This is my (in)activity log. You might like to visit my employer
Novell which is an amazing company, and also
Dell who in days of yore provided me with a
free laptop for Gnome development / conferences.
Also if you have the time to read this sort of stuff you could enlighten
yourself by going to Unraveling Wittgenstein's net or if
you are feeling objectionable perhaps here.
Stuff Michael Meeks is doing
- Up early, cycled H. to school, back contemplated rescue of
laptop FDD, cycled back to NCC, got interesting SATA/EIDE etc. dongle,
returned, entrails of laptop & disk everywhere. The Hitachi lasted
only ~10 months, the Fujitsu ~6 months(?), hopefully this Samsung will
run and run (albeit rather more slowly).
- Beautiful SLED10 SP1 install, it just worked rather
convincingly - nervously transfered most of the system across; got all
the important data I could, great. Stricken once again by the hideous kernel
I/O issue: do some big / heavy I/O operations & other simple
things like touching a file starve.
time touch ~/foo.txt -
11seconds real (eg.).
- Yesterday we announced a new
collaboration with Microsoft
around accessibility. Since apparently either people didn't
find it as interesting as I did, or they just didn't get to the bottom
of the lengthy press release with several pieces; I though I'd expand
on that here.
- Over the last weeks it's been a privilege to be
a small part of the team putting this together and scoping
the work here, and I'm pleased with the outcome.
- What are we doing ? - we're going to
bring the managed
UIAutomation API to Linux over the next months &
years. Of course, obvious questions as to how this interacts
with the excellent existing Free-software a11y work get
raised, so I drew a photograph of everyone working nicely
together (new code highlighted):
Please notice: that if you have some congenital allergy to
Mono, this shouldn't bring on anaphylactic shock - it's a
complementary approach. In addition any work we ship will be
covered by a
Community Promise shielding everyone from patent
problems, in a similar spirit to IBM's recent
Interoperability Specifications Pledge.
- Why are you doing that !?: I think it's
a good thing (of course):
- Clearly making apps accessible that were
previously inaccessible is vital, and no-one I've talked
to in the space seems interested in playing politics with
that. Indeed with this piece the Free S/W a11y stack looks
like it will soon integrate with all the significant toolkits,
technologies & applications around.
- This work will make both Winforms, and in future
accessible on Linux - adding to and improving the
implementations of these toolkits. By extension that should
make various vertical business apps accessible on both Win32 &
- This is a fun space - as we started specing this
out, I remembered fondly the good times of my a11y involvement:
the excitement of getting anything working at all, and the serious
late nights drinking with Bill Haneman, Peter Korn, Will
Walker, the Baum guys etc. at GUADEC(s), the friendly debates
over architecture, all that good stuff; somehow a different
style from OO.o. Then of course, meeting other interesting
Rich, Janina etc.
- More eyes - embarassingly we've had some nasty
snafus in eg. OpenSUSE 10.3, that we want to put behind us,
being able to hire lots of new hackers to work in this
space should make a real impact across the board. With them
we should be able to improve everything from apps, to
infrastructure, to ATs, and into packaging / distribution.
- What about the other hackers here ? - I think it's
important, of course, to give tribute to Sun, without whose tireless work
to make Solaris accessible there would be no Free-software
accessibility stack. I'm looking forward to seeing us work more closely
with Peter, Will & co. here. Unfortunately in the past our interest
has been rather bursty - after a large chunk of work at the begginning,
we settled into maintenance mode, helping out with some intractible problems
here & there, and of course kick-started the native OO.o atk
accessibility bridge. Then of course, there is IBM: with Rich, George Kraft,
and their team, who have done some amazing work here:
making Firefox accessible, funding infrastructure improvements, working
on Accerciser, and of
course IAccessible2 on Win32, driving interest & investment towards
a11y. I'm looking forward to us working closely with everyone here.
- Not another huge spec !? - Anyone who takes the time
to download and read the 4 separate specifications (of which we will
implement only one: the managed part) can make some serious hay with the new
SI unit of spec. complexity: page-count. On the other hand, this spec.
is clearly just a 1st cut. This is the very start of turning it
into something beautiful and, to my mind, that means removing
the thousands of lines of C# and VBA examples that make up the majority
of the headline figure. When instead you read the 1200 lines of
equivalent IDL / and header-file interface description I for one learn
much of what I need.
- What's next ? - I'm looking forward to help getting
this project spun up, people hired, and working with some great guys:
Rob Sinclaire & Norm Hodne from Microsoft to improve the UIA
specification, work towards harmonisation with the existing stack, and
so on. More about how the mechanics of that in the coming weeks. Oh, and
of course - we're now looking for talented hackers in this space to hire.
Mail me if you're interested please, regardless of location. Oh, and of
course, I'm trying to persuade Marco Skambraks (our existing, long term,
star a11y hacker) to start blogging to open up our work on OpenSUSE
here yet further. Onwards interoperability & accessibility!
- Chat with Ricardo about yast2-gtk and code sharing between the
package managers; clearly Katarina would be a better bet; good to catch up
In case it's not painfully obvious: the reflections reflected here are my
own; mine, all mine ! and don't reflect the views of Novell, The
Lithuanian Gov't or Arnold Schwarzenegger. It's also important to
realise that I'm not in on the Swedish Conspiracy.
Occasionally people ask for formal photos for conferences,
Michael Meeks (firstname.lastname@example.org)