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From Steve Lee <>
Subject Re: AOO.Next IBM Priorities
Date Fri, 09 Nov 2012 13:23:42 GMT
Steve Lee
OpenDirective -
On Nov 2, 2012 7:59 AM, "Andre Fischer" <> wrote:
> On 01.11.2012 17:45, wrote:
>> A quick note, wearing my "IBM hat".
>> We (IBM) have consulted with customers, internal users, other IBM product
>> teams, on what our (IBM's) development priorities should be for the next
>> AOO release.  Obviously, we're not the only ones with priorities or
>> interests or opinions.  We don't make AOO decisions by ourselves.  But we
>> want to be transparent about what our own priorities are, for our
>> employees participating in the AOO community, and what they will be
>> focusing on.   As we did with AOO 3.4.0 and 3.4.1, we'll be putting the
>> details onto the wiki over the next couple of weeks.  You'll hear more at
>> ApacheCon, but I wanted you to hear it hear first.
>> Our top priorities:
>> -- Improve the install and deployment experience, especially by
>> digital signatures on installs, and introducing a new incremental update
>> feature, so users are not required to download and install a full image
>> for just a minor update.
>> -- A major UI enhancement, a sidebar framework for the editors, ported
>> over from Symphony, and including an API.  If you recall, Symphony won
>> quite a lot of praise for its UI, and much of this was due to the sidebar
>> panel.  I think we can make a good argument that this approach, say
>> compared to the MS Office "ribbon" is a better use of screen real-estate,
>> especially as we see more frequent use of wide screen displays.
>> -- Improved Table of Contents in Writer
>> -- Improved system integration on Windows and MacOS, including possible
>> adoption of "gestures".
>> -- IAccessible2 bridge, ported over from Symphony, to improve
>> accessibility.  This is a major effort, but very important.
> I will be talking about IAccessible2 as stand in for Steve Yin at the
> Please meet me there at 11:45am on Nov 6 (Level 1 Left).

Andre, sorry to mid your talk but I will check the slides. I have 2 points
of information regarding the usefulness of the  IAccessible2 work. Neither
are new but I thought worth restating now to support it being a priority..

1: I just had a conversation with one of developers of NVDA, the popular
screen reader for blind access on Windows. He said right now the Windows
Accessibility story is "terrible" in OSS office solutions. To repeat a
previous observation, there is a real demand for this from the
Accessibility community. This need is also wider than the those using
assistive technology who have visual impairments.

2: I also spotted Hubert Duerr's talk on automated testing in the ApacheCon
programme and thought it worth mentioning that Accessibility APIs provides
a powerful way to automate testing of and via the user interface. At least
2 Linux desktop testing frameworks take this approach using AT/API which is
similar to IA2. I'm sure appealing to the testing market was the reason
Microsoft named their updated Accessibility API "User Interface Automation,

Steve Lee
Open Directive

>> -- Closer integration of clipart and template libraries with user
>> experience.
>> -- Update branding and visual styling, contemporary and compelling, fresh
>> and relevant.
>> -- Social integration, allow our users to quickly and easily share their
>> thoughts in a way that compliment their commercial social behavior.
>> Explore the integration of consumer service-specific capabilities as well
>> as generic Share... actions.
>> -- And many other smaller items
>> Obviously the release date for this cannot be pinned down so early, and
>> releasing is PMC decision, not an IBM one.  But we think that this work
>> could be completed and tested for a release in the March/April 2013
>> time-frame.  And the scope of the release might be significant enough to
>> warrant a "4.0" designation.
>> In any case, we'll soon set up a page on the wiki to collect these items.
>> As always, I invite you to add your own priorities to the wiki, things
>> that you would like to work on.  This could be a new feature.  Or, if one
>> of the above items sound interesting to you, we always welcome help
>> designing and implementing these features.
>> Regards,
>> -Rob

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