[Accessibility] OpenOffice and KDE4 Accessiibilty [was: Orca/KDE Integration]

Olaf Jan Schmidt ojschmidt at kde.org
Fri Sep 1 02:36:37 PDT 2006

Hi Éric!

> Changing the desktop to GNOME just for accessibility issues is a bit
> violent, and probably not what the users want if they run it under KDE.

I agree.

> I am willing to help with KDE accessibility support in OpenOffice.org.

Thanks a lot for your offer to help. I will keep you informed of all further 
developments concerning KDE4 Accessibility.

One important accessibility issue independent from AT-SPI are colour and font 
settings for the GUI. The idea for KDE4 is to extend the system colour scheme 
to contain all colours needed in the user interface of applications, and ask 
all KDE applications to only use these system colours by default. It would be 
great if OpenOffice could pick those up once a version for KDE4 is released. 
I hope we even manage to make the settings freedesktop.org settings shared by 
KDE, GNOME, OpenOffice, Mozilla and all other desktop applications.

And is OpenOffice picking up the High Contrast icon theme settings if enabled 
in KDE3? One important aspect of it is the setting that changes the icon 
colour, so that you can convert them to e.g. Light Yellow on Dark Blue for a 
dark background colour theme.

Of course document colours are excluded from this, but it would be very 
helpful for partially sighted people to be able to force a black or dark blue 
background and a light foreground colour for editing the document. Or is 
there already an option for this in OpenOffice?

> There are already places for that in the configuration backends. We just
> did not enable anything because (tell me if my memories are wrong, Oliver),
> it made little sense without a Qt accessibility bridge.

Yes, indeed.

> And this one is quite a piece of software. Any volunteers of course welcome.

The Qt accessibility bridge will only be available for Qt 4, and it will be a 
bit of work to write a complete bridge for all of OpenOffice to Qt 
Accessibility. As a short-term solution, OpenOffice on KDE4 could load Gtk if 
accessibility is enabled, as a long-term solution, it would be really nice to 
have have full support for Qt Accessibility - especially since Qt 
Accessibility is also working on Windows and Mac OS X.

Anyway, it seems all the AT-SPI activation issues are easily solvable with a 
bit of good will from all sides, so they do not need to influence the 
decision on the general approach of accessibility with KDE4 too much.


Olaf Jan Schmidt, KDE Accessibility co-maintainer, open standards 
accessibility networker, Protestant theology student and webmaster of 
http://accessibility.kde.org/ and http://www.amen-online.de/

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