Eclipse Accessibility Tools Framework 1.2.0 Release Review

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The Accessibility Tools Framework (ACTF) is a subproject of the Eclipse Technology Project.

ACTF is a framework that serves as an extensible infrastructure upon which developers can build a variety of utilities that help to evaluate and enhance the accessibility of applications and content for people with disabilities. A collection of example utilities will also be provided which were created on top of the framework such as compliance validation tools, assistive technology simulation applications, usability visualization tools, unit-testing utilities, and alternative accessible interfaces for applications.

API Certification

The project leadership certifies that the APIs in this release are "Eclipse Quality".

Architectural Issues


  •  8 extension points are available

Reusable modules

  •  HTML parser, ODF API, Web Browser Editor, ... 


Non-API use in ACTF

  • ACTF uses several components from swt.internal to access native applications
    • to get accessibility information
    • to control existing Text-to-Speech engines
    • to embed applications (IE,, etc.) as Eclipse Editor/View for accessibility evaluation

  • ACTF also uses reflection method to obtain HTML source, live DOM, URL, etc. from existing Browser components, such as SWT Browser Editor or Browser Output View.
  • For more details including migration plan:
Security Issues

There is no know security issue.

Non-Code Aspects



  • Visualization SDK includes documentation for users and developers.
  • APIs have Javadoc.
  • Extension points have a reference document.



Several documents have been published on the ACTF documentation page.


ACTF Visualization part has been designed with localization in mind and will keep internationalization in mind as we go forward.

  • UI messages are externalized
  • Now it supports English, Japanese and Chinese (partially). 
Usability Details

User Interface

  • ACTF Visualization part has been designed with Eclipse User Interface Guidelines in mind.
  • UI Checklist is not firm yet, but will be updated in the future release

Example tools

  • Several kinds of exemplary tools are available
    • Accessibility visualization/evaluation tools: aDesigner, miChecker
    • Sample implementation of HTML evaluation tool: HTML Checker
    • Sample implementation of visualization functions: SimpleVisualizer
    • Audio Description editor for internet movies: EASEL (Eclipse ACTF Script Editor Lite)
    • etc.
End of Life

There are no features that are designated for end-of-life in this release.


Related standards

  • ACTF requires Java 1.5 or later and Eclipse 3.6 or later
  • W3C HTML 4.01 recommendation (and older recommendations 3.2, 4.0)
    • HTML model component
  • OASIS Open Document Format v1.1
    • ODF model component
  • Bugzilla is used by committers and community members, e.g., exemplary tool users, developers, etc.
  • ML is used to discuss project plans, etc..
  • Newsgroup is not much used yet, but is monitored by subscribed committers.


Community outreach

  • Improve/update documentation and examples
  • Some new consumer were started to develop their own accessibility tools/services on top of ACTF. ACTF examples that introduces how to use ACTF functions helped them in early phase.
This release is part of Luna