Announcing Orca v1.0.0
- From: Willie Walker <William Walker Sun COM>
- To: gnome-announce-list gnome org
- Subject: Announcing Orca v1.0.0
- Date: Sun, 03 Sep 2006 22:00:39 -0400
* What is Orca?
Orca is a free, open source, flexible, and extensible screen reader
that provides access to the graphical desktop via user-customizable
combinations of speech, braille, and/or magnification. Orca has been
been developed by the Sun Microsystems, Inc., Accessibility Program
Office via continued engagement with its end users. In fact, the user
interface designer for Orca is also a user.
Orca works with applications and toolkits that support the assistive
technology service provider interface (AT-SPI), which is the primary
assistive technology infrastructure for the Solaris and Linux
operating environments. Applications and toolkits supporting the
AT-SPI include the GNOME GTK+ toolkit, the Java platform's Swing
toolkit, OpenOffice, and Mozilla. AT-SPI support for the KDE Qt
toolkit is currently being pursued.
The focus for Orca v1.0.0 has been to provide usable access to key
office productivity applications, including the following:
Application Class Application
Graphical Desktop GNOME 2.16 Desktop
Help yelp v2.16
Simple Text Editing gedit v2.16
Terminal gnome-terminal v2.16
E-mail evolution v2.8
Calendar evolution v2.8
Contact Management evolution v2.8
Instant Messaging gaim v1.5.1 or better
Text Document Content OpenOffice v2.0.4 or StarOffice PP4
Spreadsheet Content OpenOffice v2.0.4 or StarOffice PP4
Notably absent from this list are the following applications that we
plan to address with Orca v1.1 (to be released in the GNOME 2.18 time
* Web Content Accessibility: while Orca can provide access to
relatively simple web pages via the Firefox v2.0 web browser, the
team is working closely with the Firefox team to focus on providing
compelling access to web content for Firefox v3.0. Firefox v3.0 is
scheduled for Spring 2007, but several development releases of
Firefox v3.0 and Orca's support for Firefox v3.0 will be available
prior to the "official" release. We encourage Orca users to test
these releases and provide us with feedback.
* PDF Document Accessibility: the Orca team is working with Adobe to
identify and fix accessibility issues with the Adobe Acrobat Reader.
We expect to see these issues resolved soon. Orca should "just
work" with the fixed Adobe Acrobat Reader, but we will release a new
version of Orca if changes are necessary.
* Presentation Content ("Slide Shows"): the Orca team focused on what
our users specified as the most important content for OpenOffice and
StarOffice: text documents and spreadsheets. For v1.1, we plan on
providing more compelling access to these features as well as access
to the generation and reading of overhead presentations.
See also http://live.gnome.org/Orca for detailed English and Spanish
information on Orca, including how to run Orca, how to communicate
with the Orca user community, and where to log bugs and feature
requests. The impatient can also take a look at the end of
http://cvs.gnome.org/viewcvs/*checkout*/orca/README for a brief
overview of running Orca.
* What's changed for Orca v1.0.0?
This is the first "official" release of Orca. For those following the
early development releases of Orca, however, we've made the following
changes since Orca v0.9.0:
* Updates to User's Guide, Architecture, Requirements, and Script
* Fix for bug 353467: run in a terminal if we detect text setup will
* Fix for bug 353476: apply better fallback algorithm to find a
working synthesis engine.
* Fix for bug 352578: ensure that checking/unchecking speech in the
configuration GUI does the appropriate thing.
* Re-fixed bug 350854 and fix for bug 353268: do not double read lines
in OpenOffice and also make sure focus is properly handled in gedit
after a window maximize.
* Fix for bug 353237: prevent COMM_FAILURE messages when trying to get
the object state (thanks Oana from Baum!).
* Fix for bug 352866: add "-q" and "--quit" options to orca script to
allow one to more easily kill orca (thanks Javier from ONCE!).
