WooCommerce Released selectWoo—An Accessible Replacement for select2

The development team of WooCommerce has forked the select2 library and released selectWoo with improved accessibility.

The select2 library allows WooCommerce users to add full-featured, elegant drop-down menus to their website. Around 850,000 websites currently use select2 to enhance their website, according to Wappalyzer. However, select2 had been lacking the accessibility power. The fancy, elegant looking drop-downs generated by select2 did not work smoothly with the screen-reading software. That is why, the WooCommerce developers were working to make it web accessible, but the library had been unmaintained since the beginning of the year.

The WooCommerce development team has finally forked the select2 library and improved its accessibility in a new release and called it selectWoo. selectWoo is a backwards-compatible and can be used the same way as select2 with improved accessibility power. You just have to simply replace the select2.js file.

selectWoo makes many improvements for those who are using the screen readers, but it needs more accessibility testing. You can download the beta version of selectWoo from GitHub. The WooCommerce team has also created a testing page. They have added different example pages on the testing page so those using the screen-reading software can easily test for bugs.

One concerned developer asked the WooCommerce team what would happen in the future if select2 gets back on track and why they didn’t just submit pull requests to the select2 repository. Regarding the question, Mike Jolley, lead developer of WooCommerce said, “With a fork, we can at least get things merged in to meet our own schedule, rather than waiting/relying on others or running custom versions.” He further added, “There are other benefits, too, such as allowing our version to be namespaced to avoid conflicts in WP admin. The fork is public. Our changes can be merged back, when/if the project picks up again.”

The WooCommerce team requests all the WooCommerce users to help them ensure selectWoo works perfectly for everyone. If you find any bug or issue, you can post as a comment in GitHub issue. You must also include where you noticed accessibility problems, the screen-reading software you used, your operating system, and your browser.

 

Reference: WP Tavern, WooCommerce

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