Re: Meeting Minutes Published - November 11, 2010

Not that I'm particularly well informed here, but having e-mail
chatted with the NVDA guys about porting to Linux, and the Orca guys
about porting to windows, and after reading a bit of the code and
e-mail on the dev lists...

Porting Orca to Windows or NVDA to Linux just isn't going to happen.
It's not bad design on either team's part, it's just way too hard to
do.  That said, there's some sense in borrowing good ideas from each

It turns out that both Orca and NVDA have an intense amount of code
devoted to working around crud that doesn't work right in the rest of
the system.  Accessibility is low priority for almost all the apps the
screen reader has to work with, so making it work with gum and tape in
the screen reader is often how it's done.


On Fri, Dec 17, 2010 at 5:29 PM, Eitan Isaacson <eitan monotonous org> wrote:
> I agree with Cesar.
> In Orca's upcoming refactor a certain level of abstraction should be
> provided to allow porting to different platforms.
> Maybe in some kind of future NVDA and Orca could actually share a codebase
> or at least some modules. But this is just wishful thinking for now.
> This is how LSR was designed, it was abstracted (even to a fault), and kept
> a future Windows (or Mac) port feasible.
> Users win from a multi-platform screenreader because:
> 1. No learning curve when switching platforms. Today, besides learning a new
> platform, users need to learn different screen readers with very different
> interaction modes, NVDA or JAWS on Windows, VoiceOver on Mac, and Orca on
> Linux. It would be cool if a blind user did not have to worry about that.
> This would make the screen reader users competitive when it comes to
> technology proficiency since they are not locked down to the one AT they are
> used to on one platform.
> 2. It would do what Firefox did to the web to accessible computing. Desktop
> Linux is marketable today not because it reached feature parity with
> commercial offerings, but because it offers exactly the same web experience
> with Firefox or Chrome. The Free Desktop would be more attractive to blind
> users who are already familiar with it's great screen reader from the
> windows world. The screen reader and browser would be identical, and the
> experience would be too.
> Again, just wishful thinking :)
> On Fri, Dec 17, 2010 at 1:57 PM, Cesar Mauri <cesar crea-si com> wrote:
>>  El 17/12/2010 12:21, Piñeiro escribió:
>>> So now the problems. Take into account that turn Orca cross-platform
>>> is not just be able to compile Orca on Windows. There are more pieces
>>> that it would be required to "turn":
>>>   * at-spi: Orca is a screen reader that gets all the information from
>>> at-spi. So at-spi should also be migrated.
>>>   * new bridge: right now, the communication path between the apps and
>>>     at-spi is the ATK bridge or the QT bridge. Windows apps doesn't
>>>     use ATK, AFAIK, it uses IAccessible2. So a new bridge should be
>>>     required.
>>> So, turn cross-platform Orca means turns two modules, and create a new
>>> one. This is a really big amount of work to do. And we enter in a
>>> vicious circle. You proposed that turn in order to get funds. But we
>>> would require a really big amount of funds to get that.
>> Thanks for your explanation which helped me to understand better how Orca
>> works.
>> Agreed. Given this scenario it seems clear that the effort is greater than
>> the return.
>> However, IMHO, I think that this approach could be taken into account for
>> some new
>> AT projects, especially those less dependant on specific api's (for
>> instance, I'm thinking
>> of AAC software). Beyond probably increasing funding opportunities
>> (according to previous
>> comments in this thread), a larger user base could be reached. Is just my
>> opinion.
>> César
>> _______________________________________________
>> gnome-accessibility-list mailing list
>> gnome-accessibility-list gnome org
> _______________________________________________
> gnome-accessibility-list mailing list
> gnome-accessibility-list gnome org

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