The .NET Framework is a strong choice for software application developers. It has a comprehensive, consistent, and generally well-documented class library that is free to use in any project. Depending on personal preferences, one can code in C#, Visual Basic, JScript, F#, IronPython, IronRuby, or other languages. Programs may be built with either integrated development environments, or with text editors and command-line compilers.
The .NET Framework integrates two major accessibility APIs: the older, Microsoft Active Accessibility (MSAA), and the newer, User Interface Automation (UIA). While Gaps remain, there is much accessibility support for both developers and users of this platform. People with disabilities can thereby be involved in both the development and use of .NET-based applications.
The Microsoft accessibility development center is at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/bb735024.aspxSome open source, .NET accessibility tools may be found there, as well as with a Google search like
site:codeplex.com accessibilityOne potential obstacle is that clients may not have the version of the .NET Framework already installed that an application needs. I found a good solution for this problem with Version 2.0 of the .NET Framework, using the Microsoft Component Installer Software Development Kit, available at
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=2A5E4EBC-651C-40AA-9525-1810AF47C317&displaylang=enHowever, I could not find a free, sufficiently automated solution for later versions of the Framework. GotNET is a free, open source program I have developed in attempt to address this need. It can check whether the most common versions of the .NET Framework are installed, and do so for one or more of them via the Internet if not found: version 2.0, 3.5, or 4.0 (released last month).
An executable installer for GotNET is available at http://EmpowermentZone.com/netsetup.exe Alternatively, a zip archive for manual installation is available at http://EmpowermentZone.com/netsetup.zipEnd users may run the GotNET installer to ensure they have .NET available for any applications that may need it. More importantly, the GotNET.exe utility in the distribution is available for .NET developers to bundle with their applications, thereby ensuring that necessary prerequisites are installed.
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