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Re: Widget rendering in GNUstep

From: Chris Meredith
Subject: Re: Widget rendering in GNUstep
Date: Thu, 15 Sep 2005 21:01:51 -0700

On Sep 15, 2005, at 1:22 PM, address@hidden wrote:

It seems that you've gotten to know assistive technologies on a couple
of different platforms - the current limited functionality seems to be
both an opportunity and a problem within GNUstep and its interaction with
host platforms - so I'm hoping you could give some advice.

I guarantee nothing. I myself use access technologies on both Win32 and Mac OS X at the moment, but could not, say, get the version of Gnopernicus that was supposedly ported to Darwin to run on, well, Darwin.

Cocoa code that uses the NSAccessibility protocol can't currently be
ported - it hasn't been added to GNUstep-base yet, and touches enough
classes in interesting ways that may lead to some issues like additional
instance variables being required. I'd like to see this added, despite
any short-term pain. I'm also interested in finding out if there are any
free software assistive tools on Cocoa.

If you're refering to free in the GNU sense, I'm thinking not. VoiceOver, of course, comes free (in the cost sense) with Mac OS X, but I'd wager Apple isn't about to release the code for that into the wild any time whilst Hades remains above 0 degrees C.

It's fairly straight-forward how this would play out on GNUstep on MacOS X - but I'm more interested in how we'd interact with other existing host platform capabilities. As a non-Win32 guy, I have no idea if there's any
simple or useful mapping into the Windows-native functionality. Any

I'm not entirely sure how this would play out even in OS X, particularly as, unless I'm mistaken, GNUstep applications are seen as X11 apps, are they not?

As someone else mentioned, you could implement IAccessible under Windows, but my head starts throbbing whenever I think about trying to implement IAccessible--partially because I can't find any definitive docs on it. Perhaps someone on this list knows?

I suppose, alternately, one could go the route that Apple went and build a screen reading technology, such as it would be, i9nto GNUstep at the GNUstep level, which could work transparently of any platform- specific code, but I wouldn't know where to even start with something like that ... which may or may not be something that four or five cups of coffee might fix. Still, I wouldn't object to some form of accessibility built into GNUstep.


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