[Accessibility] Minutes for September 1 Accessibility meeting

Bill Haneman Bill.Haneman at Sun.COM
Wed Oct 6 09:25:34 PDT 2004

Gunnar and Harald:

Do you have any comments on my suggested revisions and additions to
these minutes?  I didn't hear from you about them yet, perhaps you did
not notice last week.

We are waiting for the "OK" from you before making these revisions and
publishing the Sept. 1 minutes.  I hope these are OK, but please feel
free to indicate any problem you have with the revised wording or
anything you feel I left out which is important.


- Bill

On Wed, 2004-09-29 at 18:55, Bill Haneman wrote:
> > Gunnar gave a summary of the Unix Accessibility Forum at KDE Forum.
> > Friday was the membership meeting of KDE
> > On Saturday, Developer Forum began.  Janina arrived Saturday.  Two of the
> > KDE accessibility developers arrived on Saturday evening.   Sunday afternoon
> > was the first part of the Unix access forum.  3 talks: Aaron Levanthal,
> > Peter Korn,  Harald Fernengel.-
> > Aaron  - Accessibility on Unix will be 3 years behind Windows.  ViaVoice
> > will be available in the near future.
> ***insert here***
> [Ed: George Kraft suggested that Aaron was describing the current
> situation, not making a forecast].
> > Peter Korn- showed features of GOK and demonstrated that these features are
> > ahead of what Windows has.
> > Harald: showed preview of Qt4 with Gnopernicus.  Showed 
> prototype AT-SPI
> workalike which used DBUS as an alternate to the CORBA backend.
> > On Monday, several talks  didnt think they were relevant for discussion.
> > Access ended.
> > On Tuesday, Gunnar and his brother joined the usability forum.  There were
> > discussions about writing guidelines for KDE developers.  Decided 3 tightly
> > coupled documents were needed.
> > 1- Community integration guidelines- which fonts should be used when doing
> > screen shots when representing
> > 2  Usability guide  points the developer should look for when developing
> > applications and the reasoning behind them.
> > 3  Accessibility guideline  points for developers and the reasoning behind
> > them.
> > 4  Checklist  point to references in other 3 documents.
> > 
> > KDE work summit went on until the weekend.
> > 
> There was a discussion in our meeting regarding DBUS and CORBA, touching
> on issues of CORBA acceptance and prospects for a DBUS at-spi backend.  
> There were concerns about dependencies of CORBA with respect to a free
> desktop standard, or that CORBA might be "too heaviweight".  
> > Bill- In order to achieve all of the goals and requirements of at-spi, 
> one might end up with a CORBA-equivalant, without the advantages of
> CORBA's standardization and existing availability.  Doubts that current
> DBUS can meet all our needs.
> > Bill expressed concern that these discussions were happenning outside the
> > FSG Accessibility WorkGroup - since they are key to our standardization
> effort.  The plan of record is to make the IDL normative, to standardize
> on the CORBA ABI, but allow for alternative validatiable workalike ABIs
> in the future, which could accommodate a future DBUS AT-SPI
> implementation.
> There was mention of markup in text; Bill noted that ATK and AT-SPI
> supported markup of text in the AccessibleText/AtkText API, notably that
> CSS attributes were used where appropriate.
> > 
> > Bill- I hope that Aaron is incorrect,  Im concerned about the DBUS
> > discussion.  The reason for having this working group is to have consensus
> > on cross toolkit solutions.  There was a Open Desktop accessibility working
> > group and they decided to adopt Gnome methods.  It is a difficult for us
> > working on different companies,  we have to look at the big picture.  Im
> > glad to see the interest in accessibility guidelines in KDE, but why arent
> > these Open Desktop documents that could be used by all the desktops?   Is
> > there a reason that we cant adopt the Gnome guidelines?  We have to work on
> > technical consensus
> > 
> > Janina- we need to have a discussion about how we do that.  It seems that
> > Accessibility isnt active in Open Desktop.  Things look good for the
> > meeting in January where we can work on this.
> > Earl- what was the problem
> > Bill- Gunnar gave an informative report about the KDE forum.  It sounded
> > like the KDE forum is proposing to 
> duplicate considerable effort vis-a-vis the GNOME accessibility
> codebase.
> > Peter-  They were not trying to set up something exclusionary, thats why
> > they were called it the Unix Accessibility Forum.
> > Bill- It doesnt seem the KDE development is happening in a free desktop
> > space.
> > Peter- how do
> > ?- we need something that defines our existing guidelines.   Were trying to
> > move the existing product and merge the Gnome standards to come to a common
> > standard.
> > Janina- I thought the emphasis was on how to be interoperate and not be
> > competitive.  How to do that will take some time.  This seems to be a
> > developers process within the KDE community to get specific guidance on
> > accessibility.  That could help us to move to a more unified effort under
> > free desktop.  I hope were not missing things in translations
> > Bill- once that task is done for KDE,  there is less motivation to take it
> > to the next step of creating a shared document.  If we try to create that it
> > might lead to some consensus.
> > 
> > Bill- free desktop documents take effort to define, Im not saying KDE ,
> > the guidelines have to be written.
> > Janina- we have much of this effort in our roadmap.  We need to have a
> > discussion for next week to see how we can get that.  Develop more specific
> > proposals on how to move forward names of who does what free desktop is a
> > Bill- its a very informal organization.  Its a resource issue.
> There seemed to be consensus that working within freedesktop.org was a
> good idea, but resources need to be found to do such work.  Bill was
