The GNOME developers have announced this past weekend that they are currently working hard on releasing the third snapshot towards the GNOME 3.22 desktop environment.

GNOME 3.21.3 should arrive tomorrow, at least according to the official release schedule, but, as usual, it might be delayed a day or two because not all the maintainers have updated their packages. However, in the last 24 hours, we’ve noticed many updated core components and apps, among which Orca.

Orca is the screen reader and magnifier utility that is usually shipped by default with the GNOME Stack, but it can also be found pre-installed in numerous popular GNU/Linux operating systems, including Ubuntu. The Orca 3.21.3 development release is now available, and it looks like it brings several important fixes and improvements.

What’s new in Orca 3.21.3

First, there are some performance improvements in Orca 3.21.3 for the Web engine, thanks to the implementation of more caching. Second, it looks like the double-presentation of inferred labels has been removed, an issue with the setting position through element-list dialogs was resolved, and the caret navigation improved.

Orca 3.21.3 also introduces better LibreOffice support, by making sure object:state-changed:sensitive events from menu items are being ignored, a crash caused by the AT-SPI2 library was patched, and it appears that starting with Orca 3.22, the software will no longer appear as a desktop application in Ubuntu’s Unity desktop interface.

Why? Because Orca is, in fact, part of the Universal Access features of any Linux kernel-based operating system that uses GNOME or a desktop environment based on the GNOME Stack, such as Unity or MATE. Of course, there are several other small improvements introduced in Orca 3.21.3.

The Occitan and Polish language translations have been updated as well, and you can download the sources of Orca 3.21.3 right now via our website. Please keep in mind though that this is a pre-release version and it’s here for testing purposes only. Feel free to check out the attached changelog for more details.

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