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Minutes of the Open A11y Expert Handlers SIG Call 2007/10/29


  • Neil Soiffer (NS/chair)
  • Pete Brunet (PB)
  • Vladmir Bulatov (VB)
  • Gregory J. Rosmaita (GJR/scribe)
  • Janina Sajka
    • regrets: none logged

Agenda Review

Approval of Last Meeting's Minutes

Minutes of Expert Handlers Conference Call 2007/10/29

Topic 1: Comments from GNOME Accessibility Summit on Neil's Flow of Control Proposal

JS: not taken up at GNOME A11y Summit; even as sympathetic an ear as Willie Walker considers it a feature request which no one wanted to address at that particular summit;

JS: general feeling among devs is that have GNOME a11y coming along nicely -- AT support really robust; so, never had an opportunity to have pipelining conversation

JS: we need to invite people here from time to time to brain-storm with us and compare notes and portability issues -- need to identify times people are available; rollout of GNOME 20; a lot of architectural issues relating to GNOME and KDE -- good things to report to wider a11y community;

NS: people to join group or call?

JS: from the conversations i had at the summit, such an effort might have better luck with inside W3C; trying to achieve Web 2.0 cross-platform a11y -- next logical step

NS: looking beyond web browsers

GJR: i've been contemplating the slogan "think outside the browser" -- XML-based technologies not necessarily for use on web only; specialized XML dialects which could/should be used in CDF (compound document formats); conversion of data to an XML-format as part of AT-SPI on D-Bus;

GJR: XML is also, obviously, used in DTBs -- moreover, there is a crossover, as janina mentioned with ARIA which is being developed by the Protocols & Formats Working Group (PFWG) at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C); ARIA based on the XHTML Role Module, which itself is extensible; (scribe's note: the PFWG's last call comments on the XHTML Role Module are publically archived.)

JS: for background: the port of information to an XML-based format is a product of investigating to see if AT-SPI can be successfully implemented (shoe-horned) into D-Bus -- if not effective, will have data as to why; need hard-nosed data to provide broadcast of AT-SPI; building prototype test for port to D-Bus to ascertain if sufficient support exists and if not identify specifically what needs to be done and by whom

NS: envisioned going beyond XML based technology; for example, PDF with embedded specialized markup; not an XML-application, but still need to pull out info and have expert handler work with AT in order to make entire PDF document accessible

JS: could conceiveably be an XML-based handler

NS: most of the markup for which handlers will be needed is xml-based - CellML, MathML, MusicXML, and so on -- which can be embedded in PDF file to provide a marked up compound document

VB: XML embeddable in PDF?

NS: yes, can stick attributes in

JS: platform agnostic

NS: going to be at W3C Technical Plenary next Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday until afternoon

JS: will also be at W3C Plenary on next Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday until afternoon

GJR: a new member of PFWG open a11y members should talk to: kenny johar - daisy implementor, including delivering DTBs to mobile devices; works out of melbourne, but last i spoke with him was pretty sure he'd be funded to travel to the W3C Technical Plenary; could be a valuable contact (and a possible replacement for julian quint as DAISY implementor on W3C's Compound Documents Formats Working Group. (scribe's note: brief unminuted history of ARIA development and where it currently stands)

NS: could GJR or JS bring up expert handlers up as subject at f2f for ARIA 2.0?

JS: might be advisable to keep here until it's more mature, and then take to W3C -- have to determine if platform specific code for handlers is necessary, and how much platform agnosticism is acheivable -- will same handler run on linux and windows? adopt what we adopt, better to discuss engineering here then move discussions there

NS: thought that PF might have more available bodies

JS: a hard-core of very busy bodies (in the good sense)

NS: (perusing PF web space) then perhaps the time to ask is at the time of rechartering?

GJR: i think our best approach is to have you, NS, as chair, email al gilman, as chair of PF, informing him and the WG about the work being done on handlers here at Open A11y and requesting that the 2 WGs open a dialog with the aim of providing coordination and dove-tailing of what could/should be a crucial portion of ARIA 2.0; be sure to cross-post to the list, as well as to the WAI's director, judy brewer (

JS: make sure that you specifically mention use of XML for providing an agnostic interface

GJR: could recycle from CSUN 2008 Handlers proposal. (also available is a plain text version of the Handlers SIG's CSUN 2008 Proposal

NS: i think i should draft something and cycle it through the handlers list

ACTION ITEM: NS - draft and cycle coordination request to PFWG through handlers list

Topic 2: Expert Handlers Testing Protocol

NS: need implementors -- and a specification would help

JS: nothing really to say at this point

Topic 3: Is there a need for an Input Expert Handler Use Case?

JS: will draft use case for 12 November 2007 meeting

NS: will invite al gilman to join the Handlers call on 19 November 2007 or at his earliest possible convenience

JS: should hear from CSUN by end of week -- was told they are going to inform us by end of october

NS: extended deadline -- may slip approval notification

Topic 4: New Issues/Identify Agenda Items for 5 November 2007 Expert Handlers Call

  • Will there be a quorum for 5 November 2007 or should the meeting be cancelled due to participants (including chair) unavailable due to the W3C's Technical Plenary meetings

NS: no meeting 5 november 2007 due to overlap with W3C Technical Plenary; next Handlers SIG meeting will be on 12 november 2007

GJR: will be sure to ask if everyone can attend on 12 november when i post minutes to list