> suggesting that the KDE work and as much GNOME work as feasible should
> be moved to such a shared space, and that most new ground be broken in
> the shared space.
> > Peter- my impression was that Qt4 was very much ATK based.  Hed done some
> > investigation with DBUS.
> > ? -. . Would lower overhead for the AT applications, there are fewer
> > dependencies.
> > Bill- that may be okay in the long term but 
> > Peter  job 1 is to get this first release out and serving people.  I agree
> > we should be focusing on that.  (something about DBUS)
> > Bill- it would take a new generation of DBUS to meet our needs.
> > Peter- it will take the sorts of investigations Harald is doing to find out.
> >  -question about Aaron Leventhals statement about being 3 years behind
> > Microsoft.
> > George- I though Aaron made a broad generalization.  I think Peter made a
> > good point about being ahead on GOK.
> > 
> > Bill  is he asserting that were 3 years behind Microsoft or that it will
> > take 3 years to get Linux accessible?
> > George  I think he was saying it will be 3 years to get all the features.
> > Peter-  Aaron has spent all his time on the blind issues.  I think that the
> > GUI desktop issues for Gnopernicus have more problems and may be 3 years
> > behind.
> > Janina- I think its devaluing the console environment.  Coming from a
> > Windows standpoint your it does look like .  We all are learning from each
> > other what doesnt work.    I hope he spends more time working on Mozilla in
> > our environment.   Microsoft has announced a tentative release for Longhorn
> > in 2006, is it reasonable to set a goal to have accessibility in shipping
> > Linux distributions by 2006?
> > Peter-  when we get into discussion  - from the users standpoint its a
> > distribution issue but that gets into the competitive area.  May muddy
> > things
> > Janina- We need to get our work done far enough ahead so that firms can get
> > it into the distributions.  Does that sound like a possible date?
> > Peter- seems like a useful goal
> > 
> > Janina- Id like to update on the NSF proposal.    Whats the status on the
> > paperwork?
> > John- I checked with Jim Zemin at FSG this morning.  He has a new secretary,
> > Janet Sun and he asked her to work on that last week.  He thought she had
> > completed it but needed to check with her to make sure; she was out of the
> > office this morning.  Ill check with him late today.  Ephraim Glinert at
> > NSF said we need to get it in quickly so that they can fund the project with
> > money from this fiscal year (Sept. 30).
> > 
> > Janina  In organizing  for the conference, we need to go through the NSF
> > proposal and make a list of action items.  Then we can discuss this next
> > week.   We had some good meetings at the KDE forum but everyone wasnt
> > there,  e.g. the speech folks.    We need to let people know that our
> > conference will be occurring so they can get it on their calendars.
> > Matthew- some people will not come because its in the US
> > Bill- the funding agency will only fund travel to the US, we need to look at
> > videoconferencing so those people can still participate.
> > Janina- we did budget for that and we have facilities that should be able to
> > handle it.  Wed be happy to have the meeting somewhere else but were
> > limited by the funding.  Well definitely need to have additional meetings
> > so we should plan on that being funded by a source that is less restrictive.
> > Kris- can tack onto one of the accessibility conferences in Europe next
> > year?
> > Peter   REHA?
> > Janina- theres also LSM  next year in Dijon
> > Ill go through the proposal and pull out the time line and we can discuss
> > it next week.
> > Sub teams?  Anything from the KBD group?
> > Earl  no vacations intervened
> > 
> > Janina- Daisy has recognized the need to define a standard to allow someone
> > to open encrypted content.  It can be done now but you have to sign a NDA.
> > Bill- we have the problem with MP3 also.  No way to implement a public
> > domain Daisy reader.
> > Janina- Should they leave mp3 in favor of auk?   We seem to be running into
> > the same problem from several directions.  We have the same issues with the
> > differences over the Java licenses.  Daisy is amenable to seeing if auk will
> > work as well as mp3.
> > Bill- if you look at some of the specialize codecs for voice, it should
> > appeal to them.  The space saving alone.
> > 
> > Bill- it would be possible to do a open source daisy reader if your system
> > has some other mp3 reader but     The mp3 problem is a big practical
> > problem.
> > 
> > Janina- yes its appreciated within the Daisy consortium. Some of the US
> > interested in trying to keep thing locked up but most are interested in open
> > source.
> > Bill- the reader examples that are on the web are all exes that are
> > self-extracting zip.
> > Peter- they are Windows binaries.
> > Janina- the move to develop new products looks like they will create
> > dependencies on Microsofts XML.   The spec is public domain like the w3c
> > and based on w3c technologies.  Version 1 was closed and got burned.
> > Version 2 is open but they had the tools developed by a propriety firm so
> > they are now very interested in open source for everything.
> > Matthew  copyright says it is public domain but then list a number of
> > restrictions.
> > Bill- there are jurisdictions where public domain where those restrictions
> > would apply.
> > Janina- they are trying to get funding to get that started by January.
> > 
> > Our next meeting is . September 8th, 18:00 UTC
> > 
> > 
> > John Goldthwaite
> > Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access, Georgia Tech
> > john.goldthwaite at catea.org
> > 
> > 
> > _______________________________________________
> > Accessibility mailing list
> > Accessibility at mail.freestandards.org
> > http://mail.freestandards.org/mailman/listinfo/accessibility

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