Tuesday, February 9, 2010

State of gnu/Linux Accessibility

Joanie's post sparked more conversations on gnu/Linux Accessibility. Here are some of the views expressed some of members of gnu/linux community.

Over the years, great progress has been made in the accessibility of GNOME. Using Orca, I am able to navigate around GNOME applications and Firefox. This has been made possible through a collaboration between engineers at Sun and dedicated volunteers (or perhaps "a dedicated volunteer" would be more apt). Engineers working on Firefox have also spent significant amounts of time ensuring that Gecko exposes the information that access technologies such as Orca need to represent web pages. This collaboration has been a blessing for the community and has allowed people with disabilities to productively use GNOME. On January 29, however, Will Walker, the lead Orca developer, was laid off by Oracle, and so now there are no more paid Orca developers. This was a continuation of what has been an over-all trend over the last couple of years in which companies have pulled funding from open source accessibility projects. I am concerned about the potential implications for the future if some sort of funding structure is not established.
on the state of open-source accessibility by Mike

As many of you may have heard, from blogs by Eitan, Mike and Joanie, as well as an e-mail to the gnome-foundation-lists by Fernando, the Gnome a11y community is having a tough time.

I have been interacting with the a11y community for over two years now, and in that time the funding situation has never looked good. I do not wish to insult or demean companies that are no-longer involved in funding Gnome a11y. Companies and individuals have their own priorities that they must follow. Work they have done in the past on Gnome is very much appreciated by me, even if they cannot continue that work in-to the future.

Funding Gnome a11y by Mark Doffmans

I have been on the road for the last two weeks. Headed back to Seattle tomorrow after a great FOSDEM in Brussels.

While on the road I have heard all sorts of news regarding GNOME accessibility, none of it good. I am angry, I feel like blaming somebody or something, but I am not sure what. Right now I am directing my frustration towards academics who still have funding to continue various assistive technology research that will probably never see the light of day as a usable application while the real bread and butter of an accessible platform is being taken away. It’s reflexive, I know it. Maybe later I will have a clearer picture of how we move forward.

GNOME accessibility, don’t take it for granted by Eitan

As you all probably know, Oracle recently bought Sun. Sun has been one of the largest contributors to the GNOME project during the last years. Probably is too early to know how this is going to affect GNOME project. However this last week we have seen some relevant events: Oracle laid off two members of the Sun's Accessibility Program Office.
e-mail to the gnome-foundation-lists by Fernando

No comments:

Post a Comment

You can leave a comment here using your Google account, OpenID or as an anonymous user.

Popular Posts