FireEyes FAQ

Using FireEyes

Do I need an account on WorldSpace in order to use FireEyes?

Yes. You are required to create a free account on WorldSpace and to enter your account information. This is because some content and features of FireEyes are loaded dynamically from WorldSpace. Failure to provide this information will cause the product to not work correctly.

Do I need to use Firebug in order to use FireEyes?

Yes. FireEyes runs as a plug-in for Firebug (the premier web developer tool for Firefox). Several features of FireEyes integrate with the existing developer tools provided by Firebug, and FireEyes presents itself as an additional tab in the Firebug user interface.

What is the current release status of FireEyes?

FireEyes 2.0.0  Release notes for FireEyes version 2.0.0 are available at the end of this FAQ.

Accessibility of FireEyes

Is FireEyes accessible?

If you’re an assistive technology user, you’ll have to enable the Firebug “accessibility” option in order to use Firebug with your assistive technology. FireEyes contains a setting called “Ensure that Firebug accessibility enhancements are turned on when FireEyes launches.” When this setting is enabled, FireEyes will verify that Firebug’s own accessibility option is also enabled. This setting is enabled by default when you install FireEyes.

The FireEyes user interface is implemented in 100% accessible HTML. However, in the current FireEyes release, JAWS and other assistive technologies do not treat the HTML within an extension the same way they treat the same HTML in the browser. Given this, some components of the user interface may be more difficult to use with assistive technologies than without. A future release of FireEyes will address this problem.

What accesskeys are provided by FireEyes?

Firefox does not allow the discovery of accesskeys within the HTML UI of an browser plug-in in the same way that it allows the discovery of these within the browser window. The following accesskeys are available, even though they may not be discoverable by AT:

  • 0: ‘Current Document’ tab, switched to and focused
  • 1 through 9: report headings in ‘Current Document’ tab, in reverse chronological order
  • L: Last tab available, switched to and focused

The accelerator keys used for accesskeys in FireEyes do not reflect the user-configurable options that may have been set in the Firefox browser. On Windows computers, the accelerator key will always be the Alt key. On Mac OS computers, the accelerator key will always be the Control key.

What keyboard shortcuts are provided by FireEyes?

One keyboard shortcut is provided:

Alt+F12: toggle Firebug and FireEyes. If Firebug is running attached to the browser window (the default mode), this shortcut will toggle the Firebug panel, and ensure that FireEyes is focused whenever Firebug is activated. If Firebug is running in a detached window, this shortcut will bring the Firebug window into the foreground, and ensure that FireEyes is focused.

Installation prerequisites

What are the software dependencies for FireEyes?

FireEyes requires:

Do I need to have Java Installed in the browser?

No, Java is no longer required for FireEyes 2.0.0.

If the wrong version of Firebug is installed what will happen?

If the version of Firebug is earlier than 1.5.3, then the FireEyes will be be listed as “additional dependencies required” in the Firefox add-ons pane. The FireEyes user interface will not appear inside Firebug.

Is there a version of FireEyes for Internet Explorer, Google Chrome or Safari?

Not at this time.

What operating systems has FireEyes been tested on?

FireEyes has been tested on Mac OS X (10.5, 10.6, and 10.7) and Windows (Windows XP and Windows 7). It should work on any operating system on which Firefox and Firebug work. Please report issues that you encounter on other platforms.

Features

Which standards does FireEyes support?

FireEyes currently supports WCAG 2 (levels A and AA), Section 508, and some dynamic rules that test for WAI-ARIA compliance.

Does FireEyes support static pages?

Yes. FireEyes can evaluate both static and dynamic web sites and applications.

Automated analysis is done in the background, as you interact with a dynamic site or application. FireEyes monitors all of the browser events including the initial “load” event, and analyzes content as it appears or is changed.

If you want to control the points at which the analysis is done, you can ensure the “Automatic” analysis checkbox is off. Analysis will then occur only when you use the “Now” button to analyze the currently loaded site or page.

Does FireEyes support analyzing multiple pages or a whole site?

Yes. When you have Automatic analysis turned on, then every page you visit will be analyzed and the results will be accumulated in the “Report” tab. The “Current Document” tab will only display the results for the page you are currently viewing in the browser.

Can you export the results of an analysis?

Yes. If you upload the analysis issues to WorldSpace, then the issues can be exported in either Excel or Comma Separated Value (CSV) format from the issues report of the project.

Does FireEyes support the remediation of static issues?

Yes. By editing the content of the page using Firebug’s HTML inspector and editing features, you can change the HTML structure. Clicking the “retest” button on an issue in FireEyes will evaluate the HTML to see whether the issue is still present. If the issue has been remediated, the issue will be marked as remediated in the report. When you upload the issue to WorldSpace, the modified HTML for the element will be saved along with the issue.

