Another appeal for an IDispatch interface for Firefox

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Another appeal for an IDispatch interface for Firefox

Jamal Mazrui
This is to reiterate a suggestion I made a couple years ago.  On
Windows, it certainly aids accessibility for assistive technology
developers to be able to obtain information about Firefox user interface
controls and web content via a COM interface.  Unfortunately, however,
an early-bound, low-level COM interface that is tailored to C++
programmers does not help scripters of assistive technology.  JAWS,
Window-Eyes, and Hal, for example, include full-fledged scripting
languages that are designed for advanced users with skill in a high
level programming language.  Such individuals often know from personal
experience what kinds of enhancements to their browsing experiences
would be most helpful.  The 3rd party market of accessibility extensions
to Firefox would be significantly larger, in my opinion, if scripters
could build extensions on top of their assistive technologies.

For this to happen, the COM object models of Firefox (and other Mozilla
applications such as Thunderbird) need to be additionally exposed via a
late-bound IDispatch interface with a ProgID that supports automation
clients.  For example, the syntax to obtain an initial COM object might
be something like

OFirefox = CreateObject("Firefox.Application")

I know that adding an IDispatch interface is not a trivial programming
project.  Nevertheless, it is a common practice among software
developers for Windows applications, and I think the benefits would be
significant on that platform.  Internet Explorer offers such an
interface, and as a result, I know of JAWS and Window-Eyes scripters
(including myself) who have put it to good use, e.g., enabling access to
the DOM of the current web page in ways not facilitated by default
screen reader functionality.

Regards,
Jamal

Jamal Mazrui
Deputy Director, Accessibility and Innovation Initiative
Federal Communications Commission
202.418.0069

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Re: Another appeal for an IDispatch interface for Firefox

David Bolter-3
Hi Jamal,

I haven't begun to estimate the work required for this, but I've filed a
bug for technical discussion here:
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=633556

As for priorities, we'll definitely consider your points about
script-ability.

Thanks,
David

On 11/02/11 12:20 PM, Jamal Mazrui wrote:

> This is to reiterate a suggestion I made a couple years ago.  On
> Windows, it certainly aids accessibility for assistive technology
> developers to be able to obtain information about Firefox user interface
> controls and web content via a COM interface.  Unfortunately, however,
> an early-bound, low-level COM interface that is tailored to C++
> programmers does not help scripters of assistive technology.  JAWS,
> Window-Eyes, and Hal, for example, include full-fledged scripting
> languages that are designed for advanced users with skill in a high
> level programming language.  Such individuals often know from personal
> experience what kinds of enhancements to their browsing experiences
> would be most helpful.  The 3rd party market of accessibility extensions
> to Firefox would be significantly larger, in my opinion, if scripters
> could build extensions on top of their assistive technologies.
>
> For this to happen, the COM object models of Firefox (and other Mozilla
> applications such as Thunderbird) need to be additionally exposed via a
> late-bound IDispatch interface with a ProgID that supports automation
> clients.  For example, the syntax to obtain an initial COM object might
> be something like
>
> OFirefox = CreateObject("Firefox.Application")
>
> I know that adding an IDispatch interface is not a trivial programming
> project.  Nevertheless, it is a common practice among software
> developers for Windows applications, and I think the benefits would be
> significant on that platform.  Internet Explorer offers such an
> interface, and as a result, I know of JAWS and Window-Eyes scripters
> (including myself) who have put it to good use, e.g., enabling access to
> the DOM of the current web page in ways not facilitated by default
> screen reader functionality.
>
> Regards,
> Jamal
>
> Jamal Mazrui
> Deputy Director, Accessibility and Innovation Initiative
> Federal Communications Commission
> 202.418.0069
>
> _______________________________________________
> dev-accessibility mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/dev-accessibility

_______________________________________________
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Re: Another appeal for an IDispatch interface for Firefox

Alexander Surkov
In reply to this post by Jamal Mazrui
Hi, Jamal.

