[orca-list] [Fwd: Announcing Orca v2.21.4]

FYI...Orca v2.21.4 is now out!

I just need to repeat how amazed I am at how much work we got done this release. The last release was only 2 weeks ago, yet we accomplished a lot in the areas of performance, bugs, magnification, and Firefox. It's difficult for me to choose any one of these as being the highlight of this release:

o The performance work done by Eitan Isaacson has helped bring Orca's
  speed back to the pre-pyatspi days, and I think we've even exceeded
  the performance in spots.  If you have specific hot spots, please
  let us know and be very specific about where they occur.  We can't
  magically solve applications that are generally slow (e.g., using
  Nautilus to open a folder that has 1000+ entries), but I'm sure
  there is still room to make Orca faster.

o The ARIA work done by Scott Haeger is helping to make emerging web
  technology accessible *before* it gets too popular.  This proactive
  work is awesome.

o The magnification enhancements done by Joanmarie Diggs and Rich
  Burridge have really helped make Orca's control of the magnifier a
  much richer experience for users.  There are some really good
  practical enhancements made to magnification this release -- many
  of them spurred on by members of this list.  Thanks so much for
  your feedback.  Keep it coming.

o We also continued to work on quality and bugs.  We're not going to
  lose focus on that for GNOME 2.22 -- we're going to keep pounding
  away at these things one at a time.

In any case, give Orca v2.21.4 a shot if you can and please send feedback. Your voices were heard loud and clear on this release and I thank you for speaking up.


Willie Walker
Orca Project Lead
--- Begin Message --- WOW! THE TEAM HAS BEEN BUSY FOR THIS RELEASE!!! Changes have been made in the areas of magnification, Firefox, and performance in addition to keeping up with our aggressive addressing of bugs and quality. Many thanks to all Orca contributors for their hard work this release.

* 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 wonderful community members.

The Orca v2.21.4 release is targeted for the GNOME v2.21.4 development release and requires the latest at-spi/pyatspi from GNOME v2.21.4.

You can also read more about Orca at http://live.gnome.org/Orca.

* What's changed for Orca v2.21.4?

2.21.4 - 17-Dec-2007


* Support "live updating" when setting various magnification features

  Changes made to the zoomer in the Orca Preferences now update in
  real time: it is no longer necessary to press the Apply button to
  see if the option you've chosen works for you and then undo it or
  adjust it if it doesn't.  Note that you must still press the Apply
  or the OK button to make your changes permanent.

* Bug #452316 - should have a "fullscreen" checkbox

  We've added a Position combo box so that it's easy to select the
  position of the zoomer.  The options are full screen, left half,
  right half, top half, bottom half, and custom.  Choosing custom
  allows you to specify the location of each edge of the zoomer.
  The new default zoomer position is full screen if full screen
  magnification is possible.  Otherwise, the right half of the
  screen will be used by default.

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

  You can now adjust the brightness and contrast levels and use the
  colorblind filters from libcolorblind.  Basic brightness and
  contrast levels can be adjusted through the spin buttons on the
  Magnifier pane of the Orca Preferences dialog.  If you press the
  Advanced Settings button at the bottom of that pane, you'll be
  placed in a dialog box where you can customize the red, green, and
  blue brightness levels and contrast levels individually.  The
  Advanced Settings dialog is also where you can choose a color
  filter.  These options should enable you to create the color
  scheme that works best for you.  Note that in order for colorblind
  filtering to work, you must install libcolorblind and then
  re-build gnome-mag.

  You can also add a border to your zoomer to help separate it from
  the non-magnified area.  The border size and color are
  customizable.  We've also separated the cursor color from the
  cross-hair color so you no longer have to find the one color that
  works best for both.

* Bug #464705 - Provide option to keep caret in center of magnifier
  region of interest

  We've added individual tracking and alignment settings for
  controls and the text cursor: each can have an alignment of
  centered or push (move the magnifier window the least).  In
  addition, you can now specify an edge margin for the text cursor.
  This margin is how close the caret should be allowed to get to the
  edge of the screen before it's time to "push."  The margin can
  range from 0 to 50%, with 50% being the equivalent of choosing
  centering.  These options should make it easier to keep track of
  your location on the screen and ensure that you can always see the
  area around your point of focus.

