Re: Extending accessibility support in D-I for Lenny
a very long time. The very first attempt to make X applications accessible
with assistive technologies, so far as I know, was the UltraSonix project,
originally developed for Sun workstations.
Wow. That's a blast from the past, and it was really developed for
Xt-based widget sets that ran on Sun workstations and Digital
workstations. I think you're right in that it was the first, and I
think it may also be the first attempt at doing an assistive technology
using a service-based model.
If you dig deep enough, you'll see that I was involved in the
infrastructure side of Mercator/UltraSonix: the remote access protocol
(RAP). RAP, the ICE X Rendezvous Protocol, and AccessX were some of the
first collaborations I did with accessibility 'way back when.' :-) As a
result, I have somewhat of a twisted view of the modern world. To
me...it's all the same stuff just reinvented several times, with mostly
the same complaints and challenges.
One of the most promising changes that I've seen, however, is the
warming up that has come from the developer community. It used to be
the incomprehensible arguments of "Sure, you want me to 'dumb down' the
world for people who don't really matter" and "I want to play pinball
with my Shift keys. Stupid AccessX and stupid people with physical
impairments. I hate them all." Now, I have intelligent conversations
with developers, most of whom "get it" and understand what it means to
do the right thing. That is great.