Re: Request for comment (accessibility team): release date for GNOME 3.0


Willie Walker wrote:
The final kicker for GNOME Shell is that it is an actively churning moving target. The ancient model that the a11y cleanup team will come in afterwards and resolve a11y issues cannot possibly work in this case. As with every project, I truly believe that accessible design needs to be part of on-going GNOME Shell development by the people developing GNOME Shell. If we can get that to happen, I'd feel much better, but I'm just not seeing that happen right now.

Right now, I think all I can resign to is that GNOME Shell will be actively churning up to and beyond the GNOME 2.30 code freeze. We'll then have to somehow try to figure out how to clean up the a11y issues for 2.32, but with no resources. Based upon past experiences with other teams, I also expect a11y fixes will likely be met with resistance from the GNOME Shell team because the fixes will do two things: 1) draw the team's attention from other work they need to do, and 2) possibly conflict with design choices that could have been done differently had they made a11y part of their earlier design discussions. Accounting for a11y sooner than later will save time and frustration in the long run.

These two paragraphs make me wonder the following:

- Is there any contact between the GNOME A11y Team and the GNOME Shell developers?

- Do the GNOME Shell developers know what properties have to be present in the GNOME Shell to make it support a11y? As apparently, the GNOME Shell is still a moving target, the sooner the GNOME Shell developers know what to take care of, the better it will be for everybody; not only for the disabled people requiring assistive tools, but probably also for the GNOME Shell itself to have the best chances to become a widely used desktop. (Is a11y not a requirement under specific circumstances to be even accepted as a candidate for a computer system!?)

Consequently, if it makes sense, maybe somebody with the required knowledge should contact the GNOME Shell developers to talk directly with them about the a11y in the GNOME Shell and if appropriate, inform them about the properties they should take into account during the development, or the rest of the development. And by these properties I don't mean general guidelines, but very concrete points like complete keyboard navigation, complete pointer navigation, specific interfaces,... (Please, be aware that I don't really know what the necessary properties are; the three points that I gave in the preceding sentence are only guesses.)



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