[laptop-accessibility] A possible solution?
Peter.Korn at Sun.COM
Sun Sep 30 16:38:07 EDT 2007
Hi Aaron, Jim,
Aaron - seeking grant funding to advance XO accessibility would be
cool. A bunch of us have been looking at the XO architecture -
including Willie Walker, lead of the GNOME screen reader Orca (cc-ed on
The current thinking is that the best way to bring a screen reader to XO
is by providing the things that Orca needs to run. As we already are
using GTK+ for the basic interface, and Orca does an excellent job of
making GTK+ based apps on the GNOME desktop accessible, the general
understanding we have is that we need to find an IPC mechanism for the
accessibility information that can fit comfortable on the XO. Right now
on the GNOME desktop we use CORBA for our IPC mechanism (not tiny) and
Bonobo for activation (also not tiny). Our plan is to remove the Bonobo
dependency, hopefully in the GNOME 2.22 timeframe. At that point, we
may come to the determination that we can either squeeze what we need of
CORBA into the XO (perhaps only for those users that need the screen
reader and for whom we might a system with a tad more RAM/flash), or we
might go down the path of re-implementing our IPC mechanism on top of
something else (with DBUS being the main candidate).
Therefore, if you are going to go down the grant route, I think it might
make sense to focus the grant on the IPC mechanism rather than on
writing another screen reader. Another reason for that is we have other
GNOME AT applications that would also be nice to have on the XO. It
would be nice to re-use those just as we would re-use Orca. If we solve
the accessibility IPC issue for XO, we wind up with multiple ATs we can
use. Whereas, if we write a new screen reader, we only have a screen
reader (and we loose the benefit of all of that great Orca work, and the
ongoing advances we are getting from Orca, and all of the custom scripts
that make the blind user experience great in Orca like the Pidgin script
for a great blind interface to IM).
Sun Microsystems, Inc.
> Don't take the lack of activity from OLPC's end as lack of interest...
> About all we've had time to do is raise the topic of speech synthesis
> technology for many languages when talking to people with such
> It's just it is *hard* to bring a laptop to production....
> A concrete proposal with legwork done of what to do, how, and by whom
> would be very interesting...
> - Jim
> On Sun, 2007-09-30 at 10:19 -0500, Aaron Cannon wrote:
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>> Hi all.
>> I am a bit concerned by the seeming lack of progress being made in regards
>> to getting a working screen reader for the XO. Please don't get me wrong.
>> I realize that there are a thousand and one projects that also need to get
>> done, and that the stalling of this project is simply because folks are too
>> busy. That is why I believe that an alternative approach might be in order.
>> There may be several reasons why this is infeasible, and I would appreciate
>> hearing people's thoughts.
>> I would like us to seek a grant for the purpose of hiring a developer or
>> three to work on the coding of a screen reader, and possibly a magnification
>> program. I believe that by doing so, we could get this project off the
>> ground a lot faster. Also, we just might end up with a better product over
>> all; not because people who aren't getting paid do shoddier work (I
>> certainly don't believe that), but because it might cause this project to
>> get a little more attention than it otherwise might.
>> Of course, the persons hired would have to be vetted by the OLPC group, and
>> they would have no greater status than any other contributor. They would
>> simply be getting paid to work on particular things.
>> Any thoughts?
>> - --
>> Skype: cannona
>> MSN/Windows Messenger: cannona at hotmail.com (don't send email to the hotmail
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