Towards a GNOME 3.0 accessible: Building accessibility into GNOME Shell and its UI Libraries (FOSDEM 2011)

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Technology

Published on February 15, 2014

Author: igalia

Source: slideshare.net

Description

By Alejandro Piñeiro Iglesias.

In GNOME, accessibility is a core value that touches all aspects of the system. From the infrastructure, to the graphical toolkit, to the applications, to the assistive technologies, accessibility has been a central consideration from the very early days. As a result, GNOME not only has compelling accessibility today, but it also provides a rich and stable base for future accessibility work.

In GNOME, accessibility is a core value that touches all aspects of the system. [1]

From the infrastructure, to the graphical toolkit, to the applications, to the assistive technologies, accessibility has been a central consideration from the very early days. As a result, GNOME not only has compelling accessibility today, but it also provides a rich and stable base for future accessibility work.

At some moment of 2010 it is planned a GNOME 3.0 release with the intention of be a major change on GNOME.

One of the major actors in this release will be GNOME Shell [2]. GNOME Shell is the defining technology of the GNOME 3 desktop user experience. It provides core interface functions like switching to windows and launching applications. GNOME Shell takes advantage of the capabilities of modern graphics hardware and introduces innovative user interface concepts to provide a delightful and easy to use experience, using the innovative technology Clutter [3]

At this moment GNOME Shell doesn't have a proper accessibility support, and the GNOME community has detected it as one of the most important points in the GNOME 3.0 accessibility roadmap [4].

Since 2009, several work was made to improve the accessibility support in Clutter itself, in the form of the Cally library.

The purpose of this presentation is explaining:
* Introduce accessibility on GNOME.
* Briefly explain the status towards GNOME 3.0
* How GNOME Shell affects the interaction with the desktop
* The status of his accessibility support
* How Cally would be used there
* How ATs apps like Orca would interact with GNOME Shell
* How the community has reacted and tried to solve this accessibility issue

[1] http://library.gnome.org/devel/accessibility-devel-guide/nightly/gad-how-it-works.html.en
[2] http://live.gnome.org/GnomeShell/
[3] http://www.clutter-project.org/ [4] http://live.gnome.org/Accessibility/GNOME3#GNOME_Shell

Links:
- http://www.igalia.com

static void _f_do_barnacle_install_properties(GObjectClass *gobject_class) { GParamSpec *pspec; Making the GNOME 3.0 Accessible: Building Accessibility into GnomeShell and its UI Libraries /* Party code attribute */ pspec = g_param_spec_uint64 (F_DO_BARNACLE_CODE, "Barnacle code.", "Barnacle code", 0, G_MAXUINT64, G_MAXUINT64 /* default value */, G_PARAM_READABLE | G_PARAM_WRITABLE | G_PARAM_PRIVATE); g_object_class_install_property (gobject_class, F_DO_BARNACLE_PROP_CODE, Alejandro Piñeiro Iglesias apinheiro@igalia.com

Introduction: GNOME

GNOME ● Desktop environment ● Composed of free and open source software ● ● Heavily emphasis on make environment as user-friendly as possible As in any other desktop you can browse files, play music and videos, read the email, etc

GNOME is ... ● Extended: most of Linux distributions include it ● Free Software: part of the GNU project ● ● Usable: defines a global Human Interface Guidelines Accessible: accessibility has been a central consideration from the very early days

Define accessibility ● Means helping people with disabilities to participate in substantial life activities. ● Work ● Use of services and products ● Access to information

Going technical ● Key aspects of accessibility: ● ● ● ● Provide programmatic access to the features and capabilities of application objects Keyboard navigation Theming GNOME includes libraries and support framework that allow all people to utilize all the functionality of GNOME user environment.

General GNOME 2.0 arquitecture

GNOME releases

Normal releases ● GNOME policy is a release each 6 months ● Free Software! ● User can obtain a stable updated environment each 6 months ● ● And each day if they are cutting-edge users Incremental updates

Major releases ● Done to introduce major changes. ● Can be a breakage of previous state ● History: ● 1997: GNOME project started ● 1999: GNOME 1.0 release ● 2002: GNOME 2.0 release

GNOME 3.0 is coming! ● Planned to March/April 2011 ● ● ● More than 9 years since the last major release Several packages and libraries will be dropped Several common programs on GNOME 2.0 will not be available ● A lot of work was done in order to provide proper equivalent programs

Desktop interface

Gnome panel ● GNOME 2.0 uses the usual desktop metaphor ● Monitor as the user desktop ● ● Objects like documents and folders can be places Document can be opened into a window ● Represents a paper copy of the document placed on the desktop

Nothing really new

gnome-shell ● ● ● Defining technology of GNOME 3.0 desktop Provides a new and innovative way to interact with the desktop Take advantage of modern graphics hardware

Shiny future

Problems

Gnome-shell is so new... ● ● ● … that uses new and fancy technologies Not initially supported on the GNOME 2.0 accessibility stack Gnome shell developers are focusing on gnome-shell itself ● But they have included accessibility in his roadmap

Solutions ● ● A11y community started to work in provide gnome shell a11y support Cally could be used to access UI elements ● ● Required to screen readers A magnifier feature was introduced

… but ● ● ● I would be really likely that accessibility support will not be ready for GNOME 3.0 Anyway, work will continue GNOME will maintain his 6 month policy, in 6 months GNOME 3.2 will be there

DEMO

References ● http://live.gnome.org/Accessibility/ ● http://live.gnome.org/Accessibility/GNOME3 ● http://projects.gnome.org/accessibility/ ● http://live.gnome.org/GnomeShell/

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