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Accessibility is important. It's both a human rights issue and a question of good design.

When I first created this site, I was learning HTML and CSS as I went. My pages were disorganised, had no clear layout, and overall weren't all that great. I had a lot of fun making them though, and I learnt a lot. I knew I wanted to keep accessibility in mind from the start, but I didn't really have a clear idea of how to do that. I created a subfolder called "accessibility" in which I duplicated the entire site's content. Everything I wrote, had to updated twice. Inevitably I would forget to update it, and it would lag behind the "real" site.

In hindsight, it wasn't even that accessible. I just stuck on a sans-serif font and a simplified layout with no gifs or animations and called it a day.

Obviously, that got old quickly. One day I sat down and decided I needed to re-write isaacfish from scratch, and I needed to make the "real" site accessible. I did that by using four different stylesheets, with javascript to change between them. That worked... okay. I got a lot of compliments on it, but it still didn't feel like enough. For one thing, if someone wanted to view the gifs, they would have to manually click "view gifs" on every single page. Not ideal, especially considering most people aren't photosensitive and don't need the gifs hidden. And if you couldn't read the custom font easily, you would have to manually opt-out of custom fonts on each page. (Not to mention the ugly javascript I'd bodged together from a random codepen that had to be included on every page.)

I'd also started hearing about "semantic elements", and I really didn't want to have to re-create my existing css but with semantic elements instead. So, once again, I decided it was time for a rewrite. (Not to mention I was getting bored with the old layout.)

This new site had an entry page which asked you about accessibility settings. Those settings were stored using cookies, which took me a LONG time to figure out as a javascript novice (still). I added a small script to each page (referencing a .js file rather than copy-pasting it in, this time) which changed the stylesheet based on the cookies stored. I also worked out how to make my site keyboard-navigable using tabindex! ...but each page was busy and had a LOT of sections, and even I sometimes found it hard to navigate.

Around this time I discovered the 512KB Club. This introduced me to the concept of minimalist, elegant web design. I also downloaded a gemini browser, GemiNaut. I started to appreciate light-weight websites, and to think about how I could use those ideas.

So, around the start of August ('22), I decided to re-write isaacfish from scratch... again. I spent a couple mornings day-dreaming on the bus about what it might look like, and then started to code it. And here we are now.