GNOME 3.0 Accessibility

Mark Doffman gave a briefing of the state of GNOME accessibility towards 3.0. If I could recall the few slides from memory they included:


This is probably the largest body of work that has been done recently on the GNOME a11y front. AT-SPI currently is the biggest bonobo interface we have, and it’s migration to D-Bus, mostly by Mark and Mike Gorse has been a major undertaking. The first release is due shortly.


Gnome-mag did not have a maintainer until very recently. Now we do. It must be ported to D-Bus too.


Text to speech is a hot topic. Mark didn’t go into detail regarding this, but we are dealing with multiple issues. First, of course, is it’s use of CORBA. Second, the fact that it leaves the sound device output up to the synth engine makes results inconsistent with different synthesizers. This is especially noticeable when major sound subsystem changes are occuring, specifically around PulseAudio.

Luke “TheMuso” Yelavich is currently scrambling to get Speech Dispatcher into shape. Speech Dispatcher uses raw sockets and it’s own protocol, it does not use D-Bus, as Mark suggested. It would be really nice if it did, and if it were D-Bus activated, but it isn’t. On a non-accessibility related note, I think we would all benefit from a desktop speech service.


GNOME-Shell and Mutter currently use Clutter for a lot of their graphics, this makes AT-SPI support tricky and non-trivial. This will obviously need to be resolved before GNOME 3.0 since as the name suggests, this will be GNOME’s shell!

I am going to eat ice cream.

Ok, I am back. I forgot what else I had to write, so I might get back to this in another post. Or not.

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GNOME 3.0 Accessibility

2 thoughts on “GNOME 3.0 Accessibility

  1. At this point, I am getting speech-dispatcher ready for use with orca. Longer term, I think we will see speech-dispatcher made dbus aware, and I have hopes of making speech-dispatcher the desktop speech service you so desire. There is a lot more in the pipeline, but my concern is getting things GNOME 3.0 ready for now.

  2. Richard says:

    Regarding non-accessibiility Desktop stuff, I think there are lots of great possibilities. I wrote a Rhythmbox plugin that uses Speech Dispatcher to announce a track’s artist and title before and after it plays:

    I also have various scripts lying around that do stuff like announcing the hour (ala Mac OS X) on the hour, and the subject and sender of e-mails. It would be nice to be able to rely on Speech Dispatcher’s presence to push these further.


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