This is an extremely important release for us. It takes the accessibility support in CKEditor to the highest levels. Now CKEditor implements and delivers an interface totally based on WAI-ARIA.
Accessibility, Taken Seriously
Since CKEditor 3.0, we've been always focused on delivering the best accessibility solutions in our editor. In fact, we have some good support for it since then, but we didn't stop our research over this important need.
In general, accessibility on the web has always been limited to satisfying specific recommendations and checklists, especially the WCAG and Section 508 requirements (which are fully satisfied by CKEditor, btw). But this approach has always been limited when talking about rich Internet applications, like CKEditor. Because of that, the W3C designed WAI-ARIA, which instead proposes standard ways to implement accessibility on modern applications. From the W3C web site:
Today's accessibility tools, which include browsers and ATs (screen readers), are happy to have a standard into which base accessibility efforts. Other than that, WAI-ARIA started to be a requirement on software for government, military and enterprise corporations. All this together is making the market moving towards this new standard, which by the way is still a "working draft".
With CKEditor 3.2, we have now a unique WAI-ARIA based editing solution. But again, it's WAI-ARIA based, and this means that, to fully take advantage of it, you must use tools that well support this standard. Because of this, our recommendation today, and the supported platform for accessibility, is Firefox 3.5 and JAWS 11 (maybe other ATs can provide good support also). Other browsers have still quite poor support for WAI-ARIA, with exception to IE8, even if not perfect yet. And of course, the ATs themselves have their own limitations.
The nice thing is that WAI-ARIA has been designed with backwards compatibility in mind. This means that we're still able to provide the level of accessibility we're used to have with CKEditor 3.1 with non Firefox 3.5 browsers. Some of them, like IE6 have even shown enhancements with it.
Enjoy CKEditor 3.2! It's totally accessible... more than ever!
A few important issues (#5243, #5246 and #5250) have been detected right after the release of CKEditor 3.2. Today, 26 February (24 hours later), we've loaded new distribution files in our server. If you're one of the few users of the 3.2 revision 5191 (see About dialog), be sure to download CKEditor again.
Check out the What's New? page for the full list of changes.
CKEditor is available in Open Source and Commercial licenses. Full details can be found at our license page.
Please use the CKEditor development web site to report issues and suggestions through tickets.