The a11y ghetto

(ccing Kjartan, since he did the last few gnome-canvas releases)

At the Gnome summit, Bill Haneman approached Owen and me again about
moving the a11y implementation from gail into GTK+. This was discussed a
number of times already, but it never happened. We hope to achieve a
number of things by this move:

- Make a11y implementations a more integral part of the process of
  adding new interfaces to GTK+.

- Giving a11y implementations access to internal GTK+ apis

- Sharing the maintenance cost among a larger group of people

There are a number of obstacles to this:

- gail currently has a gnome-canvas dependency

- besides the module, gail installs a small library of utility functions

The rough plan we agreed on is this:

1) move the canvas a11y implementation to gnome-canvas to remove
   the gnome-canvas dependency from the gail module

2) move the gail module into the GTK+ tarball as a separate module
3) move a11y implementations from the module into GTK+ itself

This plan does not cover the gail utility library mentioned earlier,
maybe we want to deprecate it in favor of some a11y utility functions
inside GTK+ itself.

Bill agreed to look into the first step. Once that is done, I'll be
willing to work on 2). The last step is something that can be done
incrementally over time, it doesn't have to happen in one step.

I think it is quite possible to get 1) and 2) done in time for the next 
GTK+ release - the first step should probably be kept on a gnome-canvas
branch until it is clear if the next GTK+ release will be ready in time
for Gnome 2.18. There are certainly other compatibility concerns that I
have not thought about...

Comments ?


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