Re: [orca-list] Tips debugging Orca

Hi Bill:

Here's what I've found so far about Orca as a brand new user on Ubuntu
9.04.  It crashes all the time, so often that I've installed xbindkey
shortcuts to restart it.

Ubuntu has had a series of misfortunate integration events (e.g., Pulse Audio) that have caused speech synthesis systems to behave poorly. Since Orca uses speech synthesis, people often mistake this as an Orca issue. See the first entry at for more information. If this is the problem you are experiencing, you might consider trying a different operating system distribution (e.g., OpenSolaris[1]) until Ubuntu works these issues out.

Note also that the graphical emacs UI is notorious for causing a bad interaction with the accessibility infrastructure, regardless of which operating system you are using. So, if you're using it, you may end up with a hang:

  The documentation is poor.  However, it seems
really close to where it needs to be, and there are very active
developers helping fix things, which is extremely cool.

Which documentation are you currently viewing and what documentation would you like to see?

However, I don't want to submit bug reports to this forum.  I want to
submit patches which fix bugs and add features.  What are the best
techniques for debugging Orca when it is in an infinite loop?

Patches and bug reports posted at are definitely welcome, and it will be nice to see you help our community of constructive and helpful developers grow. Please also take a look at

There is a page at that describes how to turn on debugging. You should also become familiar with the AT-SPI infrastructure and the accerciser application. The AT-SPI is the lingua franca of accessibility for GNOME and accerciser is a very helpful/useful analysis tool.

Keep in mind that Orca is at the top of the food chain - if something beneath it eats something toxic, Orca may become poisoned, too. Since Orca is often the sole means by which some people access the desktop, people often mistake failures outside Orca as Orca shortcomings. It's a perfectly natural assumption to make. As an Orca developer, however, the lion's share of our job is rooting out the source of the problem and working with responsible parties to resolve the issues.

I'm looking forward to having a new contributor to the community roll their sleeves up and help,

Orca Project Lead and GNOME A11y Lead

[1] -

[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Thread Index] [Date Index] [Author Index]