Eclipse Freshman Project #6: Accessibility Tools Framework (ACTF)
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Project #6 in my series of 10 new projects joining the Galileo release train is the Eclipse Accessibility Tools Framework (ACTF). Kentarou Fukuda is the project leader of ACTF.
What does your project do?
The Eclipse Accessibility Tools Framework (ACTF) project is working to provide an extensible and comprehensive framework for accessibility tools.
The ACTF 0.7 (Galileo release) provides an integrated development environment for accessible Web applications, going even beyond legislative compliance (as for U.S. Section 508) and also considering the special usability needs of everyone. ACTF extends the Web, J2EE, and PHP Perspectives of Eclipse with seamless accessibility evaluation features, such as automatic error detection, visualization of usability for voice access users, and image-processing-based simulation of the views of low-vision people. These features help developers in quickly recognizing, learning about, and improving the accessibility of their applications. This integration is just a first step. Our ultimate goal is to make every artifact generated with or developed on the Eclipse IDE accessible for everyone.
Who are your typical users?
Our current users are developers, designers, and accessibility testers who aim to create more accessible Web content.
Why did you join the Galileo release train? After completing your
first release train, what do you think now?
To join an annual release was one of our main objectives for the project. We want to contribute to Eclipse and to raise public awareness of the project. Honestly, it was a hard work. By joining the release train, however, the quality and the maturity of ACTF were drastically improved.
It’s a good experience for us to work with such a large community. We’ll continue to enhance ACTF by leveraging this experience and we’ll join the next release train, too!
What future enhancements are you planning for your project?
The Eclipse ACTF team is planning to start community implementation of checking logic for new and coming accessibility guidelines, such as WCAG 2.0 and the new Section 508 revisions. We are already working on several new features for visual complexity visualization and accessibility evaluation for mobile devices, which will expand the coverage of ACTF in the next release. We also have plans to work with other Eclipse projects, such as WTP and PDT, to provide a more integrated accessibility improvement environment for Web developers.
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