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

Bill Haneman Bill.Haneman at Sun.COM
Fri Jul 29 09:05:24 PDT 2005

Hi everyone:

Rather than just send this to Olaf I thought I'd post it here for 
comments.  Olaf, I hope I didn't leave out any of your important 
points.  Please revise and send the next iteration :-)



"We are members of the Gnome and KDE Accessibility Projects, and also 
the Free Standards Group's Accessibility Workgroup.  We would like to 
clarify the current plans and intent of our projects with respect to 
interoperability and standardization where the KDE and Gnome toolkits 
are concerned, and feel that the following statement represents a 
consensus among the membership of these groups.

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.  To do otherwise would 
limit end-user choice and harm the cause of accessibility.    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.

The current KDE4 roadmap calls for KDE interoperability with existing 
Gnome assistive technologies via bridging to the AT-SPI.  The Gnome team 
is excited about this committment and the willingness of the KDE 
developers to integrate Gnome technologies in cases where they offer 
immediate benefit to the user.  At the same time, we are actively 
working together to develop a future strategy which minimizes or 
eliminates dependencies of 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 
as IDL), and allow for the possibility of 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.

best regards

Bill Haneman
Olaf Schmidt


Olaf Schmidt wrote:

>Some parties have suggested to endorse a particular desktop or toolkit for 
>accessibility, thereby focusing only on a selected number of applications and 
>assistive technologies. This would be harmful for accessibility. It would 
>force a rewrite of all assistive technologies available in other toolkits, 
>and this time could be better spend on improving interoperability between the 
>existing solutions. It would also reduce the number of applications available 
>to the users of assistive technologies.
>We will therefore standardize a number of toolkit-neutral interfaces. An 
>example for this approach is AT-SPI, a service provider interface for 
>assistive technologies supported by Gtk2, Qt4, GNOME, Java, OpenOffice and 
>Mozilla, with support coming for KDE4. While the current implementation 
>relies on a small number of libraries written by the GNOME project, we will 
>allow for other implementation using other technologies, using the same IDL. 
>The standardization process will also include bridges between the various 
>Accessibility mailing list
>Accessibility at

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