OK, this year we feel it is the time to make “big” changes in ATK. The world was different when the first version of ATK is designed: not so many toolkits needed to be considered. Now we have Gtk+, Gecko, WebKit, Clutter and even Qt. It is normal that two or more toolkits are co-existed in one application. Plus, we are using D-Bus as IPC, this makes the information which is transferred between processes more “precious” because D-Bus is somewhat slower than CORBA. So, let’s get together and discuss about it. It’s good to have people who work on many different toolkits, this make it possible for us to discuss the differences between the toolkits and get to conclusions (interfaces definition in ATK) which can make our life easier.
Thanks to API and Mario and other people from Igalia’s great organization work. Great place to have meeting, great lunch everyday, great dinner, and great city tour!
People filed bugs if they have something to propose on the hackfest. So basically, we went through all the bugs one by one during the hackfest. Here is the meta bug: https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=638537. Many proposals fall into 3 categories: to make Orca get more clear and uniform information; to make at-spi2 transfer less information on D-Bus; to make ATK support multi-toolkits better. After 5 days discussion, we have conclusions on most of the proposals: http://live.gnome.org/Hackfests/ATK2011/Agenda. I think Joanie got many things she want :-), like tree row, and eliminating duplicated signals. Someway to reduce the round trip calls on D-Bus are considered. Also, AtkUtil needs to be modified to fit multi-toolkits environment. A simple way to fix the performance problem for gailtreeview jumped into my head, I still need to verify it. In summary, it is a successful meeting, many conclusions and some new ideas popped up. But the most important thing is: someone need to implement them in the future.
After the discussion, people put their name after the proposals if they want to work on them. I truly hope we can archive these proposals asap.
Last week Ke and I attended the GNOME Accessibility Hackfest and CSUN in San Diego. This is my second time to CSUN but first time to meet GNOME accessibility community members. People are nice and fun and really care
about GNOME accessibility. We set up a booth, had a couple of meetings, talked about accessibility plan for GNOME 3.0, TOI of Orca and also some bugs. At the end, we discussed how we can do better the next year, including the meeting and the booth.
Below are a few things I think are worth to be mentioned.
Plan for GNOME 3.0
This is the most important part for me at CSUN. Because there is still a lot of work to do to make at-spi2 more stable and usable. We went through every item in http://live.gnome.org/Accessibility/GNOME3 to make sure there is at least one people to work on that task. Of course, I am going to work on most tasks which is relative to at-spi2 work (atk, atk-bridge, at-spi2-registryd, pyatspi2, accessibility bus and GAIL). And will also try to find out how do we handle panel applets if there are going to be ported to D-Bus. Mike Gorse who has done a lot of work in at-spi2 and Nagappan can also help on at-spi2 work. And Ke will make sure Java ATK Wrapper works for GNOME 3.0.
TOI of Orca
Since Willie Walker will left, we need to spend some attention on Orca. Ke is willing to do this job. So we invited Willie and Joanie to do a TOI session for Ke and me. Willie gave a brief introduction of Orca including code architecture, custom script, events handling, speech and braille output, code style and bugs status on bugzilla. The session is helpful, Ke will blog more detail.
The GNOME Foundation held a booth at CSUN. Many people came to the booth to ask questions. The questions are not limited to “What is GNOME?”, people came to the booth to ask about the problem they find when using GNOME. It is great that we can talk to the end users to introduce our feature and to demo how it is accessible. Without these people, our work will be meaningless.
During the GNOME Accessibility Hackfest we met people which we only knew their name and mail address before. We made the GNOME 3 accessibility plan together, worked on the booth together and became friends. It is very great to see you guys there.