* Bug #501414 - Orca should have (unbound) keybindings for quickly
  changing magnification settings

  We've added the following new commands:

  - Toggle color enhancements
  - Toggle mouse enhancements
  - Increase magnification level
  - Decrease magnification level
  - Cycle to the next magnifier position
  - Toggle magnifier on/off

  These should help you quickly change the zoomer to best access
  what you're working on.  These commands are "unbound," meaning
  they do not have a keystroke assigned to them.  You can define the
  keystrokes you would like to use on the Key Bindings pane of the
  Orca Preferences dialog: locate each command you wish to define a
  keystroke for, move to the Key Binding column, and press Return.
  You'll be prompted for the new key.  Press it (rather than type it
  out) and then press Return.  Note that these commands do not
  permanently change the settings; they merely alter them "on the

* Bug #503965 - Orca should provide support for the pointer
  following focus and the zoomer

  If you're using the keyboard to perform a task and then move the
  mouse pointer, the zoomer would move away from your task and to
  the location of the mouse pointer.  We've added two options for
  dealing with this:

  - Pointer follows zoomer (enabled by default): If the mouse
    pointer is not on the screen when you initially move the mouse,
    it will be moved into the zoomer so that you can continue to see
    what you were working on.  If your preferred mouse tracking mode
    is centered, the pointer will be moved to the center; otherwise
    it will be moved to the item with focus.

 - Pointer follows focus (disabled by default): If this option is
   enabled, the mouse pointer will follow you as you arrow through
   menu items and move among controls in dialog boxes.

We also know we have more work to do and are tracking the work with
these bugs:

  Provide some kind of visual feedback for the item with focus

  Orca should provide support for smooth/linear panning of the zoomer

  Orca should support mouse bindings

Please also check http://live.gnome.org/Orca/Magnification and http://live.gnome.org/Orca/ConfigurationGui for more information in the coming days. We're planning updates to them soon to match the work above.


* Fix for bug #451988 - Firefox: navigation by landmark

  The XHTML role attribute module defines the following roles: banner,
  contentinfo, definition, main, navigation, note, search, secondary,
  seealso.  New functionality in Orca allows you to navigate to the
  next and previous landmark on a page via the unbound keybindings:

  - Goes to previous landmark
  - Goes to next landmark

  These commands are "unbound," meaning they do not have a keystroke
  assigned to them.  You can define the keystrokes you would like to
  use on the Key Bindings pane of the Orca Preferences dialog: locate
  each command you wish to define a keystroke for, move to the Key
  Binding column, and press Return.  You'll be prompted for the new
  key.  Press it (rather than type it out) and then press Return.

* Fix for bug #466251 - Support ARIA live regions in Firefox/Gecko.

  Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX) has recently received a great
  amount of attention, and the number of websites using or planning to
  use the technique is increasing. AJAX enables web developers to
  easily create sites that change areas of their content in response
  to user actions (such as in webmail applications) or real world
  changes (such as updates of stock prices).

  http://www.w3.org/TR/aria-state/ is designed to address these
  issues. Live region markup allows web page authors to specify when
  and how live changes to specific areas of a web page should be
  spoken or shown on a Braille display by a screen reader.

  The support for live regions in Orca is exposed via these

  r and Shift+r: go to the next and previous live region relative to
  the current caret position

  y: go to the last (or current) live region that spoke

  \: cycle through the different levels of politeness

  Shift+\: turn monitoring of live regions on and off

  Orca+F1, Orca+F2, ..., Orca+F9: review the last nth live region
  announcement, where n is the number of the function key (i.e., the
  last announcement is obtained via Orca+F1, the 9th last announcement
  is obtained via Orca+F9).

* Fix for bug #473009 - Cannot arrow to the end of an HTML entry if
  Orca is controlling the caret

* Fix for bug #501447 - Orca sometimes fails to speak our location
  when entering FF3 entries

Performance and Quality:

* Much work on performance (bug #491756).  If you have specific areas
  that you think are slow, please let us know the exact details.  These
  performance fixes also rely upon fixes being made in other modules
  (pyorbit, pyatspi) for the GNOME 2.21.4 release.

* Completed major pylinting work (bug #486726).  This helped us
  greatly and found a few latent bugs.


* Fix for bug #486970 - Where Am I should let you know you are in a

* Fix for bug #496846 - When tabbing to an editable combobox, text
  selection should be displayed in braille

* Fix for bug #503527 - Mnemonics are not supported well

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

    es      Spanish              Francisco Javier Dorado Martinez and
                                 Jorge Gonzalez
    ko      Korean               Changwoo Ryu
    nb      Norwegian Bokmã¥L    Espes Stefansen and Kjartan Maraas
    sl      Slovenian            Matej UrbanÄ?iÄ?

* Where can I get it ?

You can obtain Orca v2.21.4 in source code form at the following:



The Orca Team

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