What kind of interfaces are looking for? You can use IAccessible interface
for Firefox UI and web pages content from scripts (for example, from JAWS
scripts). If you need more power then we could try to make that for
IAccessible2. I'd certanly wouldn't do that for ISimpleDOM interfaces, what
is an equivalent of IE interfaces at some precision, due to number of
reasons.

But technically if you talk about accessibility extensions for Firefox why
does Firefox addons approach not work for you? Here you can use Gecko
nsIAccessible interfaces (and much more) from JS and have no restrictions.

Thank you.
Alexander.


On Sat, Feb 12, 2011 at 1:20 AM, Jamal Mazrui <[hidden email]> wrote:

> This is to reiterate a suggestion I made a couple years ago.  On
> Windows, it certainly aids accessibility for assistive technology
> developers to be able to obtain information about Firefox user interface
> controls and web content via a COM interface.  Unfortunately, however,
> an early-bound, low-level COM interface that is tailored to C++
> programmers does not help scripters of assistive technology.  JAWS,
> Window-Eyes, and Hal, for example, include full-fledged scripting
> languages that are designed for advanced users with skill in a high
> level programming language.  Such individuals often know from personal
> experience what kinds of enhancements to their browsing experiences
> would be most helpful.  The 3rd party market of accessibility extensions
> to Firefox would be significantly larger, in my opinion, if scripters
> could build extensions on top of their assistive technologies.
>
> For this to happen, the COM object models of Firefox (and other Mozilla
> applications such as Thunderbird) need to be additionally exposed via a
> late-bound IDispatch interface with a ProgID that supports automation
> clients.  For example, the syntax to obtain an initial COM object might
> be something like
>
> OFirefox = CreateObject("Firefox.Application")
>
> I know that adding an IDispatch interface is not a trivial programming
> project.  Nevertheless, it is a common practice among software
> developers for Windows applications, and I think the benefits would be
> significant on that platform.  Internet Explorer offers such an
> interface, and as a result, I know of JAWS and Window-Eyes scripters
> (including myself) who have put it to good use, e.g., enabling access to
> the DOM of the current web page in ways not facilitated by default
> screen reader functionality.
>
> Regards,
> Jamal
>
> Jamal Mazrui
> Deputy Director, Accessibility and Innovation Initiative
> Federal Communications Commission
> 202.418.0069
>
> _______________________________________________
> dev-accessibility mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/dev-accessibility
>
_______________________________________________
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[hidden email]
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RE: Another appeal for an IDispatch interface for Firefox

Jamal Mazrui
 Hi Alexander,
The JAWS scripting language, and scripting languages in general, can
only access COM object models through an IDispatch interface.  They
cannot work with IUnknown or other, low-level COM interfaces.
 
A problem with Firefox extensions is that an end-user has to separately
install and authorize them, whereas screen reader scripts or apps can be
distributed in a more friendly manner.  I also do not know of a way that
an extension can integrate with the screen reader synchronously.  For
example, I would want to instantiate a COM object via the CreateObject
or GetObject functions of the JAWS scripting language.  My script might
then call methods and retrieve properties from the Firefox object model
in order to get desired pieces of information.  The script might then
use one of the Say or Braille functions of the JAWS scripting language
in order to convey that information to the user.
 
This kind of technique is used extensively by scripts for JAWS and
Window-Eyes (which generally uses VBScript for such purposes).  It is
used, for example, in scripts to increase the accessibility and
usability of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, as well as Internet
Explorer.  It is also used for accessing myriad other COM object models
that are part of Windows, e.g., with ProgIDs like
"Scripting.FileSystemObject,"VBScript.RegExp," "WScript.Shell," and the
WMI object model.
 
Jamal
 
________________________________

From: Alexander Surkov [mailto:[hidden email]]
Sent: Friday, February 11, 2011 2:04 PM
To: Jamal Mazrui
Cc: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: Another appeal for an IDispatch interface for Firefox


Hi, Jamal.

