Re: Fwd: windows gaim screen reader

Tor, any ideas?

Note: forwarded message attached.

Windows screenreader technologies have historically been very nonportable
and rather application-specific. They also rely on Win32 API and, in a few cases,
on the 'MSAA' accessibility API which is implemented by many stock Windows
GUI components for a couple of years now. It would be much more feasible to port
GNOME accessibility technologies to Windows (see below).

The new MS applications APIs and toolkits don't include MSAA, they have been significantly reengineered, and the new accessibility support is provided by something which IIRC is called 'GUI Automation' APIs. So the future of MSAA is uncertain at best.

It has been suggested the MSAA is being deprecated in part because it
wasn't really a rich enough API to support full-featured accessibility anyway - Windows screenreaders ended up having to listen to lots of Win32 "private" and/or semi-documented API in addition to MSAA.
It's possible that gtk+'s windows implementation could include some sort of
atk-to-windows bridge in the future, but it's not clear that the Win apis are conducive to that. On the other hand, ATK itself has been ported to Windows for some time, and AFAIK the additional underlying technologies for at-spi could be ported as well. This would allow the GNOME assistive technologies, including the gnopernicus screen reader, to work
under win-gtk.


Hello, I'm not sure what you awesome gaim guys can do about this, but I
thought I'd send it your way anyway...

As I am always trying to get windows users to switch to gaim (since it
became available to them), I posted on a forum at Michigan State, to
someone with issues with "DeadAIM"...In a nutshell, he is blind and cannot
use gaim, since his screen reader program won't work with there
something you guys could do?  I'm no programmer. =(

here is the details of his posting:

"Just tryed it. With out getting technical it isn't going to work for me
at all. As you can tell by my user name I'm totally blind. I use a program
called jaws for windows that allows me to use windows, by feedback in
synthetic speach. For example in aim the messeges are automaticly spoken
as they come in. Gaim doesn't work with jaws, it is because gtk underlyes
it, not standard windows controls. In dead aim no new windowing system is
implemented. I tryed gaim downloaded it, installed it, but the screen
simply won't speak anything, I couldn't even log in."

He responded again with this:

"I know xwindows works under windows with my screen reader since the
windows api underlyes it, but the windows api doesn't underly gtk in the
same way. An alternative would be either add in MSAA support, I know
mozilla did this to some extent, or B rewrite gtk to use the windows API.
Any cs or ce majors who want to do this for a senior project?"
I am not aware of any xwindows products/servers for windows which work with
MSAA or existing Windows screenreaders.

I would think that porting gtk-win to use the windows toolkit would be much bigger than a senior project, and even then it is doubtful whether the result would work with JAWS for

all in all, thanks for taking the time to read this.

long live gaim!

-Mark Tarq

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