|| ||Willie Walker <William.Walker-AT-Sun.COM>|
|| ||Announcing Orca v2.21.4|
|| ||Mon, 17 Dec 2007 13:43:52 -0500|
WOW! THE TEAM HAS BEEN BUSY FOR THIS RELEASE!!! Changes have been made
in the areas of magnification, Firefox, and performance in addition to
keeping up with our aggressive addressing of bugs and quality. Many
thanks to all Orca contributors for their hard work this release.
* What is Orca?
Orca is a free, open source, flexible, and extensible screen reader
that provides access to the graphical desktop via user-customizable
combinations of speech, braille, and/or magnification. Orca
development has been led by the Sun Microsystems, Inc., Accessibility
Program Office via continued engagement with its end users and
generous contributions from wonderful community members.
The Orca v2.21.4 release is targeted for the GNOME v2.21.4 development
release and requires the latest at-spi/pyatspi from GNOME v2.21.4.
You can also read more about Orca at http://live.gnome.org/Orca.
* What's changed for Orca v2.21.4?
2.21.4 - 17-Dec-2007
* Support "live updating" when setting various magnification features
Changes made to the zoomer in the Orca Preferences now update in
real time: it is no longer necessary to press the Apply button to
see if the option you've chosen works for you and then undo it or
adjust it if it doesn't. Note that you must still press the Apply
or the OK button to make your changes permanent.
* Bug #452316 - should have a "fullscreen" checkbox
We've added a Position combo box so that it's easy to select the
position of the zoomer. The options are full screen, left half,
right half, top half, bottom half, and custom. Choosing custom
allows you to specify the location of each edge of the zoomer.
The new default zoomer position is full screen if full screen
magnification is possible. Otherwise, the right half of the
screen will be used by default.
* Bug #463881 - Evaluate other gnome-mag features for inclusion in
You can now adjust the brightness and contrast levels and use the
colorblind filters from libcolorblind. Basic brightness and
contrast levels can be adjusted through the spin buttons on the
Magnifier pane of the Orca Preferences dialog. If you press the
Advanced Settings button at the bottom of that pane, you'll be
placed in a dialog box where you can customize the red, green, and
blue brightness levels and contrast levels individually. The
Advanced Settings dialog is also where you can choose a color
filter. These options should enable you to create the color
scheme that works best for you. Note that in order for colorblind
filtering to work, you must install libcolorblind and then
You can also add a border to your zoomer to help separate it from
the non-magnified area. The border size and color are
customizable. We've also separated the cursor color from the
cross-hair color so you no longer have to find the one color that
works best for both.
* Bug #464705 - Provide option to keep caret in center of magnifier
region of interest
We've added individual tracking and alignment settings for
controls and the text cursor: each can have an alignment of
centered or push (move the magnifier window the least). In
addition, you can now specify an edge margin for the text cursor.
This margin is how close the caret should be allowed to get to the
edge of the screen before it's time to "push." The margin can
range from 0 to 50%, with 50% being the equivalent of choosing
centering. These options should make it easier to keep track of
your location on the screen and ensure that you can always see the
area around your point of focus.
* Bug #501414 - Orca should have (unbound) keybindings for quickly
changing magnification settings
We've added the following new commands:
- Toggle color enhancements
- Toggle mouse enhancements
- Increase magnification level
- Decrease magnification level
- Cycle to the next magnifier position
- Toggle magnifier on/off
These should help you quickly change the zoomer to best access
what you're working on. These commands are "unbound," meaning
they do not have a keystroke assigned to them. You can define the
keystrokes you would like to use on the Key Bindings pane of the
Orca Preferences dialog: locate each command you wish to define a
keystroke for, move to the Key Binding column, and press Return.
You'll be prompted for the new key. Press it (rather than type it
out) and then press Return. Note that these commands do not
permanently change the settings; they merely alter them "on the
* Bug #503965 - Orca should provide support for the pointer
following focus and the zoomer
If you're using the keyboard to perform a task and then move the
mouse pointer, the zoomer would move away from your task and to
the location of the mouse pointer. We've added two options for
dealing with this:
- Pointer follows zoomer (enabled by default): If the mouse
pointer is not on the screen when you initially move the mouse,
it will be moved into the zoomer so that you can continue to see
what you were working on. If your preferred mouse tracking mode
is centered, the pointer will be moved to the center; otherwise
it will be moved to the item with focus.
- Pointer follows focus (disabled by default): If this option is
enabled, the mouse pointer will follow you as you arrow through
menu items and move among controls in dialog boxes.
We also know we have more work to do and are tracking the work with
Provide some kind of visual feedback for the item with focus
Orca should provide support for smooth/linear panning of the zoomer
Orca should support mouse bindings
Please also check http://live.gnome.org/Orca/Magnification and
http://live.gnome.org/Orca/ConfigurationGui for more information in the
coming days. We're planning updates to them soon to match the work above.
* Fix for bug #451988 - Firefox: navigation by landmark
The XHTML role attribute module defines the following roles: banner,
contentinfo, definition, main, navigation, note, search, secondary,
seealso. New functionality in Orca allows you to navigate to the
next and previous landmark on a page via the unbound keybindings:
- Goes to previous landmark
- Goes to next landmark
These commands are "unbound," meaning they do not have a keystroke
assigned to them. You can define the keystrokes you would like to
use on the Key Bindings pane of the Orca Preferences dialog: locate
each command you wish to define a keystroke for, move to the Key
Binding column, and press Return. You'll be prompted for the new
key. Press it (rather than type it out) and then press Return.
* Fix for bug #466251 - Support ARIA live regions in Firefox/Gecko.
amount of attention, and the number of websites using or planning to
use the technique is increasing. AJAX enables web developers to
easily create sites that change areas of their content in response
to user actions (such as in webmail applications) or real world
changes (such as updates of stock prices).
http://www.w3.org/TR/aria-state/ is designed to address these
issues. Live region markup allows web page authors to specify when
and how live changes to specific areas of a web page should be
spoken or shown on a Braille display by a screen reader.
The support for live regions in Orca is exposed via these
r and Shift+r: go to the next and previous live region relative to
the current caret position
y: go to the last (or current) live region that spoke
\: cycle through the different levels of politeness
Shift+\: turn monitoring of live regions on and off
Orca+F1, Orca+F2, ..., Orca+F9: review the last nth live region
announcement, where n is the number of the function key (i.e., the
last announcement is obtained via Orca+F1, the 9th last announcement
is obtained via Orca+F9).
* Fix for bug #473009 - Cannot arrow to the end of an HTML entry if
Orca is controlling the caret
* Fix for bug #501447 - Orca sometimes fails to speak our location
when entering FF3 entries
Performance and Quality:
* Much work on performance (bug #491756). If you have specific areas
that you think are slow, please let us know the exact details. These
performance fixes also rely upon fixes being made in other modules
(pyorbit, pyatspi) for the GNOME 2.21.4 release.
* Completed major pylinting work (bug #486726). This helped us
greatly and found a few latent bugs.
* Fix for bug #486970 - Where Am I should let you know you are in a
* Fix for bug #496846 - When tabbing to an editable combobox, text
selection should be displayed in braille
* Fix for bug #503527 - Mnemonics are not supported well
New and updated translations (THANKS EVERYONE!!!):
es Spanish Francisco Javier Dorado Martinez and
ko Korean Changwoo Ryu
nb Norwegian Bokmã¥L Espes Stefansen and Kjartan Maraas
sl Slovenian Matej UrbanÄ?iÄ?
* Where can I get it ?
You can obtain Orca v2.21.4 in source code form at the following:
The Orca Team
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