Re: Orca Launching in Edgy -- continued

Peter Korn wrote:
Hi Henrik,

Thanks for your thoughts and efforts here. When it comes to keystroke gestures, may I direct your (and everyone else's) attention to the System Administration Section of the GNOME 2.14 Accessibility Guide (at There we define gestures for GDM to invoke AT. E.g Ctrl-M held for 1 second to invoke the magnifier; a particular mouse movement pattern to start the on-screen keyboard in dwell mode. These gestures have gone through some user testing, could use more user testing and feedback, and illustrate some of the wide capabilities of the gdm gesture listener architecture.

Hi Peter,

OK, I agree with you in part ;) I feel that if we are seeking to 'do it right' we should think about a wider range of scenarios.

I think making GDM accessible through gestures is important and will be useful in many cases. But I also think that we should work toward using gestures on the default desktop as well. There are several situations where the GDM does not get used but starting the access tools is still useful:

* Live CDs
* A public computer set up in Kiosk mode
* A home computer set up with a single log-in without a log-in prompt where more than one person uses the computer.
* Possible future mobile devices that uses core parts of gnome but not GDM

I am slightly worried that we focus too much on GDM because AT-SPI does not load dynamically. As far as I can see that is simply a bug that should be fixed. It may be that fixing it will involve touching every part of Gnome or even the kernel and that it's not doable until Gnome 3.0. Even so I think we should have it on our radar already now.

If you use a screen reader you should be able to activate the reader in the middle of a session using the same keystrokes as you would when logging in. That way you don't even have to know what state the machine is in (it might be some random public terminal). The gestures should be universal to all machines and ideally installed and active by default.

So we are talking about default desktops here which will always create worry and controversy. I think there are several steps we can take to move gradually in this direction though so that we get buy-in from the rest of the community:

* GDM is a good early target in this regard because gestures there are less likely to get in other people's way. * A separate daemon, xorg extension or kernel module can be prepared that does what we need. This can be tested and proven before we try to push it on a wider community. * The above tool or collection of tools could be prepared as a separate package that could be installed optionally. -- and at some point we convince some renegade distro to install it by default ;) * A well designed dialog should be included that appears the first time a gesture is used on the desktop with: [Yes, I want to use gestures] [Don't listen for gestures on this user account again] [More information] -- If someone is annoyed by the feature they can make it go away forever * We don't have to wait for AT-SPI to be dynamically loadable. We can prepare this gesture tool to do as best it can (ie. enable AT-SPI and suggest logging out). It will still make life easier for people without that (as Al points out).

- Henrik

ps. I've moved this to the gnome list since it's quite general.

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