* Fix for bug 352240: prevent wrong object report for Java
applications in case of different event ordering (thanks Oana from
* Fix for bug 352257: improved isSameObject() function (thanks Oana
* Fix for bug 352254: better handling of expand/collapse events for the
Java platform (thanks Oana from Baum!).
bg Bulgarian Alexander Shopov, Rostislav Raykov,
Vladimir Petkov, and Iassen Pramatarov
bn Bengali Runa Bhattacharjee
bn_IN Bengali Runa Bhattacharjee
ca Catalan Gil Forcada
and Josep Puigdemont i Casamajó
cs Czech Miloslav Trmac
cy Welsh Rhys Jones
de German Hendrik Brandt
dz Dzongkha Guntupalli Karunakar
el Greek Nikos Charonitakis
en_CA English/Canada Adam Weinberger
en_GB English/British David Lodge and Gareth Owen
es Spanish Francisco Javier F. Serrador
and Maria Majadas
eu Basque Iñaki Larrañaga Murgoitio
fi Finnish Ilkka Tuohela
fr French Cedric Corazza, Robert-André Mauchin,
and Christophe Merlet
gu Gujarati Ankit Patel
hi Hindi Rajesh Ranjan
it Italian Aldo Giambelluca and Alessio Frusciante
ja Japanese Satoru Satoh
ko Korean Changwoo Ryu
lt Lithuanian Žygimantas Beručka
and Gintautas Miliauskas
lv Latvian Raivis Dejus
mk Macedonian Jovan Naumovski
ml Malayalam Ani Peter
mr Marathi Rahul Bhalerao
nb Norwegian Bokmål Kjartan Maraas and Sigurd Gartmann
ne Nepali Pawan Chitrakar
and Shiva Prasad Pokharel
nl Dutch Tino Meinen, Elros Cyriatan,
Taco Witte, and Vincent van Adrighem
or Oriya Subhransu Behera
pa Punjabi Amanpreet Singh Alam
pt_BR Brazilian Portuguese Raphael Higino, Gustavo Noronha Silva,
and Estêvão Samuel Procópio
pt Portuguese Duarte Loreto
ru Russian Nickolay V. Shmyrev
rw Kinyarwanda Steve Murphy, Philibert Ndandali,
Viateur Mugenzi, Noëlla Mupole,
Jean Baptiste Ngendahayo,
and Donatien Nsengiyumva
sr Latn Serbian Danilo Šegan
sr Serbian Danilo Šegan
sv Swedish Christian Rose and Daniel Nylander
ta Tamil I. Felix
uk Ukrainian Maxim Dziumanenko
vi Vietnamese Clytie Siddall
zh_CN Simplified Chinese Funda Wang and Li Shaojie
zh_HK Traditional Chinese Chao-Hsiung Liao and Woodman Tuen
zh_TW Traditional Chinese Chao-Hsiung Liao and Woodman Tuen
Many thanks to our management at Sun for believing in us and allowing
us to make Orca happen. Many thanks also to Marc Mulcahy for starting
the Orca prototype and showing the promise of scripting.
Many thanks to our friends at Baum for sharing their knowledge and
experiences from the Gnopernicus project. Their early involvement
helped kick start the Orca project. Many thanks to Baum as well
for providing improved support for the Java platform and for their
numerous fixes and patches. They are a great team!
Many thanks to the growing and thriving Orca community for their
support and testing of all the early Orca development releases. Of
special note is Joanmarie Diggs from the Carroll Center for the Blind.
Joanie's continued testing and constructive criticism have helped us
Many thanks to the Ubuntu accessibility team for their continued
support of Orca and for making it easily available to end users. The
Ubuntu Edgy model helped get Orca into many people's hands, providing
us with good feedback on where we've done things right and where there
is room for improvement.
Many thanks to Al Puzzuoli for his continued work on the Orca WIKI:
http://live.gnome.org/Orca/. Al's selfless contributions, support,
and ability to write from an end-user's perspective have proven
Many thanks to Francisco Javier Dorado Martínez from ONCE, who is
keeper of the Spanish translation of Orca:
http://wiki.tiflolinux.org/mediawiki/index.php/Orca. Javier's support
and fixes for Orca have also been of exceptional use.
Many thanks to T.V. Raman for his contributions to the support for
Emacspeak speech servers.
Many thanks to the translators who have worked so hard to
translate Orca into over 40 locales. You guys rock!
Finally, many thanks to the GNOME community and team for accepting
Orca into GNOME 2.16.
* Where can I get it?
Orca is part of the GNOME 2.16 platform and should be available in
binary form from all distributions supporting GNOME 2.16. These
include (either now or in the very near future) Solaris, Ubuntu,
You can also obtain Orca in source code form at the following URL:
>From the Sun Microsystems, Inc., Accessibility Program Office,
Willie Walker, Project Lead
Mike Pedersen, User Interface Design
Rich Burridge, Core Development and Scripting
Lynn Monsanto, Java Platform Support
Michele Budris, Program Management
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