ESC meeting minutes: 2022-05-26

Colomban Wendling cwendling at
Tue May 31 10:01:11 UTC 2022

Le 31/05/2022 à 01:57, Michael Weghorn a écrit :
> 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.

It's a bit of both I'd think.

The main issues I can think of from the top of my head are:

* Only on-screen elements of the document are exposed to ATs.  This is 
on purpose probably for performance (not sure if we have any numbers to 
base it on?) so elements are lazy-loaded and destroyed, but it has 
non-trivial impact on various AT features.  There are some things 
supposed to help mitigate the issues (like flows-from and flows-to 
relationships), but they present their own sets of issues (like some 
elements from there not having proper parent/child relationships, etc.).

* Some parts of the document are not accessible through the keyboard, 
like e.g. embedded objects, images and such, which makes it nearly 
impossible to AT users to interact with them.

* Some relations are missing, like for annotations and footnotes.  Also, 
there is a lack of semantics for change tracking leading to messy output 
from ATs.  These could be seen as smaller and simpler issues, as it 
likely only requires plugging in the correct cables.

I don't have a comprehensive overview either, but I think most of those 
have a proper bug for them.

I'm CCing Joanmarie which might have a lot more insight here.

> […]
> 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]

Yeah, for GTK4 there will likely be a need to a whole new a11y VCL 
layer.  This might not be so hard to get started getting inspiration 
from GTK4 itself, but a lot will have to be ironed out.  Currently GTK4 
itself still has a fair bit of rough edges because of this change, even 
if the end goal is to make things easier and more modern.

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