Submitted by Joanmarie Diggs and Alejandro Leiva, 18 October 2010
The announcement that GNOME 3.0 would be postponed gave the Orca team the opportunity to focus on tackling some (other) challenging work during the third quarter. Amongst the 78 bugs which were fixed, the team was able to:
- Add support for identifying toolkits at the object level, rather than just the application level which will make Orca's support for embedded applications more reliable.
- Implement a new "system voice" so that users who are blind can better distinguish on-screen text from the supplementary information Orca provides.
- Create an option for users with learning disabilities designed to make Orca less "chatty."
- Make it possible to review previous notification messages so this information is no longer lost if accidentally interrupted by a key press.
- Cause Orca to store application-specific files in XDG-DATA-HOME rather than $HOME/.orca, making Orca more Freedesktop.org compliant.
- Provide additional options for presenting the date and time and make these options more easily configurable.
- Add a splash screen which, in addition to being attractive, solved a long-standing bug in which Orca failed to present the object with focus upon launch.
- Improve speech access to Unicode characters.
In addition, much work took place on the new Profiles being implemented by Emergya as part of the Guadalinfo Accessible projects.
The team drafted out an ambitious, but hopefully achievable, two-year roadmap.
Finally, Q3 also saw a very-welcome renewal of energy in the Orca team's partnership with the Mozilla accessibility team, including the creation of a new position for an accessibility developer at Mozilla!
In the fourth quarter, the Orca team will once again focus on GNOME 3.0, finalize the implementation of profiles and improved language support, update and improve Orca's documentation, continue working on WebKitGtk and Epiphany access, and ensure compelling access to Firefox 4.
Submitted by Joanmarie Diggs and Alejandro Leiva, 9 July 2010
Energized by a productive CSUN conference and hackfest, and with the help of many community members, the Orca team committed fixes for 170 bugs and RFEs during the second quarter of 2010:
- Improved support for braille-only users, including users who are Deaf-Blind
Improved support for OpenOffice and Java applications
- New scripts for Cally (needed for GNOME Shell accessibility) and Eclipse
Support for additional chat clients, including Empathy, Gajim, and InstantBird
- Moving away from the deprecated GNOME Speech to Speech Dispatcher and OpenTTS
- Making bonobo an optional dependency
During this period, the Orca team has also expanded to include Alejandro Leiva, Juanje Ojeda, and Javier Hernández Antúnez from Emergya. Their work on the Guadalinfo Accessible project of the Consorcio Fernando de los Ríos is bringing much-needed improvements to Orca, including:
- Achieving the GNOME Goals of GSettings migration and XDG config folder implementation
- Making it possible to import and export settings, including keybindings
- Fixing bugs and implementing enhancements
- Improving performance
- Creating additional documentation and tutorials
Going into the third quarter, the Orca team will focus on ensuring that users who are blind have compelling access to GNOME 3.0.