Re: Proposal: enable accessibility by default for GNOME

On Wed, 2008-07-30 at 12:00 -0400, Willie Walker wrote:
> Hi All:
> I recently had a nice discussion with the release team about the 
> viability of enabling accessibility (i.e., the AT-SPI infrastructure) by 
> default for GNOME.  As a result of that discussion, I'm approaching the 
> broader GNOME community with a proposal to do this.  :-)
> Accessibility has currently enabled by default for development builds 
> since 2.17 (, so there 
> has hopefully been a fair amount of testing-in-the-large with it 
> already.  We also recently got rid of one of the last obviously nasty 
> things it was doing -- gnome-session no longer pops up that annoying 
> "the at-spi infrastructure didn't start" window.
> So, I'd like to open the idea of enabling accessibility by default for 
> GNOME 2.24.  Digging back to bug #362457, which is where we enabled a11y 
> for development builds, I *think* the thing to do is modify libgnome's 
> (see 
>   Here's a pseudo patch:
> -LIBGNOME_MINOR_VERSION=libgnome_minor_version
> -if test $(( $(echo $LIBGNOME_MINOR_VERSION) %2)) = "1"; then
> -    A11Y_ENABLED=true
> -else
> -    A11Y_ENABLED=false
> -fi
> +A11Y_ENABLED=true
> This would ultimately result in schemas/desktop_gnome_interface.schemas 
> enabling accessibility by default.
> Thoughts?

What are the downsides of having it enabled?
The only downside I found when using GNOME with a11y enabled on my
system was that somehow the mousekeys were enabled by default. This is
very irritating when trying to login at my bank. With a single keypress
on your numeric keypad you don't see the mouse moving that much, so you
assume there's something flaky with keyboard setup again (yes, I also
have a very bad experience with XKB).
If this mousekeys thing isn't enabled without my knowledge, I think the
a11y framework should get loaded by default.

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