Re: getting orca included in gnome 2.16


To toss my $0.02 into this discussion...

It has proven very useful to the GNOME accessibility project - and to advancing the support for assistive technologies and the implementation of ATK and AT-SPI - to have a screen reader, screen magnifier, and on-screen keyboard included as a formal part of GNOME. By 'blessing' AT in these categories, it has brought far greater awareness of AT to GNOME developers & UNIX distributions, and has led to a lot of compatibility testing, bug finding, and bug fixing.

Given that it is general GNOME policy to make one product in any given category the 'default' product that a formal part of the GNOME desktop, I am personally delighted that they have chosen to create such a category for screen reader, screen magnifier, on-screen keyboard, and text-input alternative (Dasher).


Peter Korn
Accessibility Architect,
Sun Microsystems, Inc.

On Sat, Jun 10, 2006 at 08:01:00PM +0100, Henrik Nilsen Omma wrote:
Janina Sajka wrote:
Mike Pedersen writes:
We have been informed, however, that there can be only one screen
reader/magnifier in the GNOME desktop.
That's a rather outrageous attitude. Who made that decision?

Are they also prepared to have only one web browser? ONly one media
player? ONly one word processor? Only one email client application?
I think you may have misinterpreted this slightly. The idea is that there will only be one official screen reader in Gnome, as there indeed is only one email client (Evolution), one browser (Epiphany), one office suite (gnome office, using abiword and gnumeric). Distributions can, and do, change these defaults and users can install a whole range of options.

Not to start a holy war, but a reasonable part of the audience that believes in
an alternative to Microsoft Windows also supports the notion of *not* including
various other applications and suites.  While Gnome is surely not an OS, it
seems rather weird (and potentially dangerous) to me to end up with a situation
where Gnome has an official screen reader, an official mail client, etc...
By including specific official applications and suites in Gnome, you're bound
to get into a situation where a large group of people will end up simply
sticking to the officially included applications and suites, either by choice
(easier) or as mandated by an IT department that takes the "we only run the
officially included stuff" approach (all too comon).

And in the end... why not simply leave Gnome to be the desktop environment it
is, and let users choose what they want?  Why does there need to be one
official choice, and optional alternatives?  I can see where the general public
falls for this, and how from a "let's pretend the user is stupid" perspective
this can be considered "user-friendly", but I would hope that we (as a special
interest group) can express a genuine concern about this type of policy to
the powers that be (and that make this type of policy).

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