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Last updated: 20 May 2008, 14:00 UTC-GMT

The Urakawa Project

a toolkit for accessible multimedia

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  •  20 May 2008 - Obi website moves from Sourceforge to Trac wiki 

    The Obi wiki is now operational at, where the Trac collaborative development platform makes it easier to manage documentation, source code and bugs.
  •  16 May 2008 - New releases: Obi 1.0 beta-1 and Urakawa SDK 1.0 

    Obi is now available as a beta release, and the SDK gets some quality assurance issues fixed. More info here: and here:
  •  25 January 2008 - The SDK 1.0 beta is out ! 

    The first official public release of the Urakawa SDK is out now. It is a beta so there is some remaining Quality Assurance work to be done (unit-tests coverage, API documentation), but the feature-set is now frozen. The stable 1.0 release is planned for the second half of February.
  •  23 January 2008 - Updated SDK 1.0 beta documentation 

    Although the 1.0 beta release is not out yet, the updated "SDK Reference Guide" has been published in the "sdk" section of this website (under the "Documentation" paragraph).
  •  14 January 2008 - Tobi: new project, new website 

    Tobi is the codename for a new software project developed under the Urakawa umbrella. Tobi will be based on the SDK 2.0 branch, and will support full-text + full-audio interactive authoring.

    We are in the early stages of the inception phase, during which the requirements gathering process is being conducted.

    There is no public website yet, but there is a new online collaborative environment for developers: ! (it is publicly open for non-authenticated guests)
  •  13 January 2008 - Upcoming SDK 1.0 release 

    A beta-release of the SDK 1.0 is planned for January 24. It will be feature-proof but there are some quality assurance issues that we want to fix, thus the *beta* release. The stable release is planned for February 21. By this time, the unit-test coverage will be greatly improved, as well as the developer documentation.
  •  26 September 2007 - Fixed broken SVN URLs 

    Sourceforge provide a handy online browser for the SVN VCS repository. Unfortunately the links on this website were broken due to a change of policy at To fix this, URLs have been replaced with the correct domain:
  •  10 September 2007 - Making progress towards 1.0 release ! 

    Both Obi and the SDK are making progress towards milestone 1.0, due at the end of calendar-year 2007.

    The deliverables will reflect the maturity of the project since it has started, more than a year ago.

    From the outset, the SDK and Obi team have been collaborating to ensure that the feature-set of the SDK matches the needs of real-life application development, and that the software components can be integrated easily.

    The SDK development is entering the final phase to reach its first 1.0 release, and the focus is now on polishing the documentation, finalizing the tests, and fixing the last few bugs. The Obi development is also working on the remaining issues, including finishing the integration of the latest SDK features.

    The public information available at the Urakawa homepage will be updated soon to reflect the developments in preparation for the 1.0 release. In the meantime, more up-to-date documentation can be obtained from the SVN source repository.
  •  06 June 2007 - UML Class Diagrams improvements 

    The UML diagrams have been carefully re-designed, the help the reader in visualizing the relationships between the entities of the data model, at a glance, thanks to several overviews based on different functional scopes.
  •  31 May 2007 - Making progress: Obi moving to SDK 1.0 

    The SDK 1.0 has reached a level of functionality that matches Obi requirements, so Obi is gradually integrating the SDK built-in media "asset manager", the advanced document tree navigator, etc. These few specific parts were coded right inside Obi before the integration, now they are part of the SDK itself. These new features are available in a language-independent API format, and they tie-in well with the rest of the multimedia framework. This is an opportunity to review the SDK documentation (both data model and C# API), as well as to re-assess the usability of the SDK API. We're already thinking ahead, in terms of the changes in the API that will lead us to SDK 2.0, with better support for Daisy 3 and built-in support for multiple languages (document tree localization).
  •  23 April 2007 - Updated Obi build. 

    The latest Obi build is available (0.8.4) ! The online User-Manual has been updated accordingly.
  •  23 April 2007 - Updated Obi description. 

    Obi is involving into a much more usable and stable Daisy production software. To reflect this, the introductory note on the website has been updated.
  •  27 March 2007 - Changed accesskey shortcuts. 

    Due to some keyboard shortcuts conflicts when using Internet Explorer and Firefox on Windows-OS, the access-keys for the website have been changed.
  •  24 February 2007 - Updated Obi build for testers. 

    A new Obi build is available for testers ( !
  •  04 February 2007 - Updated SDK API documentation. 

    The API documentation for the SDK has been updated, as well as the SDK DLLs, ready to be used for application development.
  •  15 January 2007 - Successful meeting in Thailand. 

    The Urakawa project was presented during the conference organized in Phuket for tsunami preparedness and support for persons with disabilities. A plenary meeting also took place to assess new requirements and revise the project roadmap. Technical teams met for hands-on work in the design and implementation of the SDK and Obi.
  •  14 January 2007 - SDK quick-start guide. 

