Sun gets grant for AEGIS Project

Sun gets grant for AEGIS Project

Summary: By providing an open method for accessing third-generation Web pages and applications, AEGIS could leapfrog Microsoft's work in this area and not just take back an important sub-market, but enormous amounts of goodwill.

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AEGIS project overview diagramSun got a grant this morning from the Euorpean Comission for the AEGIS Project, an important effort to give open source the accessibility features of proprietary software.

Microsoft has long benefitted from its work on accessibility. Blind users know that the best screen readers and text enlargement tools in the business come with Windows and Office. They are committed enthusiasts.

These same users also give Microsoft a buffer against open source standards. When Massachusetts tried to mandate ODF a few years ago, it was pressure from handicapped users of Word that did the most to stay their hand.

But the real news here is that AEGIS aims not to match what Microsoft has done but go beyond it.

The biggest problem for handicapped users today may be Web 2.0 and RIA standards like AJAX. How does a screen reader address a "word cloud" to a blind person?

AEGIS will address these questions through the Open Accessibility Framework. You may pronouce it "oaf" but for Microsoft the correct pronounciation may be "oof."

By providing an open method for accessing third-generation Web pages and applications, AEGIS could leapfrog Microsoft's work in this area and not just take back an important sub-market, but enormous amounts of goodwill.

In any case the effort will be fun to watch. My mom has been blind for 30 years, and one of my best friends recently went total, so I have a dog in this fight.

I wish both sides good luck.

Topics: Browser, Emerging Tech, Enterprise Software, Microsoft, Open Source, Oracle, Software Development

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3 comments
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  • I wish I could...

    See the graphic. After jumping through hoops, including a certificate error for self signed cert, the image is the same size.
    Rottman3D@...
    • I noticed that myself

      But hopefully you looked at the text on the page.

      Actually there is a lesson here. Imagine if you were
      barely sighted. All images were like that. Or non-
      sighted. You would miss all that information. That's
      why tagging images is so important.
      DanaBlankenhorn
  • RE: Sun gets grant for AEGIS Project

    I have to say I was dumbfounded by this entire article. It is absolutely absurd and capped off by this line:

    "I wish both sides good luck."

    Seriously, what are the two sides we're talking about? This isn't about Microsoft vs. Sun/Open Source. There is only ONE side here, that of the accessibility community. It's great that EC's AEGIS programme is helping the FLOSS Community attempt to improve its accessibility technologies. But it isn't about beating Microsoft. It's about helping those that NEED better accessiblity from the ICT industry and the FLOSS community.

    This is one of those times where you should put down your Open Souce Fanboy/Microsoft Hater garb, and focus on what is really important. Otherwise, you'll just embarrass the friends and family you mentioned in the article.
    QuietAmerican