15 October 2008

WebKitGtk Accessibility at Boston Gnome Summit

Collabora sponsored my trip to the Boston Gnome Summit 2008. It was my first Boston Summit and I have to say that I enjoyed the event: it is more a hackfest than a conference which gives the attendees time to hack. They split the people among rooms on specific subjects. Based on the opening talk, I felt that the a11y room should be quite interesting.

Willie Walker and Joanmarie Diggs were keen enough to give Marco and I a good introduction talk on a11y and how the different a11y technologies work on the Gnome stack. They also took the time to explain us how Mozilla does a11y and how WebKitGtk doesn’t do much right now.

Alp Toker did start the a11y work some weeks ago. I think he got busy as he forgot to publish all his work.  After a quick chat, he posted a patch under Bug 21546 for everyone to contribute.

Accessibility absolutely needs to be fixed before WebKitGtk can be considered for a possible inclusion in Gnome 2.26. This means we need to make this a high priority for us Gtk+ developers as no one should be left behind (para-quoting of a US act was unintentional).

To make a11y work in WebKitGtk:

  • we need to get caret browsing working: Alp worked on that, but it needs work.
  • we need to expose the page’s content through AT-SPI and Atk: Alp did a lot of work, who is volunteering to review the 50k patch? :) and continue the work?

Please take time to have a look at Gnome Accessibility Technologies and their documentation.

Unfortunately, making accessibility work will take time and it will progress only based on our free time.  But since most of the contributors to WebKitGtk are also contractors, someone willing to fund this work could easily make things progress faster.

Comments are closed.