The conference is finally over, said goodbye to most people. Sitting in the quiet lobby with Joanie, I really want to continue playing with that Caribou mockup I worked on yesterday, but I guess I need to blog while the hackfest experience is still fresh.


I heard from more than one conference attendee that we created a bit of a buzz, which is great. Might be due to our tweetage, talks, booth or tripping on us when we congregate on the lobby’s bar floor with laptops.

In the past companies like IBM and Sun showcased GNOME a11y, which may have appealed for large customers, but it was nice to have a .org booth this year that really brought FOSS’s grass-roots message to individuals, trainers, agencies and institutes.

My talk was really well¬†received, I only wish it was slated for another hour besides 8 AM. Finally uploaded the slides. Not sure how well it renders on Firefox, apologies in advance. Also they aren’t the kind of slides that are very readable without the presentation.

Yesterday we had a wrap-up meeting, here are some notes Will took, didn’t bother to edit:

Eitan and Mike got Accerciser working with AT-SPI2

Eitan hacked a nice animation for Caribou with Clutter.

Ben enjoyed seeing the other booths to learn more about the space he is working in.

Ben was able to connect with Flavio to share ideas and develop a new collaboration with each other.

Ben was able to meet the SS12 students and follow up with them to get patches for Caribou.

Ke and Li met with Willie and Joanie to learn Orca internals, allowing them to help more.

Ke was able to learn more about various technologies related to accessibility.

Joanie and Alejandro looked at Orca together.

Joanie got good important face time with the Mozilla guys.

Li was happy to finally meet the rest of the team and also go over the bigger picture.

Steve Lee was happy to meet with the SS12 students and get more student input into GNOME.

Mike worked on AT-SPI2. Was glad to have the GNOME3 meeting because it helps us scope out what is needed. Mike also talked with Joanie about the Orca regression tests.

API found this to be a very positive experience to meet people face to face. Got to see that people (all conference attendees) see that open source a11y is important.

Willie thinks the GNOME 3 part is really important, he now thinks we could be successful in achieving GNOME 3 a11y. We also agreed on things we would not do, like the CSPI bindings and GOK. It was good to sit and brain dump Orca stuff with Joanie Li and Ke. On the show floor there were good conversations with people from different parts of the community, a lot of business cards! Talked to profs so they include GNOME in their classes, more HFOSS and PP stuff.

Bryen thought it was a good experience to see what we and others talk about wrt open source. Bryen was happy to meet everyone here and to connect with everyone and thanks us all for all of our hard work. Bryen has a connection with the UK Ability Magazine to write an a11y talk.

Willie and Eitan were interviewed for a podcast –

Mike and Brad were interviewed for another podcast.

Flavio was happy to finally meet us face to face! Flavio was pleased to see the effect GNOME a11y had on real end users who were coming by our booth. Helps immensely with self esteem. Flavio and Ben developed a new collaboration (yeah!).

Eitan wants us to blog more. ūüôā


Heres to Joanie

One of the most dedicated and passionate GNOME accessibility activists is Joanie Diggs. She is the new Orca maintainer, and a classic example of how a user turns in to an advocate who turns in to a contributor. Besides her paying full time job, in recent years she has had another full time job in the form of Orca web accessibility and bug squashing.

Joanie has definitely made her mark, and is yet to do a lot more.

Joanie and Mike

Heres to Joanie

Accessibility Hackday

Everyone headed off to hear the CSUN keynote. I am here with Steve Lee looking over my shoulder.

We had some good discussions today, actually a lot of it. My brain is switching contexts on average every minute, I’ll try to be more focused and switch tasks every 5 minutes instead.

I am looking forward to taking testimonies from users we run into and posting it to this here blog.

Hope others fill in the details on the actual discussions soon, or I will have to.

Accessibility Hackday

I Love It When A Plan Comes Together

If you haven’t done it yet, you should probably start lobbying your local iMax theater to screen the new A-Team film when it comes out later this year.

After what feels like an eternity of anticipation, the first GNOME Accessibility Hackfest begins next week. To put this into perspective, this won’t be a casual event. It’s a large conference riddled with many sessions of interest, a huge showroom packed with a milling crowd, 14 GNOME a11y contributors trying to get the most done together in the space of a few days, ¬†and countless hordes of cute (yet unpettable) guide dogs.

If you plan to attend, make sure to visit the ever-changing wiki page.

I would like to thank sponsors such as the Mozilla Foundation, for being a¬†steadfast¬†supporter of FOSS a11y in all it’s forms, the Mike and the Paciello Group for help with the venue, and of course the GNOME Foundation. The CSUN organizers have also cut us some slack in a largely expensive event, so thank you organizers.

And thank you Hylke for the awesome logo.

More soon.

I Love It When A Plan Comes Together