Saturday Apr 23, 2011

Java Access Bridge v2.0.2 - for 64-bit systems - released

The Java Access Bridge version 2.0.2 has just been released. This release fixes two key bugs: it adds 64-bit support - including for Windows 7, and it fixes a bug relating to fast/repeated TAB presses sometimes loosing speech with screen readers.

You can get it directly via the Java Access Bridge download link.

Note that in order to support 64-bit platforms - and specifically 64-bit Java runtimes - the bridge need to introduce a "64-bit mode", in addition to the legacy/32-bit mode it continues to use on 32-bit platforms. Assistive technologies - like JAWS and NVDA - will need to be updated in order to use this new mode, and Freedom Scientific already announced that they were updating JAWS with this functionality at the CSUN conference in San Diego last month.

Also as part of work to support this new mode, this release does not include an installer - it must be hand-installed (and we have published detailed installation instructions for this). This is in part because some assistive technologies - like NVDA - are still 32-bit applications when running on 64-bit systems, and will still work unchanged with 32-bit Java runtimes on those systems (using the legacy/32-bit mode). While we expect this to change over time, this meant it wasn't possible to accommodate all possible permutations in an automated installer.

This bridge update - after years of no changes under Sun - underscores Oracle's commitments to both Java and to accessibility.

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Peter Korn

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