Re: [orca-list] contacting skype users

On Fri, 2008-03-14 at 10:46 +1100, Jason White wrote:
On Thu, Mar 13, 2008 at 01:32:16PM +0000, Michael Whapples wrote:
The QT and Gnome accessible API is a topic with which I would prefer not
to get involved too much. I think there's simply not enough agreement
between KDE and gnome and enough people to come forward to help. 

From what I've read on the gnome-accessibility list, Gnome and KDE are indeed
trying to move in the same direction that should ultimately provide a common
accessibility infrastructure across both. They really don't want to duplicate
work unnecessarily.

What I don't want to get involved in is the discussion, as the areas of
disagreement from what I can tell were to do with what direction it
should take (KDE don't want to use D-bus and gnome currently have things
working on corba), which is not something I could helpfully contribute

Remember that Orca is not just for Gnome, it also works with OpenOffice, Java
accessibility and Mozilla, each of which has its own accessibility API. Adding
KDE should, as I understand it, be possible as well. Now that KDE 4 is
released and the latest versions of QT include an accessibility API, movement
should be possible. KDE are moving toward d-bus as their interprocess
communication mechanism, and the Gnome developers are considering doing the
same, at which point there would indeed be a common infrastructure between the

I thought things were slightly different to that, I thought the gnome
java-access-bridge made java accessible to at-spi, and I thought OO
implements accessibility through GTK in Linux. If what I have said is
right, then orca is using at-spi which while could be used outside gnome
isn't due to its dependency on other gnome components leading to much
more than a QT/KDE user actually needs/might want.

It is also worth noting that Gnome is the default desktop for many
distributions: Fedora, Ubuntu, OpenSuse, and so on. Commercial versions of
these (where applicable) are used in "enterprise" environments. Thus, I think it
is in the business interests of Linux distributors to work toward
accessibility in Gnome, since that's where their users are by default.

The same can be said of Solaris, but I wouldn't regard that as the main
issue, as it seems very likely that leaving Solaris out of account, Gnome is
where the distributors would concentrate their accessibility efforts, as most
of them have (for whatever reasons) chosen it as their default desktop.

The Orca developers should be applauded for striving to make a quality and
reliable piece of software, instead of taking the narrow-minded attitude that
less responsible developers and companies would be tempted to adopt of doing
only what is needed to meet the requirements of anti-discrimination laws in
the various countries in which they do business. The same note of appreciation
should be extended to the Mozilla developers, and probably also OO.O although
I'm not as familiar with what they're doing.

I was never trying to say that orca developers are just trying to cover
themselves, in fact I think that orca has made big steps in making GUI
apps accessible to visually impaired people (I can't comment on
gnopernicus or LSR as I never got started with those for some reason,
but orca means that now I am able to do about everything I need to in

The comments about solaris was to do with solaris being a Sun product
and orca being part of the Sun accessibility project (I believe) so
potentially could be seen in the light of Sun trying to meet legal
requirements. I don't think that is so, or if it is then they are going
beyond what some other companies do to meet the requirements. Orca made
me change my view about the accessibility of Java GUI apps (before orca
I had only experience on windows using window-eyes which didn't work
with java at all) and now I think the java accessibility API is about
the most reliable way of making something accessible across all major

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