MSAA for Linux

Scott Howell showell at
Wed Jul 4 11:27:08 EDT 2001

What we really need is to get companies like Sun to move more rapidly
forward on a talking X server. I know they have been working on this, but
have not been able to find out the status on the project. There's been
several groups of folk working on a talking X server or similar idea, but
little has come of it.
I'm not sure why, but perhaps the need is not there or it would seem to
these groups or possibly development resources are very limited. 

On Mon, 2 Jul 2001, Rich Caloggero wrote:

> Well, not exactly MSAA, but something in the spirit of MSAA for linux would
> be a *great* thing. MSAA allows a process to ask another process about its
> internals. The questions which can be asked and the data which can be
> gathered about process  X by process Y are carefully designed to minimize
> security concerns and to be particularly useful to a screen reader. To put
> it another way, if process X is a screen reader and process Y is, say, a web
> browser, then process X is going to want to know a bunch of things about
> process Y in order to allow a blind user to interact with it. Actually, if
> process X could just get hold of the parsed html (this tree is usually
> called the document object model - DOM), then the screen reader would be
> able to do great things. If you look at the jfw scripts for internet
> explorer, there is a call which returns a DOM object. The function called is
> not defined anywhere in JFW; its a magic call  made posible by MSAA.
> As fare as I know, the ultrasonix screen reader for X-Windows is based upon
> similar technology. With X, however, implementing a protocol which can allow
> any process to gather this kind of information from another process is
> complex and risks exposing too much, making security a problem. There are
> other issues too which I'm not really up on, but I do believe that X now has
> RAP and ICE protocols (romote access protocol, and I'm not sure what ICE
> stands for), but I'm not sure how fully developed they or ultrasonix are at
> present.
> Can anyone shed more light on this?
>                     Rich
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Victor Tsaran" <tsar at>
> To: <speakup at>
> Sent: Thursday, June 28, 2001 1:17 PM
> Subject: Re: NICHOLAS PETRELEY: "The Open Source" from,
> Wednesday, June 27, 2001
> > I think this is a very interesting article. How do we, VIP, benefit from
> the
> > powerful and yet easy-to-use KDE version 2.1? Unfortunately, we can see it
> > happening more often that more and more programs are written for X-Window.
> > Don't tell me there are console alternatives for every GUI program, this
> is
> > no longer true. MSAA for Linux is what we need!
> > Best,
> > Vic
> >
> >
> >
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