[Accessibility] Minutes for September 1 Accessibility meeting

Bill Haneman Bill.Haneman at Sun.COM
Wed Sep 8 10:38:37 PDT 2004

On Fri, 2004-09-03 at 22:38, John Goldthwaite wrote:
> I mistook someone for Kris through the meeting so there are a number of
> question marks in the text.  Please check, I missed a lot of that person's
> comments so please let me know if you can add to this.   John
> Accessibility Working Group Meeting Sept. 1, 2004
> Doug Beattie
> John Goldthwaite
> Bill Haneman
> Earl Johnson
> Peter Korn
> George Kraft
> Janina Sajka
> Gunnar Schmidt
> Kris Van Hees
> Matthew Wilcox
> 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.

George clarified that he _thought_ Aaron was speaking of the current
situation, i.e. UNix/Linux accessibility is currently about 3 years
behind Windows.

> 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 system that used
> DBUS instead of AT-SPI
> 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.
> ?-  DBUS discussion  felt that CORBA lead to a lot of overhead for the
> desktop.  (more that I couldnt catch)
> Bill- to achieve all of are goals wed end up with having to implement
> something like CORBA.
> ?  orbit
> Bill- Dbus doesnt meet the need.  The
> ?  how to handle metadata  for situations like language switches
> Bill  we need to have these discussions in the working group.  We have this
> in ATK
> ?-

> Bill- thats part of the attribution API.  Anything in CSF is supported
> already.-
This refers to text attribution: "CSS" attributes are supported by AccessibleText's 
TextAttribute API, which is also extensible to other attributes.

> 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.
> Bill-
> Earl- what was the problem
> Bill- Gunnar gave an informative report about the KDE forum.  It sounded
> like the KDE forum is proposing to repeat Gnome 
> 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.

What I meant here is that the current KDE development does not seem to
be happenning in "the" Free Desktop space, or one like it, i.e.
freedesktop.org; i.e. the development is still focussed on the KDE
platform as opposed to shared development and development of shared
libraries, drivers, and standards.

> 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.
> ?- so far KDE has
> 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.

e.g. easy to get a project included in freedesktop.org, but no resources
automatically come with such inclusion; projects must be

> 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 
actually writing code in that 
area at this time may undermine our standards efforts and current work.

> 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
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