Re: An Open Letter to Oracle on the Topic Of Accessibility

On Sun, Feb 21, 2010 at 10:58:43PM -0600, Nolan Darilek wrote:
> On 02/20/2010 11:46 PM, Kenny Hitt wrote:
> >Hi.  In my view, Gnome accessibility will never succeed.  It will sometimes get close, but will
> >never make it all the way.
> >...
> >In the Apple approach, apps are required to be accessible before being included in the operating system.
> So they've fixed the dev tools, then? Because in my years of
> development under OS X, I was stuck using it as a glorified text
> console as various aspects of XCode weren't accessible.
> What about multitrack recording under GarageBand? For years after
> the introduction of VoiceOver GarageBand was mostly unusable. Then
> you finally gained the ability to press record and stop, but not to
> multitrack. And I was using VO from a pre-release 10.4 ISO,
> disheartened to learn that many of the apps I wanted to use
> (including iTunes at that time) weren't accessible to me. Some stuff
> changed when I snagged another 10.5 release, but not as much as I'd
> have wished. I can't go any higher because my current mac is PPC,
> though I do hear that 10.6 finally got continuous read functionality
> on webpages. Also, is Safari supporting ARIA these days?
> Don't misunderstand me. I'm not trying to start a GNOME vs. OS X
> flamewar. I'm not claiming that one is better, nor will I
> participate in any discussions of that sort. I, too, am disturbed at
> what is happening in the GNOME accessibility community and worry
> about the breaking changes that come down the pipeline. But I had
> two issues with this message.
> One is that I think it is disinformation to claim that OS X apps are
> "required" to be accessible before inclusion in the OS. Unless
> something has changed in the last few years, that's certainly not
> the case. Granted, Apple has made a great commitment to
> accessibility, and I commend them for that even if I don't agree
> with much of their ideology, but just as with GNOME, Apple breaks
> things too.
You are correct.  I don't have first hand experience with Apple products yet.  My opinion is based on friends who
use Linux, Windows, and OS X.  From your post, it appears I'm wrong.

> Second, I think it's a very gloomy, pessimistic and vague view. What
> does it mean to "make it all the way?" Can you point out some
> examples of some entities who have so we have a goal to shoot for? I
> assert that Apple isn't, and I think we both assert that neither are
> GNOME or Microsoft. To whom should we look for examples?

Since I was apparently wrong about Apple, there doesn't appear to be any good examples of success.  That's sad.

> >This mail was written on a Linux box in the text console.  Gnome 2.28 just isn't worth the frustration to try posting it under Gnome.
> >
> Sorry to hear that it's so difficult for you. This mail was written
> in a Thunderbird window running under GNOME. Earlier today I was
> writing Scala code in one window, watching Jetty server logs in
> another and reloading the accessible AJAX-driven web app I'm
> developing in Firefox. Late last week I was doing much the same,
> only running the Android emulator and developing my Android screen
> reader. I also used OpenOffice many times for various freelance
> writing gigs, Rhythmbox for podcatching/music playback... I'm
> curious to know what issues you're having with GNOME that make it so
> vastly difficult in your situation, and wish you the best of luck at
> resolving them should that be your desire.

Thanks.  Looks like you are having much greater success with Gnome.  
I haven't tried to solve the latest problems yet because I'm just frustrated at having to do this again.
When they broke gnome-terminal badly with the 2.28 release, I basically gave up on Gnome.  I know that bug should be
fixed by now, so I'll probably go back to using it eventually.
I do understand the need for GUI access, just wish I didn't look so bad every time I tell people to try Gnome only to have it not work for them.
This message was mostly posted in the hope I would get a response from the Gnome people that would give me some hope that things would be better for future


> Take care.
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> gnome-accessibility-list gnome org

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