Re: Credible rumor that deserves serious consideration, IMHO

Here's my two cents:

1. JNI is a useful technology to be sure, but creating these kinds of
swing wrappers are difficult to write and operating system dependent.

2. SWT is a neat technology as well, although a lot of the Java folks
I work with shy away from it because it's proprietary and doesn't work
everywhere. Also, the GUI editors sighted users often use are
massively superior for swing, when compared to SWT, so far as I
understand it.

3. A big partnership agreement between IBM and Oracle was recently
announced on the NetBeans dream team list (membership is not public),
and it sounds like everything is going to be moving to OpenJDK. This
could be huge for this community, in my opinion.

4. Another alternative to using JNI is to create listener
architectures that can plug into Java programs (including swing), and
output that to a text-to-speech engine. This solution isn't perfect
either, but it does allow for a cross-platform solution to outputting
information to a screen reader. This is what we do on the Sodbeans
project, for the entire NetBeans platform (over 2 million lines of
code), and it works just fine in most cases, without the Java access
bridge.

Anyway, I don't think there is a perfect, works in every case,
solution to this problem (yet!), but I'm enjoying this discussion, as
it gives lots of ideas on how to approach these problems as everyone
proceeds,

Stefik

On Tue, Oct 12, 2010 at 12:56 PM, Chris Hofstader <cdh@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> What part of "Director of Access Technology" implies  "source  for licensing 
> questions?
>
> All licensing queries are generic at FSF and such questions  should be sent 
> to someone at FSF who knows better about such things than I do. I do not have 
> the time to be a courier for your questions regarding generic FSF policy as I 
> am completely swamped with actual accessibility issues. Just because 
> licensing issues also effect accessibility projects does not make them any 
> less generic and, therefore, definitely not in my department.
>
> FruitBasket is an accessibility issue and after nudging people on the subject 
> of porting the FB programs to Gnome, I finally had no takers so put out the 
> call for volunteers yesterday. This sort of thing is my job and I'm happy to 
> add such things to my task list but, because of really enormous problems 
> (Gnome 3 for instance), I can't always get to different tasks too quickly.
>
> If I remember correctly, you were a policy or politics major at Princeton? 
> Why don't you volunteer to read FSF policy statements regarding licenses and 
> how you see them effecting accessibility and, if I can get it approved by the 
> higher ups in FSF, we can post it as a white paper. I'm really not suited to 
> such things and, even if I was, I haven't the time to spend away from actual 
> software development projects going on all over the world.
>
> If a generic question is asked framed in accessibility language, it doesn't 
> become more apropos to accessibility - it remains generic and should be sent 
> to someone at FSF expert in such matters. I am not this person and do not 
> want to become this person and, therefore, will not become this person.
>
> cdh
>
> "
> On Oct 12, 2010, at 7:40 AM, Jamal Mazrui wrote:
>
>> I think support could include various things such as publicity by GNU, links 
>> on the gnu.org site, attempts by GNU staff to recruit other developers to 
>> the project, hardware donations, financial grants, etc.. As background, soon 
>> after I joined the GNU accessibility hackers list that Chris started, 
>> someone was trying to organize developers to work on voice dictation 
>> software that made use of proprietary components.  RMS made it clear that 
>> the list could not be used for such discussion because such a project would 
>> violate FSF principles.  Clearly, that project would not receive endorsement 
>> or other support from GNU, even just space on one of its email discussion 
>> lists.
>>
>> So, I think it is a fair and important question to clarify whether software 
>> components that have licenses that FSF says are GPL-incompatible may be used 
>> in projects that receive support from resources of GNU.  I would think that 
>> the GNU Director of Accessibility is the appropriate person to ask such a 
>> question, and that if he does not know the answer off hand, he can obtain it 
>> and relay that information.
>>
>> Jamal
>>
>> On 10/11/2010 5:06 PM, Sina Bahram wrote:
>>> Please define support
>>>
>>> Take care,
>>> Sina
>>>
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
>>> [mailto:programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Jamal Mazrui
>>> Sent: Monday, October 11, 2010 4:47 PM
>>> To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
>>> Cc: Chris Hofstader
>>> Subject: Re: Credible rumor that deserves serious consideration, IMHO
>>>
>>> A few weeks ago, I looked on the FSF site for some kind of opinion on the 
>>> Oracle suit against Google over Android/Java, and was
>>> surprised not to find one.  FSF tends to have opinions on big issues in the 
>>> field related to software copyrights and patents.  If
>>> FSF does have an opinion on this, would you point us to a link?
>>>
>>> Also, did you ever get an authoritative answer on whether GNU will support 
>>> accessibility-related development projects that use
>>> library components that are licensed under the Eclipse Public License?
>>>
>>> Jamal
>>>
>>>
>>> On 10/11/2010 9:58 AM, Chris Hofstader wrote:
>>>> Oracle may not "own" mysql and definitely does not own the version forked 
