Re: Oracle takeover and GNOME accessibility

Hi All:

I understand there's a lot of questions and I just wanted to drop you all a note stating where I am.

I plan on seeing GNOME 2.30 through.  GNOME 2.30 is probably going to be the last of the GNOME 2 series of releases and I want to see it keep the same ever-increasing quality of accessibility that we have had in our releases to date.  The only difference is that I will now be doing it as a volunteer.

At the same time, I want to see us plan for GNOME 3.0.  There's a *lot* of work to do and we need to figure out how we're going to do it.  See for our current trajectory -- we either need to get it resourced appropriately or shoot for a different target.

Finally, I would like to work hard to put myself out of at least one facet of my job.  What I mean is that we need to embrace accessible design, development, and testing as a complete community, much as we do for internationalization.  So, whereas not everyone needs to be developing assistive technology, everyone needs to be developing for accessibility.  If we can accomplish that, the overall cost of accessibility goes way down and the quality goes way up.

So, regardless of whether I'm funded or not, I am happy to work with people developing new GUI's and updating existing ones to bring accessibility considerations into the designs.  It's really not that hard or mysterious.  Any person creating a UI should be able to understand and implement the basics in a very short time[1].

At the same time, I am responsible for the well-being of my family.  So, I will be conducting a job search.


[1] -

On Feb 7, 2010, at 12:14 PM, Fernando Herrera wrote:

> Hi,
> As you all probably know, Oracle recently bought Sun. Sun has been one
> of the largest contributors to the GNOME project during the last
> years.
> Probably is too early to know how this is going to affect GNOME
> project. However this last week we have seen some relevant events:
> Oracle laid off two members of the Sun's Accessibility Program Office.
> If you have been following GNOME a11y development, probably you can
> agree with me that:
> - SUN APO contributions have been critical for GNOME success
> - SUN a11y developers have not only done a great and impressive work,
> but also have been deeply involved with the community.
> - Accessibility is a critical component for GNOME 3.0
> - The accesibility framework changes for GNOME 3.0 are huge (new
> at-spi, dbus migration, etc...) and should be properly tested for a
> successful relase.
> - Although in the last years we have seen new companies joining the
> a11y development effort (like for example igalia), the number of
> people woking in a11y is critically low.
> So, I would like to ask the board to take this issue very seriously
> and try to contact SUN/Oracle representatives in the advisory board
> regarding this issue.
> Some references:
> * An Open Letter to Oracle on the Topic Of Accessibility by Joanmarie Diggs:
> * Some threads at orca's mailing list:
> Thanks!
> Salu2
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-list mailing list
> foundation-list gnome org

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