Re: [g-a-devel] GNOME Launches Campaign for Accessibility


It is important to raise visibility for certain accessibility issues
that are causing real users problems.  I really do understand how
frustrating it can be when software just does not work properly.  This
clearly creates very serious issues for users who depend on features
like accessibility to perform basic tasks.

When I first started working for Sun Microsystems on GNOME around
2003 my first job was working on ATK and GAIL.  I implemented the
original GtkText and GtkTreeView/GtkTreeModel GAIL code, including
libgailutil.  I wrote most of the ATK Reference Guide.  Others on my
team, like Bill Haneman and Padraig O'Briain implemented much of the
rest of GAIL, ATK and at-spi.

It was a real effort to get GNOME accessibility to a usable state.  It
was not until around the GNOME 2.16 timeframe that GNOME really started
to work and develop a user-base testing these features and providing
feedback.  Since that time, it has been awesome to see a real community
develop around GNOME accessibility and its mission to make free
software available to all users.

While you are right that GTK+ is very much needing accessibility
attention, I think your words are too harsh towards the many people
who have worked hard to support the GNOME infrastructure.  Keep in mind
that the GTK+ developers have been working hard to make the GTK2->GTK3
(and GNOME 2->GNOME 3) transition as smooth as possible and that
accessibility sometimes lags behind new features.  Also, the
CORBA->D-Bus conversion has been distracting.

The GNOME Foundation board of directors has been working closely with
the GNOME accessibility team to help raise momentum.  While I agree the
GTK module has not received enough accessibility attention over the past
2 years, I think we are working together to address that.

Already a significant amount of work has been done through these
efforts, and we plan to continue this with the Friends of GNOME
accessibility campaign.  Through these efforts, we really are striving
to bring focus back to address important issues like the ones you raise.
Please help us make our campaign be successful.

On 12/24/11 10:15 PM, Bill Cox wrote:
First of all, I'm a huge fan of people like Mike Gorse and Joanmarie.
These people have undertaken the task of helping people like me
without the motivation of losing their own vision.  These are the
people who I will go to bat for to help fund, to the extent that my
limited abilities allow.  On the other hand, we have groups like the
GTK+ team that no one here is realistically going to defend.  Their
lack of action over the last two years is nothing short of shameful,
and if you want to debate it, I've got facts on my side... let's do

It is clearly a shame that accessibility is not currently meeting
user's needs.  It was also shameful that GNOME 2.16 was the first
release of GNOME 2 that was usably accessible.  Our goal should be to
do better with GNOME 3 and have a accessibility enabled well before
GNOME 3.16 is released.

The teams that receive even tiny amounts of funding from Gnome
will not speak out about it naturally, but it's true.  Anyone

So, how do we separate the groups that deserve accessibility funding
under Gnome from those who seem hell bent on making life painful for
the blind?

The GNOME Accessibility team has a plan to setup a review committee to
ensure that funds are spent on projects that make the most sense and
that the right developers are engaged.

Please believe me that nobody is hell bent on making life painful for
anyone.  We are hell bent to develop a modern free software desktop.  I
am sure you understand that the free software development process can
sometimes be slow and frustrating.


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