OATS - Open Source Assistive Technology Software - is a source code repository or "forge
Forge (software)
A software forge is a collaboration platform allowing collaborative software development over the Internet. A forge platform aggregates a set of applications with integrated Web interfaces, and generally hosts multiple independent projects...

" for assistive technology
Assistive technology
Assistive technology or adaptive technology is an umbrella term that includes assistive, adaptive, and rehabilitative devices for people with disabilities and also includes the process used in selecting, locating, and using them...

 software. It was launched in 2006 with the goal to provide a one-stop “shop” for end users, clinicians and open-source developers to promote and develop open source
Open source
The term open source describes practices in production and development that promote access to the end product's source materials. Some consider open source a philosophy, others consider it a pragmatic methodology...

 assistive technology software. It also allows users to find other software that is free but not open source, and open-source software that is developed elsewhere, for example NVDA
NonVisual Desktop Access
NonVisual Desktop Access is a free, open source, portable screen reader for Microsoft Windows. The project was started by Michael Curran in 2006. The latest stable version is 2011.3NVDA is programmed in Python...

, Orca
Orca (assistive technology)
Orca is a free and open source, flexible, extensible assistive technology for people with visual impairments. Using various combinations of speech synthesis, braille, and magnification, Orca helps provide access to applications and toolkits that support the AT-SPI .The development of Orca has been...

 and FireVox.

The OATS website was launched at the end of the OATS project, a one-year pilot project that ended in March 2006, and claimed to be the first open-source repository dedicated to assistive technology. In April 2006, the British Computer Society
British Computer Society
The British Computer Society, is a professional body and a learned society that represents those working in Information Technology in the United Kingdom and internationally...

 (BCS) announced that it was backing the OATS project ; in August 2006, the British Computer Society's Open Source Specialist Group organised a meeting about the project .

The OATS project was made up of five partner organisations co-ordinated by the ACE Centre. One of the reasons for launching the repository is that mainstream open-source repositories such as SourceForge
SourceForge Enterprise Edition is a collaborative revision control and software development management system. It provides a front-end to a range of software development lifecycle services and integrates with a number of free software / open source software applications .While originally itself...

 are hard to use for laymen and that many projects hosted on such repositories are poorly documented or technically demanding. The OATS repository wants to offer an efficient and intuitive way to access good quality assistive technology. The OATS repository offers the following facilities to developers:
  • project pages to document and manage a software project,
  • a code repository (Subversion
    Apache Subversion is a software versioning and a revision control system distributed under a free license. Developers use Subversion to maintain current and historical versions of files such as source code, web pages, and documentation...

  • a project management system (Trac
    Trac is an open source, web-based project management and bug-tracking tool. The program is inspired by CVSTrac, and was originally named svntrac due to its ability to interface with Subversion. It is developed and maintained by Edgewall Software....

    or Poi).

External links

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