[Accessibility] Reviewing IAccessible2 & working to ensure that AT-SPI and IAccessible2 evolve in mutually compatible ways

Peter Korn Peter.Korn at Sun.COM
Tue Sep 23 15:19:00 PDT 2008

Dear Pete, Li, and the Open Accessibility community,

During the con-call earlier today, we discussed the upcoming vote on 
IAccessible2.  During the discussion, we understood that we had 
essentially these two goals for the two accessibility interfaces with 
respect to eachother:

   1. We would like to ensure that AT-SPI and IAccessible2 evolve going
      forward in a way that is as compatible/aligned as possible, in
      order to
   2. We would like it to be as easy as possible for cross-platform apps
      (e.g. OpenOffice, Firefox/Mozilla, KDE & GNOME generally) to be
      accessible on multiple platforms (Windows via IAccessible2 & UNIX
      via AT-SPI) with the minimum of additional work

While Willie has provided some review and feedback to the list (which 
has been discussed via e-mail), we felt it would be good for the AT-SPI 
maintainer (Li Yuan) to also provide his review & feedback - especially 
given the goals of helping ensure that evolution of these two 
accessibility frameworks were as compatible/aligned as is reasonable to 
do.  I also suggested that it would be helpful - again in service of 
these goals - to have a summary of the changes made and the reasons for 
the changes in IAccessible2 since it branched from the UNO Accessibility 
framework from which it came.

To that end, Pete - could you please produce such a summary for 
IAccessible2?  Likewise, Li - can you summarize the key 
changes/additions to AT-SPI over the last 2 years, and what they were in 
service of?

I think with these summaries (and with your review of Pete's summary and 
the IAccessible2 spec. Li), we will be in a good place to both vote on 
IAccessible2 becoming a formal specification of the Open A11y group and 
also to ensure that both specifications continue to evolve in compatible 


Peter Korn
Accessibility Architect & Principal Engineer,
Sun Microsystems, Inc.
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