Announcing Orca v2.21.5 - the "Quick Brown Fox" release


One great thing about being the Orca lead is the quality of the people on the project. :-) I feel compelled to call out the efforts of Joanmarie Diggs who has gone through herculean efforts to vastly improve Orca's performance with Firefox. Hats off to Joanie! Many thanks also to community members (e.g., Michael Whapples and others) for being so involved in testing.

* 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
development has been led by the Sun Microsystems, Inc., Accessibility
Program Office via continued engagement with its end users and
generous contributions from the Mozilla Foundation and wonderful community members.

The Orca v2.21.5 release is targeted for the GNOME v2.21.5 development release and requires the latest at-spi/pyatspi infrastructure from GNOME v2.21.5.

You can also read more about Orca at

* What's changed for Orca v2.21.5?

2.21.5 - 14-Jan-2008


* Fix for bug #354462 - SayAll of dialogs (versus just a single text

* Fix for bug #463867 - Source display and Target display should
  self-populate in Orca Prefs dialog

* Fix for bug #463881 - Evaluate other gnome-mag features for inclusion
  in Orca prefs

* Fix for bug #485522 - Orca should allow the user to specify the
  chat messages that get spoken/brailled

* Fix for bug #486895 - Arrowing down from column header to table
  presents wrong column header

* Fix for bug #489504 - Invoking a Say All should result in any text
  selection being cleared

* Fix for bug #504356 - Unchecking "Enable speech" doesn't grey out
  all speech items in the Preferences dialog

* Fix for bug #504384 - The Orca Preferences dialog is a bit too "tall"

* Fix for bug #505293 - Zoomer borders should only be displayed at
  source display intersection

* Fix for bug #505306 - Orca's color filtering combo box should be
  greyed out if the filters are not available

* Fix for bug #508679 - The second time to enable the Braille Monitor,
  it can not be lauched

* Fix for bug #508777 - HTTP-based Recording ability should not be
  enabled by default


* Fix for bug #490317 - Orca echoes the first letter of each new line
  when composing a message in Evolution

Java platform:

* Fix for bug #507886 - Orca+Space when in Java application presents
  script summary debug


* Work on bug #414762 - Control Home/End, Up/Down Arrow don't always
  work in Firefox.  Firefox still has some navigation issues which
  prevent things like Control Home and Control End from doing what we
  would want/expect.  Therefore, we've taken over these keystrokes by
  default. :-) They should always move you to the top and bottom of
  the document now if Orca is controlling the caret.  If you would
  prefer to have Control Home and Control End exhibit the default FF
  behavior, toggle to a Gecko-controlled caret or change the
  keybindings in the Orca Preferences dialog for Minefield.

* Fix for bug #480881 - Firefox is very slow on pages with forms

* Fix for bug #500016 - Reading web pages by line in Firefox 3 is

* Fix for bug #502084 - Running Orca with Thunderbird v2.0.X with
  compose window open generates a stack trace

* Fix for bug #504742 - should not call
  getLineContentsAtOffset() twice unnecessarily

* Fix for bug #504785 - Orca repeats certain lines twice in Firefox 3

* Fix for bug #505102 - Pressing Up/Down in FF3 is moving to spaces at
  the end of the current line

* Fix for bug #506360 - find{Next,Previous}Line() should be more
  efficient.  Note that this is one of the new "performance
  enhancements" that has been well-tested, but may contain side
  effects.  Please give us your feedback.  If you're unsure as to
  whether this change is responsible for a problem you are seeing, you
  can place the following two lines in your
  ~/.orca/ file:

  import orca.Gecko
  orca.Gecko.useNewLineNav = False

  If True (the default), the new enhancements are used; if False, they
  are not.  If this change is responsible, let us know.

* Fix for bug #508624 - Checkbox tristate not announcing state changes

* Work on bug #508784 - Orca needs to handle FF hierarchies that don't
  match reality.  Part of the solution is making sure the user can
  navigate to the areas.  That is what has been done.  We still need
  to present the elements and allow the user to navigate among them
  according to their spatial layout (e.g. reverse the list whose
  elements are ordered right-to-left).

* Fix for bug #509068 - We should prevent the user from arrowing into
  combo boxes in FF.  Now you can arrow "up to" a combo box, but
  should not be able to arrow into it accidentally.  If you arrow to a
  combo box and want to it give focus, you can do several things:
  Press Tab (as it's the next focusable item), press Orca+Tab (as it's
  the next form field, assuming your combo box is contained in a
  form), or press Alt+Down Arrow (which is the Firefox command to
  expand the current combo box).

New and updated translations (THANKS EVERYONE!!!):

    es      Spanish              Francisco Javier Dorado Martinez and
                                 Jorge Gonzalez
    et      Estonian             Ivar Smolin and Priit Laes
    it      Italian              Luca Ferretti
    nb      Norwegian Bokmã¥L    Kjartan Maraas
    oc      Occitan              Yannig Marchegay
    sv      Swedish              Daniel Nylander
    vi      Vietnamese           Clytie Siddall

* Where can I get it ?

You can obtain Orca v2.21.5 in source code form at the following:


The Orca Team

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