How's Karmic these days?

Willie Walker William.Walker at Sun.COM
Thu Oct 22 19:26:15 BST 2009

Hi All:

 From a stability standpoint, I can share what I'm planning for GNOME 
2.30, which I suspect is likely to be what Lucid Lynx will be based upon.

The main goal for GNOME 2.30 (which you'll see developed via the GNOME 
2.29.x development releases) is that we're retooling the entire 
accessibility infrastructure to shed the Bonobo/CORBA dependency.  This 
includes the AT-SPI infrastructure, speech, and magnification:

At the same time, we have some big technologies coming down the pipe 
that will need accessibility support: WebKit and GNOME Shell.  GDM 2.28 
also has some accessibility issues that need addressing.  It's a lot of 
work and we're going to do our best to make sure the changes are 
positive changes for GNOME 2.30.  But, there will be instability for a 
period of time during the GNOME 2.29 development cycle.

So...what this means is that I am going to keep Orca development down to 
a minimum during the 2.29.x/2.30 cycle.  I plan only to fix high 
priority bugs in Orca and will work to make sure these bug fixes are 
backported to GNOME 2.28.

For the near future, people needing stability should stick with GNOME 
2.28 and Karmic.  While Karmic may have some issues now, I think the 
users on this list need to get behind it, test it, and get constructive 
feedback and patches back to the Ubuntu team.

BTW, I fully sympathize with Luke -- I've been doing a11y work for 
nearly 20 years and you are constantly between a rock and a hard place. 
  Some of the users constantly spit and yell at you and your bosses keep 
stripping you down to barely enough to survive.  The one thing that 
keeps you going are the successes of users where the difference between 
having the solution and not having the solution can mean having a job or 
not having a job, being able to communicate with others or not being 
able to communicate with others, etc.

(GNOME Accessibility Lead)

Bill Cox wrote:
> Hi, Luke.
> Thanks for working on accessibility.  I feel really rotten about
> complaining about the bugs without putting in effort into debugging.
> However, my boss is all over me at the moment to get another project
> back on schedule.  I'm sure you know what that's like.
> However, over the next year, I promise to find some time to nail a bug
> or two, like the crash in speech dispatcher.  In the meantime, we
> should probably set expectations for users, and let them know it will
> be a while before Orca is working in a stable manner in the latest
> Ubuntu.  It's an unfortunate situation, but blind users are simply not
> able to chip in and fix things when accessibility is broken, so it
> will be up to the very few of us interested in accessibility who still
> have decent vision to pull it off.
> Best regards,
> Bill
> On Wed, Oct 21, 2009 at 5:59 PM, Luke Yelavich <themuso at> wrote:
>> On Thu, Oct 22, 2009 at 08:46:26AM EST, Bill Cox wrote:
>>> Sorry guys, I know there's some of you out there who actually work on
>>> Ubuntu accessibility, but the current state sucks.  I certainly hope
>>> Ubuntu decides at some point to make accessibility a priority.
>> I can understand why, as a user, you feel that way. Unfortunately I am the only one so far as I know of, actively working on improving Ubuntu's accessibility, and while I do as much as I can to make things work as well as they can, I have other matters that I need to attend to, due to working for Canonical and being responsible for other parts of the desktop as well, so I can only do so much in the time I allocate for accessibility work.
>> Unfortunately the speech-dispatcher crasher is at the moment, somewhat beyond my current skills to debug, although learning valgrind will likely help me get better with sed debugging, and hopefully get rid of the speech-dispatcher crash.
>> So if you really want Ubuntu's accessibility to get better, I urge you to consider helping out in whatever way you can, even if its only filing and triaging bugs, thats something. The more bugs that are in a triaged state, the less work I have to do, and the more bugs I can attempt to fix.
>> I hope you all understand, and will do what you can to help.
>> Regards
>> Luke
>> --
>> Ubuntu-accessibility mailing list
>> Ubuntu-accessibility at

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