[Blindmath] [program-java] Announcing JWin - a program for installing the Java Access Bridge on Windows

John Gardner john.gardner at orst.edu
Fri Dec 30 12:01:16 CST 2011

I second Michael's comments about Java.  I have tried for years to install
and use the Java Bridge to access some Java application or other.  Or to use
Window-Eyes or NVDA to access other Java applications.  I have never
succeeded even once.  I am continually told that OpenOffice can be
accessible, and I have tried repeatedly to access that app.  I have failed

Admittedly it may be my own fault, because I didn't install the framus
correctly into the Froomis location and then link to the jar application
correctly.  I'm not the most competent computer user on earth, but then I
know a lot more than the average user.  Perhaps there are blind people who
can use OpenOffice, but I bet that most, like I, cannot.

I intend to try Jamal's new stuff.  He can work miracles, and maybe I'll be
using OpenOffice next week.

But please don't ever assume that just because one has accessibility in
principle that everyone will have it in practice.  No matter how easy it is
to install and use Jamal's new technology, the vast majority of blind people
are not gonna be able to do it.  But that same group can use something using
SWT.  Assuming that the Java Swing or SWT application is written following
the accessibility rules.  If not, neither is accessible.


-----Original Message-----
From: blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org] On
Behalf Of Michael Whapples
Sent: Friday, December 30, 2011 1:24 AM
To: Blind Math list for those interested in mathematics
Subject: Re: [Blindmath] [program-java] Announcing JWin - a program for
installing the Java Access Bridge on Windows

Java accessibility is a bit of a tricky thing. Plenty of the ideas of Java 
accessibility seemed good but in practice implementation can be quite poor. 
I will only focus on the accessibility stuff here, I am sure you either know

about the other differences of SWT and Swing or you can easily find articles

online about the differences.

>From the developer side the Java accessibility API is the same on all 
platforms, you can rely on it being there and when you build the Java 
application you don't need differnt builds for different JVMs (a single JAR 
does for everyone).

The not so good is that as it is its own API and does not map to the native 
platform accessibility APIs the assistive technology needs to specifically 
support Java accessibility. Window-eyes does not have built in support for 
Java accessibility although it does support it through scripting from a 
third party. Also sometimes as the Java accessibility API may differ from 
the platform one, support may not be wonderful, there seems to be some 
issues with the support on the Mac with voiceover (eg. the open dialog has a

table control for selecting the file but voiceover always sees it as empty, 
don't know if this is the same for all table controls in Java swing). Java 
accessibility support on Linux is fairly good in comparison, may be due to 
Sun Micro (as it was then) having a big hand in both Java accessibility and 
gnome accessibility, however from time to time there have been issues there 
as well.

Putting the quality of the support to one side, Java accessibility is more 
complicated for the user, you need to additionally install the Java access 
bridge. Hopefully good installers will help, however it still is a pain as 
you need it installed in every JVM which will be used for Java swing, 
including ones bundled with applications. Also strictly speaking the Java 
access bridge is not the only way to access Java accessibility, other people

can write implementations for accessing Java accessibility, I think this is 
how the window-eyes support works and so for someone who uses different 
screen readers depending on what they are doing they may need to keep 
switching the accessibility provider in accessibility.properties (eg. a user

of window-eyes and NVDA would need to do this).

Having said all that, SWT isn't perfect as I think you have found out, but 
for the user it generally is less trouble as the assistive technology needs 
to do nothing special as SWT uses native widgets and APIs. Which is better 
probably depends on what is being done and I will leave that final choice to


Finally as a side note: Personally I am currently having trouble getting the

Java access bridge working on a windows7 64-bit system with a 64-bit JVM 
with NVDA. I am using NVDA 2011.3 which is meant to support 64-bit Java and 
I have tried manually installing the Java access bridge and using the 
installer posted about here, neither seem to have worked (NOTE: The 
installer worked in the sense it placed everything where it should have, it 
didn't work in the sense that I still do not have a working java access 
bridge). In comparison I downloaded eclipse and it worked with no issues 
with the same set up.

Michael Whapples

-----Original Message----- 
From: Richard Baldwin
Sent: Friday, December 30, 2011 4:30 AM
To: program-java at freelists.org
Cc: guispeak at freelists.org ; sec508 at trace.wisc.edu ; program-l at freelists.org

; blindmath at nfbnet.org ; uaccess-l at trace.wisc.edu
Subject: Re: [Blindmath] [program-java] Announcing JWin - a program for 
installing the Java Access Bridge on Windows

It would definitely make me happy if this would eliminate the need to
program using the SWT for accessibility.

Besides being unfamiliar territory, using the SWT effectively eliminates
the use of many very good existing Java libraries that have been developed
over the past ten or so years.

As near as I can tell, even though it is possible to incorporate a Java
Frame object into an SWT GUI, there are no provisions for similarly
incorporating a JFrame object. If that is not the case, I would like to
hear how to incorporate a JFrame object from someone who knows how..

Dick Baldwin

On Thu, Dec 29, 2011 at 9:03 PM, Jamal Mazrui <empower at smart.net> wrote:

> Now available at
> or for a developer distribution
> I hope that JWin helps to open up more Java applications on Windows by
> making it easy to add accessibility support.  More info about the program
> is below, including a link to the full documentation.
> Jamal
> ----------
> JWin is a free, open source program for detecting and installing the Java
> Runtime Environment (JRE) on Windows, together with the Java Access Bridge
> (JAB), which is needed for full accessibility of Java-based applications 
> to
> assistive technologies used by persons with disabilities.
> After confirming user intent, the program will create a directory
> containing JAB reference material, a log file, and an uninstallation
> program to later remove the JAB, if desired.  It looks for locations of 
> the
> JRE and offers to install the JAB into them.  Three possible directories
> are identified:  (1) the directory of a 32-bit JRE; (2) the directory of a
> 64-bit JRE; and (3) the directory referenced by the JAVA_HOME environment
> variable.
> The program will open a log file when complete, detailing the actions
> taken.  The JAB may be installed into any JRE location on the computer by
> first setting the JAVA_HOME environment variable to point to the relevant
> directory before running the executable.
> If no JRE is found by the program, it will offer to go to the web page for
> installing Java.
> Full documentation for this program is also available online at
> http://EmpowermentZone.com/**JWin.htm<http://EmpowermentZone.com/JWin.htm>

Richard G. Baldwin (Dick Baldwin)
Home of Baldwin's on-line Java Tutorials

Professor of Computer Information Technology
Austin Community College
(512) 223-4758
mailto:Baldwin at DickBaldwin.com
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