Reality Check - Windows Java Accessibility API non-functional for ALL LibreOffice 3.6.x releases to date
V Stuart Foote
VStuart.Foote at utsa.edu
Sun Oct 14 17:10:35 PDT 2012
LibreOffice versions 3.6.0 and later have not correctly implemented the Java Access Bridge (JAB) modules used to expose the Java Accessibility API roles for Windows users.
It took me a little while to work out the testing methods, but the Oracle test utilities JavaFerret-32 and JavaMonkey-32 show that LibreOffice is not implementing the Java Accessibility API and therefore does not expose accessibility roles to Assistive Technologies.
Neither JAB v.2.0.2 or v 2.0.3, nor current JRE version 1.6u35 or 1.7u7 will make a difference.
I tested LibreOffice builds 126.96.36.199, 188.8.131.52, 184.108.40.206, and 220.127.116.11 none of which are functional.
In addition today I completed testing of ALL builds of LibreOffice from 3.4.5 to 3.5.7rc2. With exception of the 3.5.0 build they all correctly map Java Accessibility API roles to UNO Accessibility roles.
The Java Accessibility API is not as comprehensive as the IAccessible2 role mappings provided by IBM Lotus Symphony 3.0.1, but it is functional for the 3.4 and 3.5 releases of LibreOffice. And, for these versions Windows Assistive Technologies will work. For example, the Windows NVDA screen reader will function with cursor control and component announcements for the entire document tree.
Windows versions of LibreOffice 3.6, including the current build 3.6.3 rc1, are NOT USEABLE with Assistive Technologies and they have not been usable with Windows Assistive Technologies at any point.
For folks that I've mislead with my insistence that all is well with LibreOffice 3.6 and Java Access Bridge and JRE with use of Assistive Technologies like NVDA screen reader I was wrong--I apologize.
I've updated the FDO#53474 (http: bug report https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=53474 ) and would encourage folks to vote, i.e. comment on, the enhancement to implement IAccessible2 API ( http://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Vote_for_Enhancement ) for Windows builds by incorporating the IBM contributed Symphony code base as a replacement of the Java Accessibility API as that is probably the fastest means of bringing Windows builds of LibreOffice to the same functional level as Linux builds that use the ATK AT-SPI accessibility APIs.
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