Re: [orca-list] Ubuntu 11.10 & Gnome

On the login screen, you can choose your default desktop.  Just choose
"Unity 2D".  The Vinux guys naturally think "Yes! Get rid of that slow
3-D crud!"  The shocking thing is that this version of the desktop
isn't even GTK based.  It's using Qt and the new qt-at-spi thingy, I
think.  I read about the rational, and it seems Canonical is very
interested in ARM based devices, and Qt is already there, so Unity 2D
based on Qt may be how Ubuntu gets on ARM tablets quickly.

This whole thing is super risky.  Chances are high that Ubuntu will
once again drop a software project, and any work we've done to improve
Unity's accessibility will be wasted.  However, I've not had any luck
getting improvements into the Gnome 2 desktop, nor has anyone else
I've known in the community, so I figure my work has better odds of
making a difference in Unity.  I'm also very interested in seeing how
Qt a11y compares to GTK.  Orca expanding to support Qt is pretty huge.


On 1/4/12, Andy B <sonfire11 gmail com> wrote:
How do you get the QT version of unity?

-----Original Message-----
From: orca-list-bounces gnome org [mailto:orca-list-bounces gnome org] On
Behalf Of Bill Cox
Sent: Wednesday, January 04, 2012 9:42 PM
To: Glenn
Cc: orca-list gnome org
Subject: Re: [orca-list] Ubuntu 11.10 & Gnome

The default Unity Desktop is based on Gnome 3, so all Ubuntu is replacing is
the Gnome 3 Shell.  I haven't played around with the Gnome 3 Shell yet.
Does anyone here know it's current a11y status?
The version I'm using when in Ubuntu Oneiric right now is the Unity 2D
version, based on Qt, rather than GTK.  It's a bit more accessible currently
than the GTK based Unity, and quite a bit faster.  The panel icons talk,
which is my favorite enhancement over the Gnome 2 Shell so far, though I
also like that I hit the super key, type a couple letters and hit enter, and
I'm running an app.  Common applications I launch with super+number.  I find
this much easier than navigating menus by keyboard.  It took a while to get
used to hitting F10 to get to the top panel, though.  I require use of the
Compiz magnifier.  Can compiz be used with the Gnome 3 Shell?  I'd read that
it does not work with either Gnome 3 Shell or Unity, but the article was
wrong about Unity.  I've noticed some lag in Unity lately due I think to the
switch to D-Bus with at-spi2, but it's not that bad, and hopefully the D-Bus
latency can be reduced.  Other features I like in Unity are due to being low
vision, rather than blind.  This desktop looks like it wants to run on touch
tablets, so it's assuming a 10" screen, and therefore eliminates a ton of
clutter.  For guys with great vision, Unity will look rather plain.  The top
panel has the active application's menus, the system menu, and notification
Everything else disappears, leaving almost all of the screen free for use by
the application.  This is pretty nice for magnifier users on laptops.

If anyone can give a summary of the Gnome 3 Shell a11y, I'd very much
appreciate it.  I read there's a guy named Benjamen doing a lot of a11y
related code in the GTK core.  Are there any a11y upgrades in the Gnome 3
Shell over Gnome 2 Shell?


On 12/30/11, Glenn <GlennErvin cableone net> wrote:
Hi All,
I was wondering if anyone is planning on building a new version of
Ubuntu with Gnome instead of Unity, so we can get the benefit of the
latest Ubuntu.
I'd rather not have to do that myself.

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The FAQ is at
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orca-list mailing list
orca-list gnome org
Visit for more information on Orca.
The manual is at
The FAQ is at
Log bugs and feature requests at Find out how to
help at

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