What kind of interfaces are looking for? You can use IAccessible
interface for Firefox UI and web pages content from scripts (for
example, from JAWS scripts). If you need more power then we could try to
make that for IAccessible2. I'd certanly wouldn't do that for ISimpleDOM
interfaces, what is an equivalent of IE interfaces at some precision,
due to number of reasons.

But technically if you talk about accessibility extensions for Firefox
why does Firefox addons approach not work for you? Here you can use
Gecko nsIAccessible interfaces (and much more) from JS and have no
restrictions.

Thank you.
Alexander.



On Sat, Feb 12, 2011 at 1:20 AM, Jamal Mazrui <[hidden email]>
wrote:


        This is to reiterate a suggestion I made a couple years ago.  On
        Windows, it certainly aids accessibility for assistive
technology
        developers to be able to obtain information about Firefox user
interface
        controls and web content via a COM interface.  Unfortunately,
however,
        an early-bound, low-level COM interface that is tailored to C++
        programmers does not help scripters of assistive technology.
JAWS,
        Window-Eyes, and Hal, for example, include full-fledged
scripting
        languages that are designed for advanced users with skill in a
high
        level programming language.  Such individuals often know from
personal
        experience what kinds of enhancements to their browsing
experiences
        would be most helpful.  The 3rd party market of accessibility
extensions
        to Firefox would be significantly larger, in my opinion, if
scripters
        could build extensions on top of their assistive technologies.
       
        For this to happen, the COM object models of Firefox (and other
Mozilla
        applications such as Thunderbird) need to be additionally
exposed via a
        late-bound IDispatch interface with a ProgID that supports
automation
        clients.  For example, the syntax to obtain an initial COM
object might
        be something like
       
        OFirefox = CreateObject("Firefox.Application")
       
        I know that adding an IDispatch interface is not a trivial
programming
        project.  Nevertheless, it is a common practice among software
        developers for Windows applications, and I think the benefits
would be
        significant on that platform.  Internet Explorer offers such an
        interface, and as a result, I know of JAWS and Window-Eyes
scripters
        (including myself) who have put it to good use, e.g., enabling
access to
        the DOM of the current web page in ways not facilitated by
default
        screen reader functionality.
       
        Regards,
        Jamal
       
        Jamal Mazrui
        Deputy Director, Accessibility and Innovation Initiative
        Federal Communications Commission
        202.418.0069
       
        _______________________________________________
        dev-accessibility mailing list
        [hidden email]
        https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/dev-accessibility
       


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Re: Another appeal for an IDispatch interface for Firefox

Alexander Surkov
Hi, Jamal.

I don't know well JAWS scripting but I think they should provide a way to
get IAccessible for Firefox. If it's general vbscript then who does executes
it? Do these platforms provide a way to get IAccessible for desired
application?

What kind of interfaces do you look for?

Thank you.
Alexander.


On Sat, Feb 12, 2011 at 4:12 AM, Jamal Mazrui <[hidden email]> wrote:

