9/27/2004 - Trolltech®, provider of leading technologies for Linux and cross-platform software development, announced the release of the second Qt® 4 Technology Preview. Key highlights include support for AT-SPI, bringing accessibility to the Unix and Linux desktop for people with disabilities.
"Qt has a long history of supporting accessibility, first on Windows and then on the Macintosh" said Matthias Ettrich, director of software tools development at Trolltech. "As the necessary back-end standards now finally have been implemented, we can also help Linux and Unix developers support accessibility for their users. We are dedicated to delivering the best possible tools for every developer and make Qt applications universally accessible to everyone."
The Technology Preview is designed to showcase technology under development for version 4 of Qt.
Qt Supports Assistive Applications
In the second Technology Preview, Qt 4 allows developers to write cross-platform accessible applications that are usable for visually impaired users as well as for those with other disabilities. Screenreaders and other assistive tools will now work seamlessly with Qt applications. This means that system infrastructure allows add-on assistive software to transparently provide specialized input and output capabilities. For example, screen readers allow blind users to navigate through applications, determine the state of controls, and read text via text-to-speech conversion. On-screen keyboards replace physical keyboards, and head-mounted pointers replace mice.
Highlighted assistive applications supported by Qt 4 now include:
Qt accessibility will make applications accessible to more users and also opens the government market, where accessibility is often a strict requirement. The Qt accessibility features make it very easy to create applications without detailed knowledge of platform-specific low-level interfaces.
New accessibility work in Qt 4 includes:
Janina Sajka, former director of Technology Research at the American Foundation for the Blind and chair of the Accessibility Workgroup in the free standards group, commented:
"Trolltech has become a strong and welcome proponent of accessibility. With the introduction of full accessibility support in Qt 4, developers will be able to make their Qt applications accessible no matter which operating system is used, extending Qt's cross-platform benefits. As Qt applications on Linux continue to proliferate, this added accessibility will significantly enhance the lives and improve the independence of people who are blind or who live with other disabilities. It will also make Qt applications more competitive by helping developers meet legal mandates for accessibility such as the U.S. Government's Sec. 508 requirements."
The second Qt 4 Technology Preview is licensed under a non-commercial free of charge license. It can be downloaded from the Trolltech website at http://www.trolltech.com. The first Qt 4 beta release and all subsequent Qt 4 releases will be offered under Trolltech's dual-licensing model, in which products are available under both a free, open source license and a commercial license. Qt 4 is expected to be released in late Q1 2005.
Qt is a cross-platform, object-oriented, easily extensible C++ application framework. Trolltech's flagship product, Qt is well known in the open source world, and is a de facto standard on Linux. Qt supports Microsoft Windows, Linux, all major Unix variants, Mac OS X and embedded Linux. Qt includes Qt Designer, a rapid application development tool and Qt Linguist, an internationalization tool.
Trolltech® is a world leader in delivering tools, components, and libraries for C++ developers across all major operating systems. Trolltech products constitute a leading open source application development framework and are an integral part of the Linux desktop. Trolltech also develops innovative UI platforms that enable key players to adopt Linux for mobile devices.
Trolltech creates two product lines: Qt® and Qtopia®. Qt is a complete C++ application development framework, which includes a class library and tools for cross-platform development and internationalization. Qtopia is the first comprehensive application platform built for embedded Linux, and is used on numerous Linux-based PDAs and mobile phones.
Trolltech is a second generation open source company with a dual licensing business model and provides development software to some of the largest companies in the world including Intel, IBM, Motorola, and Sharp, among thousands more. Trolltech is headquartered in Oslo, Norway, with offices in Brisbane, Australia, and Palo Alto, California. More about Trolltech can be found at http://www.trolltech.com.
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