ESC meeting minutes: 2022-05-26

Michael Weghorn m.weghorn at
Mon May 30 23:57:07 UTC 2022

On 30/05/2022 11.08, Caolán McNamara wrote:
> For a11y I don't know what is seen as the major problems, is there some
> fundamentally missing pieces (like in the past not having direct
> windows IAccessible2 support and needing a java access bridge). Or are
> the fundamentals ok and its a matter of a general malaise. Is the
> general widgetry ok, but particular components have poor document level
> a11y. Or is there an endless amount of fairly easy entry level problems
> that there isn't enough people to take care of.

I don't have a comprehensive overview at this point.
At least from the little experience I have by now, I *tend to think* 
it's mostly the latter, at least as far as root causes for the major 
problems are concerned.
(I have also *heard* that Base seems to be most problematic in general, 
but haven't had much to do with it myself yet.)

 From what I have seen so far while looking at some a11y issues 
affecting Windows and Linux (gtk3 and qt5/qt6 VCL plugins), the 
fundamentals look fine, and it seems to be mostly that various smaller 
issues in LO a11y code of the single components and the platform 
integrations (and sometimes in other projects, like the NVDA screen 
reader or the Qt library) cause a lack of a11y in the UI (lack of 
usability with accessibility technology, like screen readers, e.g. 
because not everything is announced) and documents (like a11y-related 
attributes not being properly set in docs, in particular when exported 
to other formats like OOXML, PDF, (X)HTML).

The a11y meta bug tdf#101912 [1] currently lists ~200 specific issues. 
(I also have a ranked list from Richard, CCed, a blind user who uses the 
NVDA screen reader on Windows.)
Working on some issues requires some level of understanding/experience 
with AT (accessibility technologies, like a screen reader), others (like 
doc export to other formats) shouldn't.

I don't know about the situation on macOS.

IIUC, the gtk4 VCL plugin currently doesn't have an a11y implementation 
yet, and there has been a change of how a11y is handled at least within 
the Gtk library itself. [1]
@Caolán: Is that correct? And is it something you are planning to look 
into at some point or something that should be covered otherwise?

I've added the accessibility mailing list; maybe others have further 
insights to add here.

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