Re: Accessibility issues in gnome 3.14

As pointed out at the nov 13 a11y meeting by Juanjo Marin it turns out my keyboard navigation issues are worked around by using ctrl+tab keyboard command to skip over a lot of controls at the same level of UI hierarchy e.g. I can open gnome contacts, use up and down arrow key to navigate in a list. Suddenly I find my-self focused on 10th contact out of 901 contacts in total. The tab key does not allow me to skip past the list of contacts but I can use ctrl+tab in this case.

Thanks and greetings


On 21.10.2014 at 10:46 Peter Vágner wrote:
I think we need to file some accessibility related bugs against gnome 3.14.

region pannel
Accessibility experience is confusing in many areas and some parts are not presented by orca.
When the Regions and language pannel is open it is rather difficult to guess which UI controls are related. First focusable element is a language item. It is possible to use either tab key or down arrow key to move to the formats item. When pressing the tab key while formats item has focus the button Options gains the system focus. Which item is supposed the button Options bring options for? Formats, language or both? If both depending on the selection then it's extremelly inconvenient to select language and use the keyboard to activate options button. If items language and formats should be interpreted as one list pressing tab key while either of these is in focus should move focus out of the list.
Pressing the enter key when on the language or formats items causes a new dialog to open which suggest Options button is completelly unrelated to these two. In fact by default the presentation style suggests language and formats items are parts of a list it turns out these are individual items thus my previous assumption that tab key should move out of list does not well suits here and the correct behaviour is fine. It should be considered whether these shouldn't be given some different accessibility role e.g. plain buttons would definatelly clear that for me instantly and I would not have to press the enter key on them in order to figure out whether Options button is related to those entries or not.
As language or formats items are activated a new dialog is displayed with Cancel and Finish buttons. This also includes the list of all available languages or formats depending on what item has been activated previously. When pressing the enter or space bar while one of these list items are focused caused nothing to happen. It is verry difficult to press the Finnish button and keep the first item selected as moving to other controls by pressing the tab key causes not to immediatelly move out of list. This would be better changed because these entries are for sure part of a single list.

Back to the initial screen of Regions and languages pannel. When navigating around by pressing the tab key there is a list of input sources. Again this appears to be a list of items thus pressing tab key while one of the items are selected should move focus out of the list. Imagine if there were 30 items in this list we would have to press the tab key 30 times in order to reach the unlabelled buttons, Add, Remove and the third button I even don't managed to figure out what it does.
When the Add button is pressed there is a list of a few items perhaps that coresponds with languages and formats found on the system. However pressing enter or the spacebar when one of these has the focus causes nothing noticeable to happen. Last item is an unlabelled item which brings search when pressed. There is already a bug #737344  which says searching for new keyboard layout is slow but again until something is typed to an edit field no results are presented by orca. Perhaps The first list where there are only a few items coresponding with system locales should serve as a filter and some layouts have to be displayed when one of these items are selected. Again it is not possible to navigate comfortably out of that list to preserve the selection thus this is my pure guess how I think this window should be operated.

Now see another view of the gnome-control-center Displays this time.
In there there is a list of all displays currently attached to the system. I don't currently have an external display connected to my laptop but I am afraid this list may suffer from the rather often seen issue I am tallking about here that tab key does not cause the system focus to shift out of the list.
When the enter key is pressed on an item coresponding to a working display it is possible to configure display resolution, how the display should be positioned, rotated, mirrored etc. However The control's relation ships are badly broken in this window and I can't figure at all what relates to what. The fact there are many unlabelled buttons even adds a bit more confusion to the overal experience.
You as a sighted powerfull developer might think this is something visually disabled people don't need to touch at all however I hope there is enough willingness to reconsider this. Sighted user has a chance to verify the settings because he can immediatelly see how the displays are arranged, how windows are displayed over multiple displays etc. Now in order to try being modern and try to integrate well into powerfull HTPC style setup having multiple displays connected into a computer is widelly used feature. If something is reconfigured on a HDMI connected TV or when a new display is connected my previous setup is reset and kind of a new profile is created in the monitors.xml file. That's nice to have feature however I have already found my-self being angry using xrandr, wmctrl and other similar tools from the command line to override the current setup so I am able to keep working on the primary display by using casual stuff such as web browsing, emailing etc and at the same time I can have full screen video or images displayed at the second display connected via HDMI. If I were sighted I would be able to set this in a second through this gnome-control-center pannel. As I am not lucky enough and I am blind I have to resort to editing monitor.xml file by hand, verifying configuration by examining output of various other utilities, restarting GDM, switching back and forth between text console and graphical UI and similar.

The list issues I am mainly tallking about here can also be seen in the privacy pannel.

When the controls are not clearly labelled or when a relations are not verry obvious I like to resort to so called flat review orca feature. I have to note that flat review is not working at a lot of places within gnome-control-center e.g. Notifications, region and language, privacy, keyboard and a lot more.

I am not screaming for this to be fixed as soon as possible I know we are in an opensource world. I am slowly tinkering with the system when I do have some spare time and I think occassionally I might be able to find solution to some of these issues and try to submit fixes. E.G. the following gnome-shell issue #729603.
The list issue I am tallking a lot about here can also be seen in other modern gnome apps such as gnome contacts, gnome documents and even maybe others. I am afraid this might be a GTK specific issue with one of the new controls. I am not really sure what to enter as a bug description, where to report it etc. It's why I am starting this discussion.
I expect other visually disabled gnome users and fanns to add more experiences like this so we can better pinpoint possible issues and I expect some knowledgeable person from the a11y team to try to understand what's going on, give some examples on how some of these can be addressed. As I said If I will manage it on my own, I am happy to try submitting some little patches.

Thanks for listening



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