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RE: [orca-list] Accessibility as a reason to switch to XFCE? (fwd)

jude <jdashiel@shellworld.net>
Avoid the Gates Of Hell, use Linux!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 5 Nov 2013 18:16:39
From: Alex Midence <alex.midence@gmail.com>
To: 'Jude DaShiell' <jdashiel@shellworld.net>, orca-list@gnome.org
Subject: RE: [orca-list] Accessibility as a reason to switch to XFCE? (fwd)

Man, I hope they don't do that.  They ought to just go up to Gnome 3.10.
It's miles and miles ahead of 3.4 with stuff like pdf accessibility and all
the other improvements to Orca that are about to start coming out.  Unless
you need to run a light desktop system, I see no reason for anyone to switch
to XFCE over Gnome.  

Alex M

-----Original Message-----
From: orca-list [mailto:orca-list-bounces@gnome.org] On Behalf Of Jude
Sent: Tuesday, November 05, 2013 5:00 PM
To: orca-list@gnome.org
Subject: [orca-list] Accessibility as a reason to switch to XFCE? (fwd)

jude <jdashiel@shellworld.net>
Avoid the Gates Of Hell, use Linux!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 5 Nov 2013 12:38:49
From: Pi?eiro <apinheiro@igalia.com>
To: debian-upstream@lists.debian.org, debian-accessibility@lists.debian.org
Subject: Accessibility as a reason to switch to XFCE?
Resent-Date: Tue,  5 Nov 2013 17:39:08 +0000 (UTC)
Resent-From: debian-accessibility@lists.debian.org

Hi everybody,

I'm Alejandro Pi?eiro, maintainer of ATK (accessibility toolkit),
implementor of the ATK support for Clutter/GNOME-shell, and one of the
coordinators of GNOME Accessibility team. Some people pointed out a recent
commit in Debian [1] and asked me some questions. As probably it is worth
having this discussion publicly, I'm sending this email.

> This will be re-evaluated before jessie is frozen. The evaluation will 
> start around the point of DebConf (August 2014). If at that point 
> gnome looks like a better choice, it'll go back as the default.

> Some criteria for that choice will include:

> * The state of accessability support, particularly for the blind.

Taking into account that the previous default desktop was GNOME (so GNOME
Shell), this seems to suggest that GNOME accessibility support is broken.
Probably some people think that because they are testing the accessibility
support with the current Debian stable which still uses GNOME 3.4. This
release was accessible enough for testing, getting feedback and solving
bugs, but it is true that GNOME 3.4 was not end-user ready as far as
accessibility support is concerned. But 3.4 was released one year and a half
ago, and the situation has improved a lot since then.

Right now the feedback from the Orca screen reader users' list with regards
to the accessibility of  GNOME Shell is positive. That was true in 2012 with
GNOME 3.6 [2], and it remains true to this day. In fact, Jonathan Nadeau, a
developer who is blind and is maintaining a distro for users that are blind,
ships GNOME 3.8 as the default desktop environment [3]. And AFAIK, they will
move to GNOME 3.10.

In any case, some people could argue that although those releases are
better, it is not worth it to upgrade from GNOME 3.4 if XFCE has proper
accessibility support now. But, the problem is that XFCE accessibility
development has been on hold. Right now I would classify XFCE's
accessibility support as no better than that of GNOME 3.4's accessibility
support. It is good enough for testing, getting feedback and solving bugs.
But it is not end-user ready. What's missing? As you can see on XFCE roadmap
about accessibility [4]:

* Accessibility is not enabled by default, nor is it always on. It's enabled
by default and always on in GNOME starting with GNOME 3.6.
* The Thunar file manager fails to emit accessible events when the selection
changes. This means that as Orca users arrow among files, Orca cannot tell
them what file they just moved to. Similar problems are also present for
* The Xfce4-panel has a number of accessibility issues that make it hard to
use by users who are blind.

So, there may be reasons for Debian to switch to XFCE. But IMHO,
accessibility is not one of them.

Best regards

[2] https://mail.gnome.org/archives/orca-list/2012-October/msg00202.html
[3] https://mail.gnome.org/archives/orca-list/2013-May/msg00171.html
[4] http://wiki.xfce.org/releng/4.10/roadmap/accessibility

Alejandro Pi?eiro

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