    A short manual is now available to kick-start application development using the SDK.
  •  02 November 2006 - License update. 

    The website now contains more explicit references to the LGPL license used for the Urakawa software tools.
  •  23 October 2006 - Successful meeting in Denmark. 

    The face-to-face meeting held in Copenhagen by DBB went very well. Lots of backward-compatible (transparent) changes to the data model, and more importantly, a much improved public interface for tree navigation based on custom (user-defined) filtering criteria. The UML diagrams are being refactored as well, to facilitate rendering in printable A4 format.
  •  09 October 2006 - Website update: acronyms. 

    The support section now provides a list of acronyms used in the website.
  •  05 October 2006 - New PHP backend feature: static HTML generation. 

    The website pages are generated using a PHP backend, so that content can be modularized and composed dynamically. This makes maintenance easier, as there is no duplicated content (e.g. the navigation menu that appears on each page). Another benefit of the underlying PHP architecture is that the sitemap can be generated automatically, and is always up to date. The sitemap is in fact used by the developers to check the validity of the entire website in one go (using the W3C XHTML validator). The downside is that PHP is needed for viewing the website, which means it must be hosted on a compatible web-server. This limitation is now removed, thanks to a module that generates static HTML pages synchronized with the dynamic content. This now means that the entire website can be packaged in a ZIP archive (for example), and can be browsed locally using the regular web-browser, without a web-server installed. This also means that mirrors of the website can be setup on non-PHP web servers.
  •  03 October 2006 - Added accessibility information. 

    Links to RNIB's accessibility guides have been added, to help the users with keyboard shortcuts, colors and fonts, etc.
  •  29 September 2006 - Project meeting went well ! 

    The project team has just met in Grenoble (France), where a lot of progress has been made in incorporating the full list of requirements into Obi, and in planning the feature updates for the SDK. The Urakawa API is getting easier to use thanks to the feedback from our application developers. The updated project roadmap is available in the "dev" section of the website.
  •  29 September 2006 - PHP Backend improved. 

    The PHP backend now includes a parser that takes a specially formatted XHTML file to integrate specific parts into the global website layout and navigational structure. A prime example of this new feature is the Obi user-manual, which is generated on-the-fly based on the same document that can be found in the SVN repository for Obi. This avoids duplication of content by re-using a unique source, and ensures that documents are always synchronized.
  •  24 September 2006 - SDK section updates. 

    The SDK section has been updated to include download information (The DLL can now be downloaded separately from Obi). Integration requirements and pointers to API documentation have also been added.
  •  18 September 2006 - Minor website updates. 

    The website now has a global "Last updated" date, so does each individual section (UPDATE: the latter has been removed, as a new design choice. It just cluttered the interface without much benefit). The CSS styles for the higher-visibility themes have been fixed. A couple of UI changes were implemented in the title bar (layout). JavaScript required for DOM modifications and Ajax in the validation section is now loaded only when necessary (this shaves a few kB off the other sections of the website). News items numbering has been fixed, the oldest is now #1. Line break bug before XML declaration has been fixed. Unicorn and multipage validator tools have been added. Accessible labels for links that open in new windows have been added, as well as for mailto: links (UPDATE: links in new window have been removed, as a design decision. This gives the user full control onto what links open in new windows/tabs). Some other CSS bugs have been fixed.
  •  05 September 2006 - New website goes live ! 

    The new website is now available in the public space. The old Urakawa developer pages can still be reached via the "Dev" section of the website. Reviews, opinions, rants and raves, comments, etc. are all welcome !
  •  04 September 2006 - New section: "SDK". 

    The SDK section of the website finally goes live. The Urakawa "Software Development Kit" forms the basis on which the Obi demonstrator application is built, by providing access to the Urakawa authoring document model.
  •  25 August 2006 - New section: "FAQ". 

    The FAQ will be updated over time, but for now it provides answers to the essential questions users have (we hope).
  •  18 August 2006 - New section: "Obi". 

    The Obi demonstration software now has its own section in the website, with full online user-manual (also available as the help file of the application).
  •  10 August 2006 - New feature: XHTML validation. 

    Single-page validation links (based on the W3C XHTML validator) are available for each page, but more importantly, there is now a validation tool for checking the entire website in one go. This feature requires either Ajax (with cross-domain security disallowed), or support for iFrames.
  •  02 August 2006 - New feature: Site-map. 

    The site-map is generated automatically so it always correspond to the latest website updates. This nifty feature is possible thanks to our simple, yet effective content management system.
  •  28 July 2006 - Improved feature: graphical themes. 

    The website allows visually-impaired users to use built-in graphical themes that greatly improve readability. The high-visibility settings use a negative color scheme (light colors on dark background) and very large fonts.
  •  27 July 2006 - New website goes live internally ! 

    The new Urakawa website makes its first appearance internally, so that the development team can review the structure and contents. Our accessibility experts can also verify the website usability. At this stage, many sections are still empty.