Does FireEyes support the remediation of dynamic issues?

Yes. By using the event recording feature, you can create scripts that can be re-run to reproduce dynamic issues. These scripts can be uploaded to WorldSpace and downloaded and re-run at a later point. If “Analyze” is checked in the “Replay” toolbar, analysis will be performed while the script replays — this will validate whether previously discovered issues still exist.

Does FireEyes simulate an AT’s rendering of a web page?

Yes. SimulAT can be used to simulate various AT renderings including a full page transcript, headings, images, links, tables and more. Sighted users who are not familiar with assistive technologies (AT) such as JAWS on NVDA can use this to visually validate what the AT user would hear.

Can scripts be shared with other developers?

Yes. By uploading a script to WorldSpace and inviting other users to collaborate with you on the project, you can share scripts and issues with developers, QA engineers, designers, etc.

What does the “Freeze” button do?

The “Freeze” button stops all user events except for the scroll event from being delivered to the browser. The website or app is then frozen in place, and cannot be changed further until it is “Thawed.”

This is useful for exploring interim browser states using Firebug’s HTML inspector in cases where using the inspector would cause the state of the browser to change.

When used in conjunction with script replay, “Freezing” allows you to examine the state of a web app at the point where an error occurred, without triggering mouse move, mouseover and mouseout events, or changing the focus of the browser. For example, if FireEyes detects an accessibility issue with an autocompleted drop-down associated with a search form, you might “Freeze” the search in a state where the drop-down is visible.

What are the blue- and green-striped areas that appear in the browser?

The green- and blue-striped areas represent accessibility issues and are toggled on and off by checking or un-checking the “Highlight” checkbox. They are intended only for sighted users and perform two functions: first, they stop the sighted user from interacting with the web page, thereby simulating the usability that a user of assistive technology would have; and second, they allow the sighted user to locate, visually, the element related to an issue. Assistive technology users can get the same information: first, interacting with the web page using the assistive technology, and second, by clicking the “Inspect” button to view the HTML related to the issue in the Firebug HTML inspector.

These highlights also show some summary data. Each highlight is annotated with the element or tag, the number of issues found for that element, and information about issue severity and type. When you mouse over a highlight, an overlay appears in the bottom-left corner of the window showing a summary of the issues associated with the highlighted element. If you click on a highlight, the associated issues will be focused in FireEyes, allowing you to access all of the information related to the issues.

FireEyes is capturing too many changes and events and they are overwhelming me. What can I do?

There are a couple of reasons why FireEyes might capture many events. Firstly, you might have the event recording options, which can be viewed and changed on the “Settings” tab set to record very chatty events such as mouse movements. By turning these off, you can reduce the amount of information captured and displayed by FireEyes; secondly, your web application might be generating lots of changes in the document through the use of JavaScript. You can use the “Filter” button to filter out the changes and events so that they do not appear in the report; thirdly, you can turn off event recording altogether by un-checking the “Record” checkbox.

By default, FireEyes records only a useful subset of events. For example, it will record mouse click events, but not mouse motion events. In order to record and replay all of the events needed to trigger functionality on your site or app, it may be necessary to enable additional event recording options — in which case, many more events will be recorded.

What is a project?

Developers often have to work on multiple applications or websites and different FireEyes settings maybe appropriate for each of these sites. Projects allows you to specify the domains that belong to your project (production, Q.A., and your private sandbox) so that you can have one set of settings for each project. Projects can also be shared with other users allowing you to collaborate on fixing accessibility issues and tracking your progress on fixing them. Finally, projects allow you to record scripts on your sandbox and replay it in your production environment to determine whether the same issues occur in both environments. This can be very useful for QA engineers and developers. Projects are configured in WorldSpace, and then loaded into FireEyes.

Why do you have the “Color”, “Order”, and “Focus” buttons?

In order to accurately perform color contrast, reading order analysis and focus indicator testing, FireEyes has to send events to the browser and perform DOM manipulations. For example, when performing reading order analysis, FireEyes will disable stylesheets momentarily, to test reading order when CSS is not available or loaded. In order to avoid an infinite loop of analysis when “automatic” analysis is turned on, certain tests have been placed inside a button. Pressing this button will disable the automatic analysis while the analysis is taking place and then re-enable it once completed.

Why does the display sometimes change during reading order analysis?

FireEyes does a two-pass analysis on the reading order. The first pass is with CSS enabled and the second pass is with CSS disabled. When the CSS is disabled, the browser will sometimes redraw the document before the analysis begins. This will result in the display of the page changing.

