Linux Foundation announces tools for Windows apps

By : |July 7, 2010 0

SAN FRANCISCO, CA: The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced that its Open Accessibility Workgroup is releasing IAccessible2 for Windows under the BSD license. It is also announcing the availability of AccProbe, a new desktop application testing tool that is available under the BSD license.

AccProbe uses IAccessible2 platform services to assist developers in discovering and correcting code problems in their Windows applications. It was developed in Eclipse by IBM and donated to The Linux Foundation’s Open Accessibility Workgroup.

IAccessible2 is accessibility API for Windows and facilitates access to applications like Firefox and IBM Lotus Symphony for persons with disabilities. It fills critical accessibility API gaps left by Microsoft’s Active Accessibility API (MSAA).

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 "The Open Accessibility workgroup is working hard to ensure all developers can incorporate the IAccessible2 API into their work for the benefit of all persons with disabilities," said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation.

He further said that by transitioning to the BSD license and providing important testing tools for developers, the workgroup is demonstrating commitment to computer access for all.

At this year’s CSUN Conference on Disabilities, Adobe Systems Incorporated discussed plans to support IAccessible2 in the next major releases of Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader. IAccessible2 is already supported in IBM Lotus Symphony, Firefox, and Eclipse, said a press release.

Assistive Technology vendors supporting the API include JAWS, NVDA, Window-Eyes and ZoomText.

"Adobe applauds The Linux Foundation’s release of IAccessible2 under a BSD license," said Andrew Kirkpatrick, group product manager for Accessibility at Adobe.

He added, "IAccessible2 contains important technological improvements that we plan to incorporate into upcoming versions of Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash Player, and Adobe AIR in order to continue improving on existing accessibility support in these products."

The license change to BSD makes it easier to integrate open source AT into proprietary Windows environments, making programs more accessible to computer users with disabilities. Because the BSD license is designed to allow software released under the license to be incorporated into proprietary products, Windows users with disabilities can gain access to more applications while all Windows users will experience more reliable, fully tested applications.

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