What Next for This Accessible Theme?

Y’all – I have a problem. There’s a growing list of things I want to upgrade on the A11 Y’all theme, but the WordPress.org review process frustrates me to the point that I’m disincentivized. While I wouldn’t recommend it, if you go through the series of three tickets ending here that led to its release, you’ll see why. In any event, the upshot is that I keep postponing upgrades because I don’t want to get put through this rigamarole any more than I have to. Life is short.

To help motivate me, I’m looking for strategic advice. What do you most need or want in an upgrade of the theme? And how quickly do you need it?

Here are the things on my list.

  1. Most important: there’s a minor bug in the CSS. All browsers cope with it, which makes it non-urgent, but I’d like to clean it up.
  2. Per Tim’s request, make it so tagging a post with a custom field of “NoSidebar” set to “true” eliminates the sidebar — giving full page width.

I’ve actually taken care of these two in the GitHub version. My inclination is to just go ahead and put these into the WordPress.org pipelines now. However, once I do that, in my experience it’s like going down a black hole, with the code frozen, until it finally spits out.

Meanwhile. . . .

  1. The most common feedback I get from you all is about the main menu. When resizing the browser window, it does some odd things. Most people don’t resize their browsers, so it’s not high priority to fix. When I first started coding A11 Y’all, the best dropdown code I could find was Adobe’s Accessible Mega Menu. A mega menu is overkill for WordPress and I knew it. There’s a huge amount of JavaScript, much of it unnecessary for a simple dropdown. But I tried several solutions and it was the best. Now there is first-rate dropdown code from the Make WordPress Accessible Team. I’ve used it both in a new template theme and Happy Web Diva – and I can’t say enough good things about it.

I would love to replace the old menu code with this in A11 Y’all and submit it with my next upgrade submission. But two things are holding me back.

  • It will take me a while to do it right, and I don’t have time this month.
  • Getting it through at the WordPress.org end will probably take even longer because it will require an accessibility review.

Left to my own devices, I’ll just submit what’s already on GitHub in the next few days and then move on to coding a new spinoff theme – A11 Y’all Jr. or some such. In Junior I would do at least the following:

  • replace the main menu code;
  • redo the layout using Susy instead of Skeleton; and at the same time,
  • redo the media queries for new mobile models
  • distribute placement of media queries to help child theme developers;
  • replace wp_title, since it’s deprecated with 4.4;
  • some minor styling tweaks — for header fonts and white space in particular;
  • delete an extraneous ARIA landmark search role;
  • make the copyright a date element, so screen readers like VO read it as a date instead of a series of integers (e.g., 2-0-1-5).

I might also consider redoing the way the menus work on small mobiles. Currently it hides the middle links — on the theory that you can make the last link a site map or index. It’s a solution I like, but I realize it’s not everyone’s cup-of-tea. Persuade me – what do you think is better than my current method? (But please don’t try to get me to use the hamburger icon.)

I welcome your thoughts. What would you most like to see in in the A11 Y’all upgrade or in All Y’all Jr.? And do you like my plan of just submitting what’s already on Github and then starting work on Junior?