Brussels / 3 & 4 February 2018


Maintaining accessibility through testing?

Accessibility in free software has been much improved between 2004 and 2009 thanks to Sun, which massively invested for it. Since it has disappeared, big free software projects have experienced many regressions in this matter. Some of their maintainers consider that there is not enough money to deal with the matter.

Given the complexity of code such as Libreoffice, and given the status of accessibility of software in modern society, it becomes impossible to invest millions of euros to pay for someone who would fix current bugs and track future ones in millions of code lines, through hundreds of commits, and permanently. All the more since beyond this task, a paid expert should rather work about improvements of assistive technologies themselves and pipes (at-spi, atk), instead of fixing miscoding of unaware developers. So, to hope a free and accessible software, major projects need to take responsibility of this. Non-regression tests could be a way to make this duty lighter, even if not a complete solution. What kind of tests could be set?


Photo of Samuel Thibault Samuel Thibault