Release notes

Release 1.0.21

  1. New features in release 1.0.21
    • FireEyes has a refreshed user interface and improved navigation paths. If you have used any of the previous betas, the overall user interface will be familiar to you — please note that the “Settings” and “Accounts” tabs in earlier betas have been collapsed and simplified into a single “Settings” tab.
    • FireEyes integrates with the new WorldSpace interface. This replaces beta 4’s integration with the FireEyes server, as well as with the previous version of WorldSpace, WorldSpace Enterprise.
    • FireEyes supports a wider range of Firefox versions (3.5.3 — 10.x) and Firebug versions (1.6 — 19.x).
    • Issues are assigned a priority (Critical, Serious, Moderate, or Minor). You may filter issues by priority, making it easier to focus on resolving the most critical accessibility issues first.
    • Improved UI for filtering issues and events.
    • Improved UI for downloading and uploading issues, events, and projects to and from WorldSpace.
    • Improved UI for informational, warning, and error messages.
    • When highlighting issues, the highlights contain some helpful data (the highlighted tag, # of issues, issue severity, and type of issue). Additionally, when a highlight is moused over, an overlay appears in the bottom-left corner of the document showing a summary of issues associated with that element. (As always, you may click on the highlight to see a detailed presentation of the associated issues inside FireEyes.)
    • FireEyes can be configured to spoof user agent strings, making it easier to work on certain types of mobile sites and apps. This can be configured under the “Settings” tab.
    • Analysis: updated color contrast analyses.
    • Scripting: provide better warning messages when editing scripts in FireEyes that have been saved to, or loaded from, a project on WorldSpace.
    • Scripting: the scripting “scaling factor” from earlier betas has been renamed to a script replay “speed”, which can be set to slow down replay of certain problematic scripts.
    • Scripting: a timeout value, defaulting to 30 seconds, can be configured for scripts. This controls how long the script replay will wait for a newly loaded page to be considered loaded and ready for analysis. This value may need to be adjusted upwards for very slowly loading pages/environments.
    • SimulAT: SimulAT has a new feature that allows you to see all structural elements OR all content-related elements for a single page.
    • SimulAT: Display of data tables visually shows table captions and headers, and other relational data (such as the relationship between data cells and their corresponding headers).
    • SimulAT: when simulating an AT announcement of “invisible” elements, SimulAT will attempt to highlight a parent element instead. (For example, this is very common when navigating drop-down or fly-out navigation menus.)
    • Settings: better feedback when configuring or changing WorldSpace accounts.
  2. Bug fixes in release 1.0.21
    • Analysis: many improvements to the analysis rules used by FireEyes.
    • Analysis: reading order and color contrast analyses respect the project’s analysis options.
    • Analysis: improve stability and performance of analyses. Ensure that problems with a specific rule do not prevent analysis from continuing.
    • Analysis: improve stability of analysis of rules involving checking image dimensions and other metadata.
    • Analysis: when creating issues, do not add an “xmlns” attribute to the serialized HTML snippet, unless the attribute has an uncommon value.
    • Scripting: when saving a script to WorldSpace, provide better feedback for invalid script names and other error conditions.
    • Scripting: when replaying a script, certain elements of the FireEyes UI are disabled during replay. These become enabled after script replay has finished or been stopped.
    • SimulAT: improved compatibility with a variety of sites and markup elements (including frames and iframes). If a site failed to SimulAT under an earlier beta, please try it once more with the release version.
    • Settings: improved normalization of WorldSpace URLs; server URLs can be entered with or without a protocol and/or trailing slash (‘/’).
    • Performance improvements when launching FireEyes, when displaying and rendering data, and when interacting with WorldSpace.
    • Stability improvements when interacting with WorldSpace over a slow or unreliable network connection.
    • Better handling of corrupted FireEyes data in a user’s Firefox profile.
    • When viewing the details for an issue, the document is no longer automatically frozen/thawed by FireEyes.
    • When adding a new manual issue, the issue has a better default description.
    • Improved experience when navigating FireEyes using only a keyboard.
    • When the “Highlight” option is on, highlights for issues will automatically update/move to reflect changes in the document.
    • Fix a problem where issues would disappear from FireEyes after being uploaded to WorldSpace and “Do nothing” was selected as the “After upload” action.
  3. Known issues in release 1.0.21
    • When using AT such as JAWS or NVDA to access FireEyes, some elements of the user interface can be difficult to use. In particular, if using JAWS, a user has to manually switch between modes in order to access all of the content inside FireEyes. (#1671 and numerous other bugs)
    • If network connectivity is disrupted during upload or download of issues to or from WorldSpace, the FireEyes UI can become “stuck”. If you experience this problem, please close the upload or download dialog, verify that you are connected to WorldSpace inside FireEyes, and try again. (#836)
    • If you are using FireEyes in multiple browser tabs, all in the same project, in certain conditions, duplicate issues can appear in the “Current Document” tab. If you see duplicated issues, simply refreshing the page will resolve the problem. (#889)
    • If there are a large number of issues (> 1000) being loaded into FireEyes, FireEyes can become temporarily unresponsive while they are processed. (#1617)
    • On OS X, if the document is in the “Frozen” state, command-Q and other Firefox keyboard commands fail to execute. You must first “Thaw” the document. (#1537)
    • Depending on the version of Firebug, the “Add New Scope Definition” feature inside the Firebug HTML inspector may not work, or may not be available at all. (#1327)
    • Analysis: On Windows and in Firefox 4 and newer, the visual focus indicator test does not work. This is due to an incompatibility in Firefox 4 between Windows and other platforms. If you need this feature, please use another platform like OS X, or use Firefox 3.5 or 3.6 on Windows. (#1252)
    • Analysis: reading order analysis can generate false positives on certain sites. (#716)
    • Scripting: when recording a script, there is no way to clear an input field before entering other values. You may be able to work around this by recording or creating a “change” event for the field. (#695)
    • SimulAT: when inspecting data tables using header markup in addition to rowspan and/or colspan attributes, SimulAT will not take the rowspan or colspan attributes into account and can therefore show misleading related nodes. (#1334)
    • SimulAT: on certain sites using complex framesets, SimulAT can fail to generate a report. (#1333)
    • Settings: when creating or editing scope definitions, the “Pick Target” feature may yield an incorrect xpath address on certain sites. (#1014)
    • Settings: it is possible to create a new scope definition that has no name. (#1395)
    • Settings: the “Perform color usage analysis on every single DOM mutation event (SLOW)” and “Ensure that Firebug accessibility enhancements are turned on when FireEyes launches” settings will ALWAYS be set to their default values when FireEyes is launched. The defaults are true and false, respectively; most users will not need to change either setting. If you do need to change the setting, you will have to change it after FireEyes is launched. (#1326)

