Icinga Web 2 Beta 3 released

Fasten your seat belts, this is the last beta release before we carry our first release candidate to the launching platform, I promise. Our team of hard working scientists locked up in our laboratory and crafted lots of usability enhancements which will boost your monitoring experience: Forms and configuration dialogs are now easy to use and self-explanatory. Many accessibility features help to find information faster and assist screen readers. Reachability information for hosts and services help to identify dependency problems in your setup and sending custom notifications is now as easy as pie.  Search functionality has been added to the documentation module. And we extended the configuration for LDAP connections now supporting encrypted communication using LDAPS or STARTTLS. Last but not least we fixed a lot of bugs along the way.
Thanks for helping us testing, finding issues and sending us pull request. We’re happy about this pretty cool beta release and we’re on a good way to the first release candidate. For detailed information have a look on our roadmap.
Head over to GitHub for the release tarball. Have a great weekend.

Icinga Web 2 – Mastered by the Impaired

So this time I’ll take the opportunity to write a blog post here at icinga.org as well. It’s all about a topic that is mostly overlooked:

Accessibility

Especially in open source it’s not rare that software is either not being adjusted or way later than the initial production use, given the ever-increasing interest and the integration of disadvantaged individuals. In most cases, this is due to the development model. Someone requires a particular tool that doesn’t exist yet or is not as functional as it could be, leading to a new or customized solution that is made available to the public and being adjusted by interested users. In the majority of such conditions, the number of actual users is usually not or only partially predictable, so accessibility is not considered.
In projects that are developed or commissioned by large companies, is, however, usually a special interest in this subject. The product must be fully accessible either because of marketing reasons or prescribed company guidelines, before it can be sold or used productively. Since some time ago a large German company has spoken to us, the „Team Web“ will increasingly put a focus on this subject so that the final version of Icinga Web 2 is really accessible.
We will be guided by two specific standards, but only partially. Especially the “WCAG” standard describes a large number of requirements, whose cost is very high, their relevance for Icinga Web 2, however, is either too small or can’t be estimated by us yet.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) as well as parts of ISO 9241
These two standards describe the basic features of accessibility in modern web applications as well as the requirements for a successful interaction between man and machine:

  • Colours and contrasts
  • Dialogues
  • Control
  • Navigation
  • Legibility
  • Intelligibility

Accessible Rich Internet Applications Suite (ARIA)
This standard extends HTML, so screen readers can navigate within the web application without error and advanced features that would otherwise be accessible only with the mouse, are also made fully usable with just the keyboard.

In addition, we’ll make sure to use HTML semantically correct. The ever-popular <div> is thus under high scrutiny.
Many improvements will be directly integrated into the framework, but all adjustments limiting Icinga Web 2 in its graphical functionality and the variety of operating elements are realized by means of a dedicated module.