Re: Sodbeans Update --- and Release Schedule

  • From: Jared <stofflet@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 27 Nov 2009 22:30:17 -0500

What is the current schedule for integrating at least the Sappy portion of the project with netbeans 6.7? In perticular I'd like to use the grails support available in netbeans but it's only available in 6.7

Andreas Stefik wrote:
Howdy folks,

I wanted to drop in and give an update on the Sodbeans project. Development on our project is moving ahead at breakneck speed. First, starting in January, we will have three developers working on the project, one focusing on screen reader compatibility issues, one working on compiler and debugger issues, and another (me) working on the code for both. On this note, we have split off the Sodbeans code base into two primary pieces:

1. Sappy: Sappy is a side project that includes a number of self-voicing but screen reader compatible fixes to accessibility in NetBeans. This package is very general and, on our internal build, fixes a number of accessibility problems in NetBeans proper, through a combination of internal NetBeans API's and other tricks. You can do anything that you could do normally in NetBeans using Sappy (e.g., Java, php, ruby on rails, sappy development.), but much more accessibly, especially on Mac OSX

2. Sodbeans itself is a custom compiler/debugger/programming language added into NetBeans that we are testing to try and determine the best possible sounds/features that would work for the blind. Since it includes all custom components, this environment is more accessible than the Sappy build (and dramatically more so then NetBeans proper), but, for technical reasons, includes the special accessibility features only for our language. Sodbeans also includes all fixes in Sappy.

In other words, Sappy is our general accessibility fixes, while Sodbeans is a proof of concept trying to show the best possible Blind Programming IDE. In an effort to get more blind individuals involved in Sappy and Sodbeans development, we will be releasing Sappy separately, which will make it much easier for folks to contribute to the Sappy/Sodbeans projects.

And finally, while we don't have a release date yet for Sodbeans, we already have pre-release builds of Sappy on our deployment server for testing and will be distributing it to a few select individuals within the next few weeks for a pre-alpha screening. If all goes well, we are hoping to have a formal release by early March.


Andreas Stefik, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Computer Science
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

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