Status of IBM a11y

David Bolter david.bolter at
Fri Jun 1 20:01:50 BST 2007

That was painful to read.


Peter Parente wrote:
> Hello all,
> Yesterday, IBM decided to change strategies with respect to GNOME accessibility:
> Under this new plan, IBM is no longer supporting development of LSR,
> Accerciser, pyatspi, AT-SPI::Collection, or Firefox/AT-SPI
> accessibility. These projects will not vanish, but the news does have
> an impact on each.
> == Accerciser
> Eitan Isaacson is busy preparing Accerciser for inclusion in GNOME
> 2.20 under a grant from the Mozilla Foundation. Its development and
> documentation is far enough along that it should only require minimal
> future maintenance (i.e. bug fixes, updates to stay in sync with
> at-spi). As far as I know, Eitan plans to stay on as maintainer of
> Accerciser after the grant concludes. Even if Eitan does decide to
> leave, someone from the accessibility or automated testing communities
> could step up and take ownership over the code.
> == pyatspi
> The Python bindings for AT-SPI are complete enough to power Accerciser
> today. Dogtail and LDTP are busy adopting them as well. Orca, as I
> understand it, plans to adopt them sometime in the GNOME 2.20 or 2.22
> time frame. I will do my best to support pyatspi as problems arise
> until another member of the GNOME community is expert enough to own
> the binding. Since pyatspi is in the at-spi module, Li Yuan remains as
> the proper maintainer.
> == LSR
> Development on LSR as a screen reader for GNOME will cease. We will
> make one last release of LSR 0.5.3 on Monday in line with GNOME
> 2.19.3. After that, the project will go dormant until various groups
> decide whether the LSR core will be used to drive other open source AT
> projects or if it will be abandoned altogether.  Over the next few
> weeks, I will be updating and writing documentation in case the LSR
> core goes on to live in other projects. I will also reorganize the LSR
> wiki to de-emphasize the screen reader user content, and put the focus
> more on developer documentation. Contact me directly if you wish to
> discuss LSR.
> == Firefox and the Mozilla platform
> Aaron Leventhal will remain the maintainer of accessibility for the
> Mozilla core. His priorities will now be: 1) ARIA support -- Windows
> and Linux , 2) Firefox 3 accessibility regressions, 3) IAccessible2
> and cross-platform issues
> Aaron will not be focusing on Linux accessibility support in the
> Firefox 3 timeframe unless it affects all platforms, API harmonization
> or ARIA support. The ATK/AT-SPI-specific support of XUL and HTML must
> now be via the existing community and module peers. Aaron will
> continue to be available to review bug fixes in those areas. Contact
> Aaron directly for details.
> == AT-SPI Collection
> Ariel Rios has (or will) post his outstanding work on implementing the
> AT-SPI Collection interface. I'm not sure of his immediate plans, but
> he has expressed an interest in completing the work on his personal
> time. Contact Ariel directly for details. Documentation about
> Collection can be found at
> ---
> Personally, I am still extremely interested in accessibility and the
> GNOME desktop. The IBM decision means that I will no longer contribute
> to GNOME through my daily work, but I certainly plan to make
> contributions to GNOME as a hobbyist. In addition, I will gladly help
> anyone who wishes to develop or reuse any of the projects I worked on
> for the past two years. Feel free to contact me about them at any
> time.
> Finally, I want to wish all the other accessibility developers on
> GNOME the best of luck. Keep fighting the good fight of making free
> software accessible to all those who want it.
> Best regards,
> Peter Parente
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> desktop-devel-list at

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