>   Hi Alexander,
> The JAWS scripting language, and scripting languages in general, can only
> access COM object models through an IDispatch interface.  They cannot work
> with IUnknown or other, low-level COM interfaces.
>
> A problem with Firefox extensions is that an end-user has to separately
> install and authorize them, whereas screen reader scripts or apps can be
> distributed in a more friendly manner.  I also do not know of a way that
> an extension can integrate with the screen reader synchronously.  For
> example, I would want to instantiate a COM object via the CreateObject or
> GetObject functions of the JAWS scripting language.  My script might then
> call methods and retrieve properties from the Firefox object model in order
> to get desired pieces of information.  The script might then use one of the
> Say or Braille functions of the JAWS scripting language in order to convey
> that information to the user.
>
> This kind of technique is used extensively by scripts for JAWS and
> Window-Eyes (which generally uses VBScript for such purposes).  It is used,
> for example, in scripts to increase the accessibility and usability of
> Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, as well as Internet Explorer.  It is
> also used for accessing myriad other COM object models that are part of
> Windows, e.g., with ProgIDs like
> "Scripting.FileSystemObject,"VBScript.RegExp," "WScript.Shell," and the WMI
> object model.
>
> Jamal
>
>  ------------------------------
>  *From:* Alexander Surkov [mailto:[hidden email]]
> *Sent:* Friday, February 11, 2011 2:04 PM
> *To:* Jamal Mazrui
> *Cc:* [hidden email]
> *Subject:* Re: Another appeal for an IDispatch interface for Firefox
>
> Hi, Jamal.
>
> What kind of interfaces are looking for? You can use IAccessible interface
> for Firefox UI and web pages content from scripts (for example, from JAWS
> scripts). If you need more power then we could try to make that for
> IAccessible2. I'd certanly wouldn't do that for ISimpleDOM interfaces, what
> is an equivalent of IE interfaces at some precision, due to number of
> reasons.
>
> But technically if you talk about accessibility extensions for Firefox why
> does Firefox addons approach not work for you? Here you can use Gecko
> nsIAccessible interfaces (and much more) from JS and have no restrictions.
>
> Thank you.
> Alexander.
>
>
> On Sat, Feb 12, 2011 at 1:20 AM, Jamal Mazrui <[hidden email]>wrote:
>
>> This is to reiterate a suggestion I made a couple years ago.  On
>> Windows, it certainly aids accessibility for assistive technology
>> developers to be able to obtain information about Firefox user interface
>> controls and web content via a COM interface.  Unfortunately, however,
>> an early-bound, low-level COM interface that is tailored to C++
>> programmers does not help scripters of assistive technology.  JAWS,
>> Window-Eyes, and Hal, for example, include full-fledged scripting
>> languages that are designed for advanced users with skill in a high
>> level programming language.  Such individuals often know from personal
>> experience what kinds of enhancements to their browsing experiences
>> would be most helpful.  The 3rd party market of accessibility extensions
>> to Firefox would be significantly larger, in my opinion, if scripters
>> could build extensions on top of their assistive technologies.
>>
>> For this to happen, the COM object models of Firefox (and other Mozilla
>> applications such as Thunderbird) need to be additionally exposed via a
>> late-bound IDispatch interface with a ProgID that supports automation
>> clients.  For example, the syntax to obtain an initial COM object might
>> be something like
>>
>> OFirefox = CreateObject("Firefox.Application")
>>
>> I know that adding an IDispatch interface is not a trivial programming
>> project.  Nevertheless, it is a common practice among software
>> developers for Windows applications, and I think the benefits would be
>> significant on that platform.  Internet Explorer offers such an
>> interface, and as a result, I know of JAWS and Window-Eyes scripters
>> (including myself) who have put it to good use, e.g., enabling access to
>> the DOM of the current web page in ways not facilitated by default
>> screen reader functionality.
>>
>> Regards,
>> Jamal
>>
>> Jamal Mazrui
>> Deputy Director, Accessibility and Innovation Initiative
>> Federal Communications Commission
>> 202.418.0069
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> dev-accessibility mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/dev-accessibility
>>
>
>
_______________________________________________
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Re: Another appeal for an IDispatch interface for Firefox

Jamal Mazrui-2
Hi Alexander,
In general, scripting languages like VBScript, VBA, and JAWS Script can
only use COM servers that implement an IDispatch interface.  Parameters
and return types are variant data types.

The developers of JAWS, itself, probably use C++ and a lower level COM
interface when accessing COM servers.  Scripts that run on top of JAWS,
however, need the friendlier IDispatch interface.

Thus, I hope that COM interface can be implemented by Mozilla on Windows
as well, which would make GECO and XUL-based applications scriptable by
assistive technologies.  Scripts can add functionality unforseen by the
original application developers, especially functionality that improves
accessibility or efficiency by users with disabilities.

