Fangs: New version (0.54) and some clarifications

The amount of interest for Fangs took me completely by surprise. I am still trying to work through the email queue. Here is some information on the new release and clarification regarding the purpose of the extension.

Update: For information about Fangs see the new Fangs information page.

First of all I would like to thank everyone who has helped out with testing Fangs. Many of you have also made valuable suggestions for future development. I have been overwhelmed by the amount of emails and positive support.

I have received many emails with questions that make me wonder if I have made the purpose of Fangs clear enough. The purpose of Fangs is to be a tool for web developers to quickly get an idea of how a particular page would be read by a modern screen reader using default settings.

The purpose of Fangs is not:

  • to be an accessibility tool for vision-impaired users using Firefox.
  • to act as a screen reader. I have received a lot of emails from people that want to feed the Fangs output to a speech synthesizer. If you need to hear the output use the real thing instead.
  • to replace real testing of websites with real users and real screen readers. Most screen readers have tons of options which will never be accounted for in Fangs.

Also, I have recieved a lot of emails complaining that Fangs does not read tbody elements, abbreviations or elements with a style of display:none. Well, neither does the emulated screen reader with the default settings. There is a huge gap between the percieved accessibility of web standards and real-life scenarios. But, we have been through that before.

Enough whining from me. Let’s move on to the new release of Fangs.

Fangs release 0.54

I have made some adjustments based on feedback I have recieved from you. This release fixes the following bugs:

  • Reload now works.
  • Bug where fangs ouput was rendered twice is fixed (hack for mozilla bug).
  • Various rendering bugs.

New features:

  • Tabs are introduced. These will hold list of links and list of headings in the future.
  • Context menu item is renamed and moved below the default items.
  • Fangs window title now contains the name of the site. Easier to keep more than one window open.

The new version can be downloaded from SourceForge. Please note that you manually have to uninstall the previous version before the new one can be installed.

To be done

A lot of things remain to be done. I have received offers for help with translations. This will definitely be a priority as soon as the renderer has been stabilized. Both the interface and the renderer need to be translated. If you have access to JAWS with a local language pack for french, german, swedish or spanish, please drop me a note at

I have also received complaints about the Fangs logo (hey, it took five minutes) so if you are a decent graphic designer you are more than welcome with suggestions.

I am very grateful for feature requests and bug reports. Please submit them to the appropriate place at the SourceForge project page.

Happy browsing!

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