[orca-list] What I can do for orca

After all that has been said recently and after considering what even I have said about ensuring the future of orca, I felt its time to roll up my sleeves and use the skills I have for some good.

Before I begin I feel it probably is best to be open on what my situation is so that either I don't say I can do more than I can or so that others don't get the impression I will be a knight in shining armour and expect too much from me.

All effort I will be putting into orca will be purely voluntary although I should be able to commit a reasonable amount of time to orca at the present moment (possibly enough to be considered full-time) as I am not in employment. This does lead to some of the reasons why I am wanting to help orca. There are the personal reasons, I find Linux/unix a good system to use and that it probably is the correct operating system for me and it would be a sad loss if orca were to drop into a unmaintained state. Other than the personal reasons, I do have possibly slightly more greedy reasons, I am looking for employment in software development and it has been suggested to me (I agree as well) that it may be worth me working on opensource projects in the meantime as generally employers say I lack experience for them to see what I have achieved in the past. Regardless of if the second set of reasons achieve what they intend to, personal reasons is enough to motivate me on this, the second set is more to warn that at some point I may end up having to lower (I don't intend to abandon orca, its just my free time might be less) my input should employment be found.

Now to my skills and what I could do for orca. I am a python programmer (I suppose a good start), and have been using Linux for some time. I would say I have a reasonable knowledge on common issues of the accessibility infrastructure of gnome (enough to work out what might be causing the problem), but I don't know a great deal with the internals of this stuff (I guess I am saying I am not willing to step into other parts of gnome accessibility at the moment, orca is probably enough to start with). Some things I am thinking of which I know about which may be useful for orca development, brltty (I think some time ago I did write a small application for myself which used brltty python bindings), liblouis and its python bindings, speech-dispatcher and python bindings, gobject (may be not used directly but I guess many components orca uses are based on gobject) and cython (a fork of pyrex for creating extensions for python in C).

OK, looking at that lot of skills, yes probably really time to get on and do something. May be I could ask those knowledgeable in orca's code (probably Joanie and Will) where should I start on learning about developing orca? May be a start of a very general overview (what is the very heart of orca, how much is done by scripts, etc). Also when learning about scripts, which ones may be simpler to start with to learn about scripting and then once I am knowledgeable I can tackle the others. Probably once I get going with reading orca's code I will get to understand about using at-spi, but is there any good documentation for getting started with developing at-spi applications? The final question at the moment, should I really wait until the at-spi-dbus stuff is done or get going now? I mean by that, how big are the changes between orca in 2.28.x and after the dbus work?

Michael Whapples

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