A Wikipedia article about IDispatch is here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IDispatch

Jamal


On 2/15/2011 6:04 AM, Alexander Surkov wrote:

> Hi, Jamal.
>
> I don't know well JAWS scripting but I think they should provide a way to
> get IAccessible for Firefox. If it's general vbscript then who does executes
> it? Do these platforms provide a way to get IAccessible for desired
> application?
>
> What kind of interfaces do you look for?
>
> Thank you.
> Alexander.
>
>
> On Sat, Feb 12, 2011 at 4:12 AM, Jamal Mazrui<[hidden email]>  wrote:
>
>>    Hi Alexander,
>> The JAWS scripting language, and scripting languages in general, can only
>> access COM object models through an IDispatch interface.  They cannot work
>> with IUnknown or other, low-level COM interfaces.
>>
>> A problem with Firefox extensions is that an end-user has to separately
>> install and authorize them, whereas screen reader scripts or apps can be
>> distributed in a more friendly manner.  I also do not know of a way that
>> an extension can integrate with the screen reader synchronously.  For
>> example, I would want to instantiate a COM object via the CreateObject or
>> GetObject functions of the JAWS scripting language.  My script might then
>> call methods and retrieve properties from the Firefox object model in order
>> to get desired pieces of information.  The script might then use one of the
>> Say or Braille functions of the JAWS scripting language in order to convey
>> that information to the user.
>>
>> This kind of technique is used extensively by scripts for JAWS and
>> Window-Eyes (which generally uses VBScript for such purposes).  It is used,
>> for example, in scripts to increase the accessibility and usability of
>> Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, as well as Internet Explorer.  It is
>> also used for accessing myriad other COM object models that are part of
>> Windows, e.g., with ProgIDs like
>> "Scripting.FileSystemObject,"VBScript.RegExp," "WScript.Shell," and the WMI
>> object model.
>>
>> Jamal
>>
>>   ------------------------------
>>   *From:* Alexander Surkov [mailto:[hidden email]]
>> *Sent:* Friday, February 11, 2011 2:04 PM
>> *To:* Jamal Mazrui
>> *Cc:* [hidden email]
>> *Subject:* Re: Another appeal for an IDispatch interface for Firefox
>>
>> Hi, Jamal.
>>
>> What kind of interfaces are looking for? You can use IAccessible interface
>> for Firefox UI and web pages content from scripts (for example, from JAWS
>> scripts). If you need more power then we could try to make that for
>> IAccessible2. I'd certanly wouldn't do that for ISimpleDOM interfaces, what
>> is an equivalent of IE interfaces at some precision, due to number of
>> reasons.
>>
>> But technically if you talk about accessibility extensions for Firefox why
>> does Firefox addons approach not work for you? Here you can use Gecko
>> nsIAccessible interfaces (and much more) from JS and have no restrictions.
>>
>> Thank you.
>> Alexander.
>>
>>
>> On Sat, Feb 12, 2011 at 1:20 AM, Jamal Mazrui<[hidden email]>wrote:
>>
>>> This is to reiterate a suggestion I made a couple years ago.  On
>>> Windows, it certainly aids accessibility for assistive technology
>>> developers to be able to obtain information about Firefox user interface
>>> controls and web content via a COM interface.  Unfortunately, however,
>>> an early-bound, low-level COM interface that is tailored to C++
>>> programmers does not help scripters of assistive technology.  JAWS,
>>> Window-Eyes, and Hal, for example, include full-fledged scripting
>>> languages that are designed for advanced users with skill in a high
>>> level programming language.  Such individuals often know from personal
>>> experience what kinds of enhancements to their browsing experiences
>>> would be most helpful.  The 3rd party market of accessibility extensions
>>> to Firefox would be significantly larger, in my opinion, if scripters
>>> could build extensions on top of their assistive technologies.
>>>
>>> For this to happen, the COM object models of Firefox (and other Mozilla
>>> applications such as Thunderbird) need to be additionally exposed via a
>>> late-bound IDispatch interface with a ProgID that supports automation
>>> clients.  For example, the syntax to obtain an initial COM object might
>>> be something like
>>>
>>> OFirefox = CreateObject("Firefox.Application")
>>>
>>> I know that adding an IDispatch interface is not a trivial programming
>>> project.  Nevertheless, it is a common practice among software
>>> developers for Windows applications, and I think the benefits would be
>>> significant on that platform.  Internet Explorer offers such an
>>> interface, and as a result, I know of JAWS and Window-Eyes scripters
>>> (including myself) who have put it to good use, e.g., enabling access to
>>> the DOM of the current web page in ways not facilitated by default
>>> screen reader functionality.
>>>
>>> Regards,
>>> Jamal
>>>
>>> Jamal Mazrui
>>> Deputy Director, Accessibility and Innovation Initiative
>>> Federal Communications Commission
>>> 202.418.0069
>>>
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> dev-accessibility mailing list
>>> [hidden email]
>>> https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/dev-accessibility
>>>
>>
>>
> _______________________________________________
> dev-accessibility mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/dev-accessibility
>
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Re: Another appeal for an IDispatch interface for Firefox