>>>> from the code base into a separate line of development
>>> entirely outside of Oracle.
>>>>
>>>> Oracle is claiming that they "own" the mysql copyright. If *anyone* in the 
>>>> wild contributed as little as a single line of code to
>>> the project, even if they did so anonymously, they also own part of that 
>>> copyright. Also, if anyone working at Sun had not signed an
>>> assignment of copyright agreement, they too own part of the copyrighted 
>>> source code. Thus, although they claim they will change the
>>> license, they may not e ale to do so in a manner that would hold up in a 
>>> courtroom.
>>>>
>>>> Oracle can add proprietary and very pretty UI elements that call into 
>>>> mysql to their heart's content. These will, knowing Oracle's
>>> track record, not be FLOSS and, also following Oracle's history, will, at 
>>> best, probably be only partially accessible.
>>>>
>>>> The only accessibility engineers remaining at Oracle are Peter and the 
>>>> accessibility people working on OpenOffice, another FLOSS
>>> project that Oracle is trying to make proprietary. Regarding the office 
>>> suite, Oracle can make a proprietary fork and stop
>>> contributing to the FLOSS version. To this end a group of people have 
>>> banded together to form the Document Foundation and have
>>> rebranded OpenOffice.org as LibreOffice. We at FSF/GNU see LibreOffice 
>>> accessibility as essential to the future of an accessible
>>> planet and will be involved at some level in the new fork.
>>>>
>>>> cdh
>>>>
>>>> On Oct 11, 2010, at 4:14 AM, Kerneels Roos wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> Hi Everyone,
>>>>>
>>>>> I read some blogs on the recent Oracle World and Java One conference held 
>>>>> by Oracle. It seems they are, as we expected, a much
>>> more business savvy company than Sun was. The former Java One confernces 
>>> were very much developer minded, while the recent one
>>> presented by Oracle gave the indication that they are far more business 
>>> minded and are working strategically towards set goals.
>>>>>
>>>>> Very interesting development is their plans for MySQL which they 
>>>>> apparently also own now, in particular their plans to develop
>>> very nice user interfaces for managing MySQL databases so that there will 
>>> be greater adoption of it in the Windows + Visual Studio
>>> world. Their ideal would be to have MySQL integrate directly with Visual 
>>> Studio, but I'm digressing...
>>>>>
>>>>> Since Oracle wants to make profit mostly (or only) and maintain a nice 
>>>>> public profile, it would be up to the stake holders in
>>> Java Accessibility to convince them that it is indeed in their best 
>>> interest to give it a high priority. If by reasoning about it we
>>> can come to the conclusion that there is no real advantage for them in 
>>> investing in furthering Java Accessibility then another route
>>> needs to be perseued. Such another route might be an open source 
>>> development of the JAB, a third party development of the JAB.
>>>>>
>>>>> We want access to be free, but if for a small price you could get an up 
>>>>> to date JAB that makes Java extremely accessible then
>>> that is better than the alternative of no, or out dated access.
>>>>>
>>>>> I believe that if one can convince a company nicely that accessibility is 
>>>>> important then they will do a good job at it, as aposed
>>> to it being a legally enforced thing, or a pressured thing. I agree with 
>>> another person on this list, think it was Tylor, that
>>> asking people nicely to change their web sites RE accessible captchas for 
>>> example is far better than screaming at them over email.
>>> All the more so if you can give them food for thought in terms of numbers.
>>>>>
>>>>> If it's a better idea to have foundations for the blind interacting with 
>>>>> Oracle about this then we as the community need to first
>>> approach our local and international foundations. There is so much that can 
>>> be done, like pettitions, fund raising, awareness,
>>> pressure from the general public, pressure from M$, pressure from their 
>>> clients that are far removed from accessibility issues but
>>> that do have a morral concions.
>>>>>
>>>>> Java is a great language to program in if you are blind due to it's 
>>>>> verbose nature and well thought out standard libraries.
>>> Oracle's plans (to my best judgement) for Java is long but over. They are 
>>> also planning more JDK releases by spreading future
>>> features over the various releases. On top of that, there are millions of 
>>> lines of legacy Java that will have to be maintained for
>>> many years to come, so a career as a Java Programmer will remain a good 
>>> choice for blind programmers regardless, but it would be so
>>> much better if it is certain that Oracle will strive to improve Java 
>>> accessibility onwards.
>>>>>
>>>>> So what would be the next step?
>>>>>
>>>>> Regards,
>>>>> Kerneels
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> On 10/11/2010 3:11 AM, Stanzel, Susan - Kansas City, MO wrote:
>>>>>> Hi Listers,
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I have not stepped into this until now. I would hope that needing 
>>>>>> government contracts in the United States would have some
>>> affect on all this. I have asked people about swing and I am told it isn't 
>>> used very much because there is newer technology out
>>> there. I am not an experienced Java programmer so maybe the rest of you 
>>> will know more than I do. I know we use Struts at my
>>> building for creation of web projects. If I have just made a fool of 
