February 2, 2012

Excellent Progress Made at GNOME Accessibility Hackfest

The GNOME Foundation is pleased to announce the successful conclusion of the ATK/AT-SPI Hackfest which was held from January 18th to 22th at Igalia’s offices in A Coruña, Spain. There were attendees from several companies and organizations including Red Hat, SUSE, Igalia, Mozilla and Nokia with different backgrounds and expertise in areas like GTK, ATK, AT-SPI2, Qt, WebKitGtk+ and Gecko.

Picture of the attenders to the hackfest

  Some rights reserved by mariosp

The hackfest was very productive, some of the highlights included:

  • It was agreed to remove key events emission from GTK+ as soon as an alternative implementation is provided. Several approaches for this implementation where discussed.
  • Accessibility support for WebKitGtk+ has been further improved with a big refactoring of the code, as well as exposing WebKit2Gtk+ accessibility hierarchies to ATK/AT-SPI.
  • Ideas for a more efficient and effective AT-SPI2 cache policy were discussed, with the goal of keeping DBus messages traffic to a minimum.
  • There was an important discussion about global vs per-object events. The aim here is to make sure that only the relevant events are sent to accessibility clients. In the short term, the current goblal-events hook-based implementation will be maintained, but we will be exploring alternatives.
  • It was concluded that in order to enable accessibility support by default, we shouldn’t use ATK-bridge as a module, but integrate it in the core platform. Several possible approaches were discussed, and we set the aim of having a concrete plan decided by the time GNOME 3.4 is released.
  • These and other accessibility underpinnings were worked on, which will effectively improve the experience of GNOME users who need accessibility features.

There are many challenges in the near future of accessibility and GNOME is currently campaigning to raise funds to support its ongoing efforts. Help us to make 2012 the Year of Accessibility for GNOME!.

The GNOME Foundation and community are very grateful to the sponsors of this event:

Mozilla Foundation logo

Igalia logo