[libreoffice-accessibility] Latest Libo Won't Play Nice with myJRE

V Stuart Foote VStuart.Foote at utsa.edu
Tue Oct 9 08:25:15 PDT 2012

I spent yesterday working through some of the permutations.
I resolved a couple of my own questions.  First, that  Python based NVDA functions independent of the Java Runtime Environment - Java Access Bridge. 
NVDA does require the JRE and Java Access Bridge to properly control programs that are implemented with the Java Access Bridge API, unfortunately that includes LibreOffice. 
But NVDA will remain functional with the JRE & JAB removed. NVDA only needs to be momentarily shut down when uninstalling the JAB & JRE and can be restarted as the uninstall completes.
Another issue, per-user LibreOffice profile from past installation attempts or prior versions must be removed.  
Uninstallation of LibreOffice leaves the per-user configuration files intact. 
This is intentional from the LibreOffice developers perspective--but it adversely affects installation or re-installation of LibreOffice with accessibility tools and needs to be rebuilt cleanly.
The per-user configuration is located at:
Simply delete the LibreOffice folder and subfolders. And proceed with removal and reinstallation of the JRE, enabling the JAB, and lastly installing LibreOffice with AT enabled.
Finally, I am curious as to how incomplete the Flat Review LibreOffice JAB based Assistive Technology tools are compared to the Windows IAccessible2 based tools, or Linux AT-SPI based, or even the Apple Accessibility API based renderings.
Since IBM continues to develop and distribute the Lotus Symphony suite, current release is 3.0.1 and is free to download and  use.
http://symphony.lotus.com/software/lotus/symphony/home.nsf/home/ <http://symphony.lotus.com/software/lotus/symphony/home.nsf/home/>  
I grabbed a set of Windows installers (32-bit), and the FixPack1 for 3.0.1 from
http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/downloads/ls/symphony/ <http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/downloads/ls/symphony/> 
In a side by side comparison using NVDA and the same .odt document -- the IAccessible2 based Symphony clearly accessed more of the MSAA-IAccessible roles than did the Java Access Bridge based LibreOffice.  Cursor navigation, and object based mode functioned--as did reporting of font changes, style and header levels and voicing of program annotations like spelling errors. Clearly under NVDA Symphony Document is more useable as an editor. Similar results in the Spreadsheet compared to Calc.
I'm going to press on and do the same comparison between a Linux Orca session of LibreOffice's  AT-SPI based interface, and Symphony (in both Windows and Linux versions)--but suspect it will simply confirm there are serious shortcomings to the Java Access Bridge -- UNO a11y  role mappings in LibreOffice on the Windows side. 
I can't say if this has been the state since inception, or is a recent change but will have a little better feel of what roles are working in Linux  with ATK side versus in Windows with JAB and may then be able to rationally present the case of regression or needed enhancement to the developers. There is an open metabug on the Linux AT-SPI ATK AT-SPI2 side for Orca  , maybe we need something similar on the Windows JAB side.( https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_activity.cgi?id=36549 )
In the interim, until the Java Access Bridge based Windows functions are corrected--or until LibreOffice moves fully to and UNO a11y role -  IAccessible2  role mapping under the IBM Symphony contribution--you may want to look at using the free IBM Symphony 3.0.1--of course that leaves you without Draw, Base or an Equation editor.
p.s.  CC'd to the Dev list--looking to contact whomever has the best grasp of the JRE Java Access Bridge based Assistive Technologies used on the Windows side mappings of the UNO a11y  roles.  Difficult to tell what is not working as intended, versus what has never been implemented, versus issues with the JRE and Java Access Bridge. What I know for sure is that other than the missing enhancements of IAccessible2, LibreOffice for Windows is not meeting its AT functional goals.


From: David Goldfield [mailto:dgoldfie at asb.org]
Sent: Tue 10/9/2012 7:44 AM
To: V Stuart Foote
Subject: RE: [libreoffice-accessibility] Latest Libo Won't Play Nice with myJRE

I uninstalled the components in the order in which you suggested.  Using another installed screen reader I reinstalled all software in the order suggested and ensured that the a.t. support checkbox was checked when installing Libreoffice 3.6.  I also enabled JAB via the control panel under accessibility settings but I still find that I have no access with LO 3.6 and NVDA 2012.2.1.

David Goldfield
Computer Technology Instructor
919 Walnut Street
4th Floor
Philadelphia, PA  19107

215-627-0600 ext 3277
FAX:  215-922-0692

mailto:dgoldfie at asb.org
http://www.asb.org <http://www.asb.org/> 

Serving Philadelphia's and the nation's blind and visually impaired population since 1874.

-----Original Message-----
From: V Stuart Foote [mailto:VStuart.Foote at utsa.edu]
Sent: Sunday, October 07, 2012 9:05 PM
To: Kevin Cussick; accessibility at global.libreoffice.org
Subject: RE: [libreoffice-accessibility] Latest Libo Won't Play Nice with my JRE


Golly. I hate to keep harping on this.  And I know it must seem like we are asking you to jump through hoops.

But as Tom notes the effort is to clear it everything off and start clean from a known state. In your latest attempt you've ended up non-functional.

To have a correct outcome, the install order IS important. LibreOffice gets install LAST.

Remove in this order: 

  1.   LibreOffice
   2.  NVDA
   3.  Java Access Bridge
   4.  Java Runtime Environment

Install in this order

    1. Java Runtime Environment
    2. Java Access Bridge
    3. NVDA
    4. LibreOffice

But note this:  with JRE 1.7u7, the Java Access Bridge v2.0.3 is installed automatically and just needs to be enabled with a "jabswitch.exe /enable" command.   Only for JRE 1.6 do you still need to use the JWin utility to install and configure Java Access Bridge v2.0.2. 

In other words you should no longer use the JWin program with JRE 1.7 greater than update 6. Rather, simply enable the built in Java Access Bridge and then install NVDA and finally LibreOffice.

Also, during LibreOffice 3.6 installation, on the last page of Installation Wizard configuration "Ready to Install the Program" there will be two check boxes 1) "Create a start link on desktop", and 2) "Support assistive technology tools"  Check that box and then select the Install button.

The assistive technology checkbox is off by default--and must be checked to enable assistive technology in LibreOffice without navigating the Tools -> Options -> Accessibility and Tools -> Options Java menus. 

Without the Accessibility "Support assistive technology tools" checked, NVDA will read the outside frame elements of LibreOffice-but will not be able to read or navigate text within the components.


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