Alexander Surkov
Hi, Jamal.

I doubt Firefox is going to expose activex object to allow a script to
manage the Firefox since addons are intended for this. But if we talk about
AT then I think you can access Firefox from script if the application that
executes your script allows to query IAccessible interface for Firefox
(since it supports IDispatch for IAccessible objects). Having said that I
don't think Firefox will copy one-to-one IE behavior but I think we should
be able to figure out alternatives.

Thank you.
Alexander.


On Wed, Feb 16, 2011 at 6:31 AM, Jamal Mazrui <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi Alexander,
> In general, scripting languages like VBScript, VBA, and JAWS Script can
> only use COM servers that implement an IDispatch interface.  Parameters and
> return types are variant data types.
>
> The developers of JAWS, itself, probably use C++ and a lower level COM
> interface when accessing COM servers.  Scripts that run on top of JAWS,
> however, need the friendlier IDispatch interface.
>
> Thus, I hope that COM interface can be implemented by Mozilla on Windows as
> well, which would make GECO and XUL-based applications scriptable by
> assistive technologies.  Scripts can add functionality unforseen by the
> original application developers, especially functionality that improves
> accessibility or efficiency by users with disabilities.
>
> A Wikipedia article about IDispatch is here:
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IDispatch
>
> Jamal
>
>
>
> On 2/15/2011 6:04 AM, Alexander Surkov wrote:
>
>> Hi, Jamal.
>>
>> I don't know well JAWS scripting but I think they should provide a way to
>> get IAccessible for Firefox. If it's general vbscript then who does
>> executes
>> it? Do these platforms provide a way to get IAccessible for desired
>> application?
>>
>> What kind of interfaces do you look for?
>>
>> Thank you.
>> Alexander.
>>
>>
>> On Sat, Feb 12, 2011 at 4:12 AM, Jamal Mazrui<[hidden email]>
>>  wrote:
>>
>>    Hi Alexander,
>>> The JAWS scripting language, and scripting languages in general, can only
>>> access COM object models through an IDispatch interface.  They cannot
>>> work
>>> with IUnknown or other, low-level COM interfaces.
>>>
>>> A problem with Firefox extensions is that an end-user has to separately
>>> install and authorize them, whereas screen reader scripts or apps can be
>>> distributed in a more friendly manner.  I also do not know of a way that
>>> an extension can integrate with the screen reader synchronously.  For
>>> example, I would want to instantiate a COM object via the CreateObject or
>>> GetObject functions of the JAWS scripting language.  My script might then
>>> call methods and retrieve properties from the Firefox object model in
>>> order
>>> to get desired pieces of information.  The script might then use one of
>>> the
>>> Say or Braille functions of the JAWS scripting language in order to
>>> convey
>>> that information to the user.
>>>
>>> This kind of technique is used extensively by scripts for JAWS and
>>> Window-Eyes (which generally uses VBScript for such purposes).  It is
>>> used,
>>> for example, in scripts to increase the accessibility and usability of
>>> Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, as well as Internet Explorer.  It
>>> is
>>> also used for accessing myriad other COM object models that are part of
>>> Windows, e.g., with ProgIDs like
