We seem to be progressing at an exciting pace with ER Browser, and it’s making us anxious to get the next version out as soon as it’s ready.
We are currently working with Abelardo Gonzalez, inventor of the font Open Dyslexic and website DyslexicFonts.com. We first added his font Open Dyslexic to the app in version 1.3, and we’re happy to be still developing this relationship in our support of his font.
OpenWeb is an app created by Abelardo, which primarily serves as a web-reader with support for his font. As a result of our relationship, ER Browser is being promoted as a ‘premium’ version of OpenWeb, featuring additional functionality! We hope to add ‘Alternate Paragraph Shading’ and ‘Punctuation Highlighting’ to our next version under guidance from him.
Here’s a quote from his website regarding the relationship between OpenWeb and ER Browser:
Just this past week, the makers of ERBrowser have released the newest version of their web browser. It adds more control to how you view websites, including control over letter spacing, colors, sizes and font choices. Among those choices is OpenDyslexic. This is great news, and a welcome development! And it provides a commercial accessibility application with support that I simply can’t provide. As such, I intend to scale back my work on openWeb. I’ll still work on bug fixes, but I’ll be slow on fulfilling feature requests. openWeb was never a pay-for application. It does not pay my bills, or provide me with food. I still work two jobs for that.
Enhancing the Theme Engine
For our next version, we intend to use scientifically proven themes as a base for our theme engine. The scientific data has been very graciously provided by Professor Arnold Wilkins of the University of Essex who has dedicated vast amounts of his research time to discovering the intricacies of Colour and its effect on Visual Stress.
We also intend to allow modification of the colour intensity via a saturation slider, to provide a further level of customisation and flexibility to our theme engine.
We’ll calculate the final colour at the point you make the choice, as opposed to at the point of applying the theme, this means that there will be no speed impact to a user who’s using one of our new custom or modified themes.
Community involvement has always been one of our major aims with the development of ER Browser – the ability to learn from the dyslexic community will provide huge advantages and a new, more creative insight into how we can improve the app.
To this end, we’ve joined a dyslexic forum (BeingDyslexic), where the users have been extremely helpful in shaping the next version of our app. Their suggestions and critique has been invaluable.
We intend to provide a method for users to discover what their preferences are. A comprehensive tutorial and try-it-0ut system will allow users to make their choices on a sample piece of text, then to be saved for the browser.
This tutorial will aim to allow users to quickly switch between themes, and see what works best for them.
If you’d like to get involved in the development of the app, visit our app support page and we’ll reply as soon as we can. We always appreciate feedback and new ideas!
The Roadmap for Version 2
- Alternate Paragraph Shading
- Punctuation Highlighting
- Upgrade Theme Engine
- Include Scientifically Proven Themes
- Saturation Adjustment
- Include additional fonts
- Tutorial/try-out system