Friday, June 1, 2007

Call to Arms: Free and Accessible Desktop

Our free and accessible desktop needs help.

It appears IBM will no longer have employees working on native Linux accessibility. I really don't know if this says anything about how Linux fits into IBM's corporate strategy, or if it is more about of the huge importance and focus on Internet accessibility (above the desktop). It might just be a case of too "many irons in the fire". I am pleased to hear IBM will continue to do important work in open source and accessibility.

Still... sadness.

I hope Sun can continue the great work they do in this area but it is a heavy torch to carry. There is a lot of work and I'd like to see more from the distros and other companies that understand that the future is open and that it is for everyone.

See Peter Parente's email to some linux accessibility lists. Peter intends to continue his important contributions off-the-clock. I hope he can. Note he lists a number of projects that may be affected: Accerciser, pyatspi, LSR (at least the current GNOME incantation), Linux Accessibility on the Firefox and the Mozilla platform, AT-SPI Collections.

See also, Rich Schwertfeger's blog post.


superstoned said...

Well, there is good news as well, the city of Munich got their linux distribution ISO certified for usability:

IBM might be backing out because usability has been on the agenda for a long time, and while the work is far from finished (will it ever be ready?), the state of Usability is such that even the desktop NOT known for it seems to be good enough...

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