Another draft [was Re: [Accessibility] Statement of Intent]

Peter Korn Peter.Korn at Sun.COM
Wed Aug 10 10:54:39 PDT 2005

Hi Janina,

I cannot make today's meeting, but I wanted to put my $0.02 in (or should that 
be in Euros?).  Other than being on the long side, I like this draft.  I 
don't, at the moment, have specific suggestions of what to cut...


Janina Sajka wrote:
> Statement On Desktop Accessibility Development
> August 2005
> We are members of the Gnome and KDE Accessibility Projects, and also of the
> Free Standards Group's Accessibility Workgroup.  We have prepared this
> statement in order to clarify the plans and intentions of our projects with
> respect to interoperability and standardization. We believe this statement
> accurately reflects the consensus viewpoint of the individual members of our
> groups.
> We wish to clarify our approach to the development of accessibility for the
> GUI desktop environment. Most particularly we want to allay any concern that
> our standardization efforts might be focused on any one particular toolkit or
> desktop technology to the exclusion of other toolkits and desktops. This is
> not so. On the contrary, we believe it is imperative to preserve choice and to
> maximize available options for users.  To this end we are conciously and
> intentionally developing an accessibility standard based on functional
> performance criteria implemented in messaging protocols fully independent of
> any particular toolkit or desktop technology.  We recognize that the assistive
> technologies now in development for GNOME and KDE serve  different user needs.
> We believe users who are persons with disabilities should be empowered to
> choose technologies from any and all environments which provide accessibility
> just as most other desktop users today routinely use a mix of technologies from
> different desktop environments. Our goal is seamless interoperability rather
> than duplication--which would be unnecessary and wasteful at best.
> While some of the accessibility interfaces being discussed as candidates for
> standardization within the FSG Workgroup, primarily AT-SPI, originated in
> Gnome, we as a group are committed to the toolkit-neutrality of accessibility
> interfaces.  A key goal of the ongoing standardization effort, which is
> inclusive rather than exclusive, is long-term interoperability of
> accessibility solutions for the free desktop environment. The current KDE4
> roadmap, for example, calls for interoperability with existing Gnome assistive
> technologies, and vice versa, using the AT-SPI bridge that is part of Qt4.
> The Gnome team is excited about this commitment and the willingness of the KDE
> developers to integrate Gnome technologies in cases where they offer immediate
> tangible benefits to users.
> At the same time, we are actively working together to develop and implement a
> strategy which will eliminate dependencies on any particular desktop, library,
> or toolkit, including KDE accessibility on Gnome libraries, or vice versa.
> The current plan of action, which was agreed to at a face-to-face meeting of
> the Free Standards Group Accessibility Workgroup earlier this year, is to
> standardize on a set of interfaces (most likely specified in IDL), and allow for 
> multiple conformant implementations as long as basic
> interoperability requirements are met.  This will allow for increased
> technology sharing and help "future-proof" our standardization efforts.

More information about the Accessibility mailing list