[g-a-devel]gnopernicus robustness and a11y tools in the GNOME2.2 release

On Wed, 2002-08-28 at 04:40, Michael Meeks wrote:
> 	Yep - you need both gnopernicus and gnome-speech; try running the
> driver by itself though - it seems to be the only way to get debug how
> gnopernicus is failing. It'd be _really_ good if someone had the time to
> file several bugs against gnopernicus' robustness, and it not warning
> sensibly when things fail - both on the console and on-screen [ frankly
> the amount of debug spew at startup is quite amazing and unneccessary as
> well - which makes it hard to see any errors ].

Is gnopernicus at the point where filing bugs in bugzilla will be
useful? If so... I built it out of CVS yesterday and couldn't get
anything to work, and I'd be happy to track down and file specific
issues wrt warnings, failures, and such. It may just be a
documentation/usability problem, to be honest- I have no idea if my
gnome-speech is set up correctly, for example, and no idea how to test
that. Ditto for gnome-mag- it built and did 'make install' fine, but I
have no idea if it actually works/is installed correctly. 

FWIW, gok built and ran well. It's pretty nifty, especially the word
prediction stuff. It doesn't at all look and feel like a GNOME app,
though :/

Which brings me to explaining why I was building all of this stuff. The
release team feels it would help the visibility of the a11y team a great
deal if gok and gnopernicus were included in the GNOME2.2 release. As it
currently stands, there is little-to-no visibility for a11y amongst
either the average user community or the hacker community, and we feel
that including tools for a11y in our standard distribution would help
alleviate that problem. So... we'd like to include gok and gnopernicus
(and any other related GNOME-based a11y applications) in the GNOME 2.2
Desktop- it would be good for the a11y effort and it would be good for
GNOME. There would suddenly be thousands of people (even hundreds of
thousands, once the main distributions pick up the Desktop release) who
have these tools available and working, and we think that can't help but
raise interest and awareness.

But... that will require a lot of work.

Among other things[1]:

*neither project, to the best of my knowledge, has done an actual
release yet. To be included in the Desktop release there must be tarball
releases on a fairly regular basis, so that people can build and test
the programs.[2] There also has to be a committment to UI and feature
freezes in the stable branch- which may or may not be acceptable.

*gok uses bugzilla, it appears, but gnopernicus does not (as far as I
can see.) Responsiveness to quality issues raised in bugzilla is
important to reaching the quality goals we expect of GNOME releases.

*Neither application /looks/ like a GNOME app. Obviously, because they
are intended primarily for a different audience than the typical GNOME
user, a certain amount of deviation from the GNOME look and feel is
probably acceptable and possibly even very necessary. But we do intend
to look like an integrated desktop, and so minimal steps that shouldn't
interfere with a11y (like using GNOME toolbars, using standard spacing,
and having help and close buttons when appropriate) should be
considered. [GOK, for example, should probably look at the very minimal
toolbar that gnome-calculator has.]

*the application must be robust. We can't ship something that will only
work for some people and only after much work has gone in. As far as I
can tell, that's the current state of Gnopernicus. If I (or others)
identify problems for a more 'average' user, will gnopernicus get fixed
and made robust? Or is the focus still on core functionality without
much thought/time being given to those types of issues? [If so, then
Gnopernicus might be more appropriate for GNOME 2.4.]

At any rate, I know these sound like fairly onerous responsibilities,
but the release team feels that there would be a lot of benefits for
a11y in GNOME if these issues are dealt with in the 2.2 time frame, so
we hope that the gok and gnopernicus devels (as well as the rest of the
a11y team) will think hard about trying to fulfill them.

We're of course happy to answer any questions you may have about these
requirements, as well as what we feel the benefits to you will be.
Please let us know as soon as you can, of course, about whether or not
you intend to try to become part of the official GNOME 2.2 Desktop


P.S. It is worth noting that saying 'yes, we'll try but we can't
guarantee anything' is a perfectly worthwhile answer. We can get you
into the early betas, get some widespread testing and feedback, and if
at that point everyone agrees it is just not going to work out in this
timeframe, we can always back things out and re-focus on the 2.4

[1] a complete generic list can be found here:
[2]As detailed in the schedule:

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