>>> myself, it's not the first time and won't be the last. (grin).
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Susie Stanzel
>>>>>>
>>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>>> From: programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
>>>>>> [mailto:programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of The Elf
>>>>>> Sent: Sunday, October 10, 2010 7:08 PM
>>>>>> To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
>>>>>> Subject: Re: Credible rumor that deserves serious consideration,
>>>>>> IMHO
>>>>>>
>>>>>> hey, this is my usual line, "beat them into submission" lol
>>>>>>
>>>>>> or hound,or pummel,  or...
>>>>>>
>>>>>> elf
>>>>>> Moderator, Blind Access Help
>>>>>> Owner: Alacorn Computer Enterprises
>>>>>> Specialists in customized computers and peripherals
>>>>>> - own the might and majesty of a Alacorn!
>>>>>> www.alacorncomputer.com
>>>>>> proprietor, The Grab Bag,
>>>>>> for blind computer users and programmers
>>>>>> http://grabbag.alacorncomputer.com
>>>>>>
>>>>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>>>>> From: "Sina Bahram"<sbahram@xxxxxxxxx>
>>>>>> To:<programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>>>>>> Sent: Saturday, October 09, 2010 10:14 AM
>>>>>> Subject: RE: Credible rumor that deserves serious consideration,
>>>>>> IMHO
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Wow, it only took like 15 emails on the subject, but finally the
>>>>>>> voice of reason has made itself known.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Ken, I completely agree. Now is the time to pressure them into
>>>>>>> actually not abandoning it.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Take care,
>>>>>>> Sina
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> ________________________________
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> From: programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
>>>>>>> [mailto:programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Ken
>>>>>>> Perry
>>>>>>> Sent: Saturday, October 09, 2010 1:10 AM
>>>>>>> To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
>>>>>>> Subject: RE: Credible rumor that deserves serious consideration,
>>>>>>> IMHO
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> If this is true then it's not time to tell people to stay away.
>>>>>>> It's time to get people to get active and start emailing and
>>>>>>> calling them till they do support it.  If we stay away we lose what
>>>>>>> accessibility was there.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Ken
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> From: programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
>>>>>>> [mailto:programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Storm
>>>>>>> Dragon
>>>>>>> Sent: Friday, October 08, 2010 11:09 PM
>>>>>>> To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
>>>>>>> Subject: Re: Credible rumor that deserves serious consideration,
>>>>>>> IMHO
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Hi,
>>>>>>> I would not doubt it for one second. They dropped the ball on Linux
>>>>>>> accessibility pretty much first thing when they took over Sun.
>>>>>>> It's probably a good idea, if you have influence over software
>>>>>>> decisions, to encourage companies, clients, and friends to stay far
>>>>>>> far away from Oracle and their software. I was even going to get
>>>>>>> rid of Open Office but fortunately the version used in Ubuntu is a
>>>>>>> fork so not subject to them. unless, that is, they somehow manage
>>>>>>> to win their evil attack on Google. If that happens, who knows who
>>>>>>> they will attack next. Keep your fingers crossed, and maybe the
>>>>>>> open source community will keep the Bridge going, Orca is still
>>>>>>> alive and well after all.
>>>>>>> Storm
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> --
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Registered Linux user number 508465:
>>>>>>> http://counter.li.org/
>>>>>>> My blog, Thoughts of a Dragon:
>>>>>>> http://www.stormdragon.us/
>>>>>>> Get yourself a Frostbox:
>>>>>>> http://www.frostbitesystems.com/
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> On Sat, 2010-10-09 at 08:15 +0530, prateek aggarwal wrote:
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> oh know,
>>>>>>> i wish its just a rumor.
>>>>>>> if its ever going to be true, i'll be so said.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> regards,
>>>>>>> prateek agarwal.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> On 10/9/10, Jamal Mazrui<empower@xxxxxxxxx>    wrote:
>>>>>>>> I heard from a good source today that Oracle has decided to
>>>>>>>> discontinue support for the Java Access Bridge (and no alternative
>>>>>>>> is planned).  I would be glad to be convinced otherwise.  If
>>>>>>>> anyone has information regarding this topic, please share.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Jamal
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> __________
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>>>>>
>>>>> --
>>>>> Kerneels Roos
>>>>> Cell: +27 (0)82 309 1998
>>>>> Skype: cornelis.roos
>>>>>
>>>>> "Common Sense" is not "Common Practice" .
>>>>>
>>>>> "The Strawberry Jam Law:
>>>>>   The wider you spread it, the thinner it gets..."
>>>>>    -- from the Java Specialist Newsletter, from a book on consulting.
>>>>>
>>>>> __________
>>>>> View the list's information and change your settings at
>>>>> http://www.freelists.org/list/programmingblind
>>>>>
>>>>
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>>>>
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