2017 was an exciting year for aXe-core. At the beginning of the year the Deque team found out Google would be integrating the aXe-core rules engine into their Lighthouse testing tools. aXe then became part of Chrome Devtools, providing Devtools’ 20 million users with easy access to accessibility testing. In the fall, Microsoft announced that aXe-core would be integrated into Sonarwhal – their web linting tool. And as we kick off 2018, aXe-core has hit 1,000,000 downloads on npm.
When aXe-core was released as open source in 2015, we hoped that it would propel accessibility testing towards standardization. If developers and accessibility experts could agree on a standard set of automated accessibility testing rules, everyone could stop spending their time arguing about violations and interpretations of WCAG, and start focusing on the best ways to find and fix violations. Sometimes it seemed like a utopian fantasy where we all stand together and sing “Kumbaya.” Luckily, people agreed that adopting shared accessibility testing rules was a good idea, and they agreed that the Deque team had built the best rules engine out there. We now have over 100,000 users across our browser extension.
We are grateful to Google and Microsoft for believing in aXe and for making accessibility a priority in their own web testing tools, but none of this means anything if no one is using the tools and doing the work to make the web accessible. Thank you to each and every one of our users & contributors – whether you’re using an aXe extension, the Github repository, Chrome DevTools, Sonarwhal, or WorldSpace Attest – every one of those million downloads represents someone trying to make something accessible, and we applaud you. Keep fighting the good fight.