>>> "Scripting.FileSystemObject,"VBScript.RegExp," "WScript.Shell," and the
>>> WMI
>>> object model.
>>>
>>> Jamal
>>>
>>>  ------------------------------
>>>  *From:* Alexander Surkov [mailto:[hidden email]]
>>> *Sent:* Friday, February 11, 2011 2:04 PM
>>> *To:* Jamal Mazrui
>>> *Cc:* [hidden email]
>>> *Subject:* Re: Another appeal for an IDispatch interface for Firefox
>>>
>>> Hi, Jamal.
>>>
>>> What kind of interfaces are looking for? You can use IAccessible
>>> interface
>>> for Firefox UI and web pages content from scripts (for example, from JAWS
>>> scripts). If you need more power then we could try to make that for
>>> IAccessible2. I'd certanly wouldn't do that for ISimpleDOM interfaces,
>>> what
>>> is an equivalent of IE interfaces at some precision, due to number of
>>> reasons.
>>>
>>> But technically if you talk about accessibility extensions for Firefox
>>> why
>>> does Firefox addons approach not work for you? Here you can use Gecko
>>> nsIAccessible interfaces (and much more) from JS and have no
>>> restrictions.
>>>
>>> Thank you.
>>> Alexander.
>>>
>>>
>>> On Sat, Feb 12, 2011 at 1:20 AM, Jamal Mazrui<[hidden email]
>>> >wrote:
>>>
>>>  This is to reiterate a suggestion I made a couple years ago.  On
>>>> Windows, it certainly aids accessibility for assistive technology
>>>> developers to be able to obtain information about Firefox user interface
>>>> controls and web content via a COM interface.  Unfortunately, however,
>>>> an early-bound, low-level COM interface that is tailored to C++
>>>> programmers does not help scripters of assistive technology.  JAWS,
>>>> Window-Eyes, and Hal, for example, include full-fledged scripting
>>>> languages that are designed for advanced users with skill in a high
>>>> level programming language.  Such individuals often know from personal
>>>> experience what kinds of enhancements to their browsing experiences
>>>> would be most helpful.  The 3rd party market of accessibility extensions
>>>> to Firefox would be significantly larger, in my opinion, if scripters
>>>> could build extensions on top of their assistive technologies.
>>>>
>>>> For this to happen, the COM object models of Firefox (and other Mozilla
>>>> applications such as Thunderbird) need to be additionally exposed via a
>>>> late-bound IDispatch interface with a ProgID that supports automation
>>>> clients.  For example, the syntax to obtain an initial COM object might
>>>> be something like
>>>>
>>>> OFirefox = CreateObject("Firefox.Application")
>>>>
>>>> I know that adding an IDispatch interface is not a trivial programming
>>>> project.  Nevertheless, it is a common practice among software
>>>> developers for Windows applications, and I think the benefits would be
>>>> significant on that platform.  Internet Explorer offers such an
>>>> interface, and as a result, I know of JAWS and Window-Eyes scripters
>>>> (including myself) who have put it to good use, e.g., enabling access to
>>>> the DOM of the current web page in ways not facilitated by default
>>>> screen reader functionality.
>>>>
>>>> Regards,
>>>> Jamal
>>>>
>>>> Jamal Mazrui
>>>> Deputy Director, Accessibility and Innovation Initiative
>>>> Federal Communications Commission
>>>> 202.418.0069
>>>>
>>>> _______________________________________________
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>>>>
>>>>
>>>
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