Where can I find Java programmers for an accessibility problem?
March 14, 2019 8:06 PM   Subscribe

Hi, Mefi. :) THis is a bit of a long-shot, but I'm wondering if you've got any insights. I'm looking for Java programmers.

I've been getting into the MegaMek project lately, both because Battletech is a cool game I've never been able to play before, and as a way to teach myself some Java. If you follow the link you'll find a particular problem that's been vexing me and another programmer for a few days.

I'm wondering where people go to find programming help? The obvious answer seems to be Stackoverflow, which I've posted to. Otherwise, I've found at least one Java-specific forum. Beyond that though, I'm a bit unsure. Is there any sort of "interesting programming problems," community, without the Q&A aspect of Stack Overflow?

As a bonus, if anybody on MeFi knows enough about Java, the accessibility API, and related topics to take a crack at figuring out what's going on here, I'd love your thoughts. THanks :)
posted by Alensin to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
Not familiar with these libraries but to use an inappropriate metaphor, "this my surprised face" that a graphic tool is lacking an ordering that is either exposed or even available/exists. I'll poke in a bit more but maybe someone else will have a thought.
posted by sammyo at 8:42 PM on March 14 [1 favorite]

Oh, it's the custom coding they're doing, of course. :) If they were using ordinary JLabels there'd be no problem at all.
posted by Alensin at 8:57 PM on March 14

You can search github for someone working using the same apis you are, and email them.

You can also check twitter, there's probably people there in the java community who can tell you what email list to join, or who to email. Try messaging @java to start with.

You also might ask someone in person at a JUG meeting (that's a Java User Group ). These are more plentiful and populated in tech hubs like the Bay Area or Seattle. Anyway someone there might be able to help you, and a personal connection may mean they will invest more time then they would from just an email from a stranger.
posted by gryftir at 9:06 AM on March 15

A generic Google brought up a q&a from webaim.org.
posted by SemiSalt at 9:25 AM on March 15

posted by theora55 at 9:27 AM on March 15

Hi, I'm a professional Java developer. I program primarily for the web, though, so before you get your hopes up too high, I have to say I haven't done anything in Swing in about 15 years and I don't have any experience with the accessibility support in Java.

I read the issue thread you link, and I have to say that it reads like a lot of inside baseball (meaning I may be misinterpreting some of what is said, partly because I don't play the game so can only guess at what some of the game-specific things you're referring to are). I *think* from what I can glean that the issue is focus? That is, you can't always get some visual components to have a notion of where in a tab order a screen reader should put them (so it either omits them entirely or picks its own order). You should check out java.awt.FocusTraversalPolicy and really anything beginning with the word 'Focus' in the class name from the javadocs, which may help you find the pieces you're missing.

At one point the commenter BlindGuyNW says:
It looks like the JComponent is hard-wired to only get info from a JLabel, if I'm reading that correctly.
I'm not sure what is causing him to say this, but if it's this line:

Object o = getClientProperty(JLabel.LABELED_BY_PROPERTY);

That' s a misinterpretation. JLabel.LABELED_BY_PROPERTY is a static final constant defined in the JLabel class, but it's just the string "labeledBy" so that line is equivalent to:

Object o = getClientProperty("labeledBy");

Feel free to memail me if you think I can help further.
posted by axiom at 2:51 PM on March 16 [2 favorites]

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