Release 2.0.0

New features in release 2.0.0

  • Removed Java Requirement
Bugs Fixed in 2.0.0
  • Uploading issue from FireEyes creates 2 entries in WorldSpace
  • The FireEyes extension should use the FireEyes Server as the authoritative source for projects, and project configuration and details
Known Issues 
  • Firefox 4 and above:Focus Analysis not compatible with Mozilla Firefox on windows.
  • When using AT such as JAWS or NVDA to access FireEyes, some elements of the user interface can be difficult to use. In particular, if using JAWS, a user has to manually switch between modes in order to access all of the content inside FireEyes. (#1671 and numerous other bugs)
  • If network connectivity is disrupted during upload or download of issues to or from WorldSpace, the FireEyes UI can become “stuck”. If you experience this problem, please close the upload or download dialog, verify that you are connected to WorldSpace inside FireEyes, and try again. (#836)
  • If you are using FireEyes in multiple browser tabs, all in the same project, in certain conditions, duplicate issues can appear in the “Current Document” tab. If you see duplicated issues, simply refreshing the page will resolve the problem. (#889)
  • If there are a large number of issues (> 1000) being loaded into FireEyes, FireEyes can become temporarily unresponsive while they are processed. (#1617)
  • On OS X, if the document is in the “Frozen” state, command-Q and other Firefox keyboard commands fail to execute. You must first “Thaw” the document. (#1537)
  • Depending on the version of Firebug, the “Add New Scope Definition” feature inside the Firebug HTML inspector may not work, or may not be available at all. (#1327)
  • Analysis: On Windows and in Firefox 4 and newer, the visual focus indicator test does not work. This is due to an incompatibility in Firefox 4 between Windows and other platforms. If you need this feature, please use another platform like OS X, or use Firefox 3.5 or 3.6 on Windows. (#1252)
  • Analysis: reading order analysis can generate false positives on certain sites. (#716)
  • Scripting: when recording a script, there is no way to clear an input field before entering other values. You may be able to work around this by recording or creating a “change” event for the field. (#695)
  • SimulAT: when inspecting data tables using header markup in addition to rowspan and/or colspan attributes, SimulAT will not take the rowspan or colspan attributes into account and can therefore show misleading related nodes. (#1334)
  • SimulAT: on certain sites using complex framesets, SimulAT can fail to generate a report. (#1333)
  • Settings: when creating or editing scope definitions, the “Pick Target” feature may yield an incorrect xpath address on certain sites. (#1014)
  • Settings: it is possible to create a new scope definition that has no name. (#1395)
  • Settings: the “Perform color usage analysis on every single DOM mutation event (SLOW)” and “Ensure that Firebug accessibility enhancements are turned on when FireEyes launches” settings will ALWAYS be set to their default values when FireEyes is launched. The defaults are true and false, respectively; most users will not need to change either setting. If you do need to change the setting, you will have to change it after FireEyes is launched. (#1326)