Thank you very much for all the constructive comments. Firstly, I should
apologise if I came across as being attacking yesterday. It's really
frustration that previously it's been very hard to get to talk to anyone
about accessibility issues in LibreOffice.
I must admit I will have to go back and have a look at the current
issues with LibreOffice 7 and NVDA 2020.3. I started to compile
information a few years ago and ensure all issues I knew about were
but as it was a bit of a black hole at the time, and NV Access developers
didn't have the resources to work on LibreOffice as well as NVDA, it got
set aside from our end. I will talk with the team about putting
proposal to the board, thank you Simon for that suggestion!
And of course, issues do need to be prioritised - and as with any area,
just because something may be an accessibility issue, doesn't mean it is
critical, and some have workarounds which can be used in the
many accessibility issues do mean a feature, or even entire product is
completely unusable to a particular group of people. They may then not
report that but instead find an alternative product. If you can use a
product, but one feature is a bit buggy, you are more likely to report
issue, than if the whole product is unusable (to you), particularly if
aren't familiar with Bugzilla, a screenreader user is much more likely to
be apprehensive that even trying to report the issue is going to be too
hard. (I know we have NVDA users who use Bugzilla, but for those not
familiar with it, that would certainly be a consideration a screenreader
user thinks of that a sighted user wouldn't necessarily worry about).
Telesto's comment that developers aren't familiar with accessibility
is entirely accurate, and I think demonstrative of a core problem in
training of software developers - completely outside the scope of this
conversation and what any of us has control over - but if an architect
designed a big public building without a wheelchair accessible entrance,
they would quickly find themselves out of work. Why? Are there so many
people in wheelchairs? No - but actually mothers with prams, people with
suitcases, an athletic 20 year old who hurt their leg playing football
week, and numerous others, all benefit from that wheelchair accessible
entrance. The same is true for "accessibility" features in software.
Everyone I have heard of who has purchased a computer in recent years
a half decent video card has taken advantage of accessibility features -
video card manufacturers want you to use their video card at the maximum
resolution - yet that makes everything tiny, so everyone either uses the
"Make everything bigger" feature (in Windows) to set the value higher
100%, or increase font size, or make the mouse a bit bigger. Of course,
one of the main reasons that public buildings HAVE to have a wheelchair
accessible entrance, is because legislation in most jurisdictions require
it. That is starting to happen with software, but slowly.
Thank you for the positive dialog - and again, I am looking forward to
engaging positively on how we can work together.
On Wed, Oct 28, 2020 at 9:20 PM Simon Phipps <email@example.com> wrote:
Over the last 20 years I have spent quite a bit of energy on the
accessibility in openoffice.org so let's consider your request in that
Accessibility is undeniably important, and LibreOffice already includes
the results of large amounts of work by a variety of people to make it
accessible to people with a variety of different needs. This work has
done by different people with different affiliations over the years.
required skills, equipment and experience that are all specialised. It
would not be correct to assert that LibreOffice has neglected the
those requiring specific accessibility accommodations. However, the
huge and there are always more needs that could be addressed, especially
maintaining the work that has already been done.
LibreOffice is not written or maintained by TDF, despite all the
that might give you that impression. It is written by diverse
with diverse motivations, many of them associated with employment.
all of the significant additions to LibreOffice are made by developers
working for companies with a commercial interest in LibreOffice-derived
service, support and products. TDF's Board cannot give any of them
instructions to address any particular development need. The most
do is make a budget allocation to have work done, and when that
needs to be openly tendered. Those tenders remain a controversial
the Board as you will see from the minutes.
To the matter of NVAccess. To have the accessibility capabilities your
organisation maintains integrated into LibreOffice is not within the
power of TDF's Board. They could however approve a detailed, costed work
proposal and then open a tender to have it satisfied by developers
appropriate skills. From looking at https://www.nvaccess.org/ it seems
the people most likely to be able to create that proposal are actually
staff and volunteers for the charity you represent.
May I thus suggest that your energy would be better spent trying to
that costed and detailed proposal for the Board to approve? If you need
help with the format or structure needed, it is likely a member of the
Engineering Steering Committee (which is actually the council of core
developers) would assist you, or failing that I am sure Florian would
direct you to resources if you asked him. I am no longer a Board member,
but I would expect your proposal to be received positively. This
will lead to an outcome; asking the Board to discuss accessibility in
general terms will not :-)
I hope that helps.
On Wed, Oct 28, 2020 at 7:30 AM Quentin Christensen
Given the increasing use of open source software such as Libre
government and corporate use, it is disappointing it isn't more of a
priority. Not being accessible does explicitly exclude LIbre Office
most government use for instance. I understand the difficulties
having any paid developers you can direct to do particular work, but it
does make the product specifically impossible to use for large
I wonder how other FLOSS projects handle this?
On Wed, Oct 28, 2020 at 5:59 PM Florian Effenberger <
Quentin Christensen wrote:
Was there any discussion about accessibility and if so, did anything
come out of it?
there was no separate discussion about accessibility. It is one of the
topics the board has in their ranking, to determine the
importance/priority of the topic - but we didn't discuss it in detail.
Training and Support Manager
User group: https://nvda.groups.io/g/nvda
Twitter: @NVAccess <https://twitter.com/NVAccess>
*Office:* +1 (415) 683-7660 *or* +44 (238) 098 7027