[Mono-osx] Information about monodevelop and accessibility

Sandy Armstrong sanfordarmstrong at gmail.com
Wed Apr 21 20:30:04 EDT 2010

On Wed, Apr 21, 2010 at 5:15 PM, Sauro Cesaretti
<saurocesaretti1983 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hello,
> I'm a new apple user and a .net programmer.
> I'd like to use the monodevelop environment with voiceover screen reader.
> I have tried to install monodevelop in my apple but it seems that it doesn't read anything.
> Do you think that it is accessible at the moment?

GTK+ applications are not currently accessible on Mac OS X (at least,
not via Apple's VoiceOver).

It is, I suppose, possible that the Linux accessibility infrastructure
(mostly, at-spi) could be made to run on Mac, but you would need to
use Linux screenreaders like Orca, and you would still run into
problems with certain important MonoDevelop widgets still being

I'm fairly doubtful that Orca and at-spi run well in OS X, though.

> if not, could I help the team to improve the accessibility in some ways?

I believe you would need to implement a complete bridge from ATK (the
accessibility toolkit used to make GTK+ widgets accessible) to Mac OS
X's native accessibility infrastructure, which is probably a fairly
large project.

Once this was complete, you would still need to fix a few of
MonoDevelop's widgets to be accessible via ATK.  My accessibility
stack is currently broken so I can't inspect MD with Accerciser (a
Linux-based a11y testing tool), but I'd guess that important parts of
the UI like the editor are not currently accessible via ATK.

The second task would be easier than the first, and you could use
recent work in Banshee's accessibility as an example for how to use
ATK# to make GTK# widgets accessible.

Hope this helps,

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