Accessibility always on in GNOME 3.6.

Luke Yelavich themuso at
Thu Jun 21 22:52:03 UTC 2012

Hey folks,
So some of you who watch the goings on and discussions in GNOME upstream may have noticed this bug(1) and the surrounding discussion about enabling accessibility everywhere in GNOME 3.6. I've decided to start this thread for 2 reasons, first, a heads up that this is coming in both GTK 3.5/3.6, and GNOME shell 3.5/3.6, i.e the required changes to support this have been made in git master for both projects. THe second reason is to start a discussion as to whether we want to carry this, or revert the change and stick to what we have in precise, i.e enable accessibility with a gsettings key.

I would like to go with upstream on this change because it allows us much more flexibility in how we can offer accessibility profiles, and it opens up an avenue to create a system upstream to allow projects/organisations and individuals to develope and use their own custom accessibility profiles. There are also recent changes made to make sure there are no performance degredations for the desktop if no assistive technologies are running. In other words, you won't see any slow down in nautilus or other apps that have a lot of GTK widgets in tree views/icon views, unless Orca or some similar technology is running. The other upshot is that it allows anybody to use accerciser or other tools to quickly check their application for accessibility compliance, without having to do the gsettings log out and log in dance to get it enabled.

Yes we could revert things and go back to how things were, but it will be harder to carry sed patches in the future, and patches will need to be carried on several packages, at-spi, GTK, and GNOME shell, and maybe even clutter at the least.

I welcome further thoughts and discussion. If we decide to carry these changes from upstream, I'll make sure relevant patches are sent to our own projects, unity et al to work with these new changes, and will make sure to have the new atk-bridge library available ASAP when it is released, since GTK and GNOME shell will depend on it.



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