. I made the “capital mistake” of omitting something that is inarguably at the very core of my latest software development mistress — Flutter’s — identity. I have been “accused” of forgetting to mention Skia, the graphics engine that makes Google’s new framework the cool new kid on the app development block.

Except it was neither forgetfulness or ignorance that led me to conveniently gloss over Skia in my last Flutter article. I had a few genuine reasons for doing so, and in this one…

A boxed MacBook Pro with M1 chip.

Two days after Apple started selling the new Apple Silicon M1 Macs in their stores, I threw my nearly two-year-old 2019 MacBook Air and its charger into my backpack and marched to my nearest premium reseller* to embark on an exciting and only moderately expensive journey into the slightly unknown.

After a slightly awkward dialog at the shop where I had to clear up whether I was looking for “training” or “trade-in” (masks have a huge detrimental effect on accessibility, but not many talk about it), out I walked five minutes later with a brand new MacBook Pro 13" with…

Snaps of various accessibility technologies at the bottom, with “get your text right” heading at the top.

Written text has been at the centre of human evolution for millennia. Ignoring that, would quite literally reverse history and send Earth back to the stone-age.

Humans have passed on information throughout history in text format, and since the dawn of written text, it was the only means to create an accurate, explicit and lasting representation of one’s thoughts. Believe it or not, the world wide web itself was in fact created for just that — to create a means for people to freely share information in a lasting format, and thus contribute to our accelerated evolution as a society.

A little confused girl surrounded by browser logos, a man in a wheelchair and a text claiming that 98.1% of the web is not accessible.

If even for a second you assumed the internet, and thus the web, was available to anyone with an internet connection, you were very much mistaken. So let’s get real and get rid of a few widespread false assumptions around using the web.

Web accessibility is not about being able to reach a website or not. It has nothing to do with your internet provider’s terrible connection, your poodle chewing on the cable, the janitor pulling the wire while hoovering or you — for some God awful reason — placing the wifi router smack on top of your microwave.


Apple M1 MacBook Pro with iStatistica Pro stats overlaid.

Got the lowest spec Apple M1 Air or Pro? Great! Got buyer’s remorse? Not so great. Because you’re probably just using it wrong! I found that out myself, by doing exactly that — using it wrong. Apparently, common sense is not so common — said one of my old managers repeatedly, and he could not have been more right.

Getting an Apple M1, especially the lowest spec machines, be that the Air or the Pro will not seem like a paradigm shift for many, and initially I made that mistake too. In the last 5 months though, I started re-assessing…


MacBook Pro M1 screen overlaid with some SMART data and a thinking emoji.

I am not here to defend Apple. God knows, they have not given me anything I have not paid for (other than Apple TV+), I haven’t a single Apple share, nor is my dwarf cactus a distant relative of Steve Jobs. …

A bunch of screenshots from various sites illustrating lists, overlaid with the HTML5 and W3C WCAG 2.1 AA badges.

And if that reminds you of Santa, that’s fine, because whenever you make a website or web application accessible, it’s like a present to the entire world, and you get to be the big man for a minute. Ain’t that nice? 🎅

It turns out that achieving an accessible list can get a tad hairy sometimes, a bit like good ol’ Santa’s beard. According to the WCAG guidelines and implicitly the W3C, there’s not much else you need do with a list than define the list type, and the list items, which is very simple and has been around for…

Reading the title, the first thing that comes to mind is Katy Perry’s song “I kissed a girl, and I liked it” — I know 😆, but in a weird way, for me, being featured on a podcast for the first time ever, totally unscripted, was a little bit like that — delving into the unknown. Podcasts are an alien medium for me. I know of them, but I never really became a fan. It’s weird, but I suppose to some extent, so am I, so no surprises there.

It should also come as no surprise to those who know…

Two pairs of hiking shoes alternating between each other on green grass.

It was like every other late winter Dublin morning. The windows dripping condensation like a wet poodle after an unforgettable slow-motion session with the garden-hose. The neighbour banging his car’s door which I can only assume is a creative attempt to wake himself up as he speeds off to drive his taxi for the next eight hours and my alarm clock scaring the bejeezus out of me, kicking off the morning routine much better than my Nespresso machine ever will. It’s groundhog day. Heck. It’s groundhog year at this point. …

In the first part of this potentially slightly over-elaborate article on accessibility and Apple’s new M1 processor, I focused mostly on technical context, app and web development, and to some extent on application design and UX. The good news is, this radical new approach to hardware goes beyond all of those aspects, and allows the operating system — Big Sur — to further evolve for all users, both disabled and not. …

Attila Vágó

Writer of code, blogs and things that live on the web. Pragmatic doer, Lego fan, Mac user, cool nerd. JavaScript and Flutter enthusiast. HMH.engineering editor.

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