Planning the accessibility stack rebase

Matthias Clasen mclasen at
Wed Dec 9 21:45:21 UTC 2009

As some of you may know, the accessibility framework is getting ported
from CORBA/ORBit to DBus [1]. The (ambitious) upstream plan is to have
this transition completed in time for GNOME 2.30, ie within the F-13

This is a big effort, and the accessibility guys need all the help they
can get. To help with testing and feedback, I plan to get the new
accessibility stack into rawhide in early January. I have done initial
packages for the at-spi2 components [2], but they are not quite ready
for prime time yet (they don't have the coexistence part entirely sorted

Some details about the changes that coming:

The CORBA-based at-spi package is being replaced by three components:

at-spi2-core - protocol definitions and registry daemon

at-spi2-atk - the atk-bridge GTK+ module

pyatspi - Python bindings for at-spi

There is no replacement for the cspi 'C bindings' at the moment. The
current users of cspi are being ported to use D-Bus directly
(mousetweaks) or replaced (gok being replaced by Caribou [3]). I am not
sure about the porting status of dasher...

To make the transition phase less painful, there are some efforts to
allow the old and new stacks to coexist. The CORBA-based at-spi stuff
will install its atk-bridge module and Python bindings somewhere else,
and there will be a desktop file that sets the GTK_PATH environment
variable and a pyatspi.pth Python module that sets some Python path.
These path-tweaks will be triggered by a GConf key, allowing both stacks
to be installed at the same time and allowing users and testers to
switch back and forth between the stacks.

It would be great if people who are interested in accessibility on
Fedora could chime in and help with planning this to make the transition
as smooth as it can. I'm sure there will be some bumps along the way


PS Having written all this down, I realize that I should probably turn
this into a feature page...


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