Using graphical interfaces as a blind user, and a little wish (Re: pulseaudio and speech: performance issues)
steve.holmes88 at gmail.com
Fri Jan 8 06:02:15 CET 2010
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After reading a bunch of messages on this thread, I see several "side"
debates so to speak. One being the text vs GUI solution. I agree
generally that many text based applications really get the job done.
I just learned recently about "ledger" a double entry accounting
package that is completely command line based but you have to use a
text editor to build your transactions. Actually a cool idea; I'm
preparing to set up shop using it. But in the area of web access, I
and probably hear to stay. That is interesting that some folks are
moving away from JS; that may be an interesting development to
inappropriate. Some AJAX is quite clever and may well be appropriate
in that the entire page doesn't have to be re-written after you make a
single choice. Anyway, that's off to another ediscussion about ARIA
and UI Automation support and stuff.
Another conversation or debate is the question of going with "Off the
shelf" or "mainstreamed" applications and system and retrofitting
where necessary to make accessible vs a dedicated system. I can
appreciate that creating dedicated systems may be easier in an open
source type environment but still, there are probably vastly more
resources available to maintain the more publicly used systems like
popular distros and/or applications. This ADRIANE project sounds
interesting but note there is another "blindness oriented" project
going on called Vinux; no problem with choice but this can sometimes
cause fragmentation within a small community so not sure the final
outcome there. Hopefully both projects thrive with those who use them
and choice prevails.
Another debate or question that comes from the preceeding messages
sounds like proprietary vs open source and free software. I fully
agree that open source and/or free software as in GPL are the only way
to go. More people can participate with development and greater
chance in compatibility between apps.
But when the question of integration comes up, we as blind people need
to be prepared to be able to conform to those requiring some
proprietary environments. What I mean is the whole Microsoft Office
issue. Sure, we can cave in and buy the MS junk and play right along
with them but we can also use Open Office on a Linux system running
gnome/orca. Where if we insisted on using Emacs with LaTeX or
something similar, those folks out there would be unable to use those
documents unless they got on board and came around to us or such. It
could be a case of us 3 or 4 people convincing an office staff of 50
to "switch". Also, this next point is really out of our hands but
many employers absolutely insist on a single software solution for all
application processes. Due to things like ADA and Section 504 in the
US, they need to bend to let us at least use screen readers and if a
Windows Screen reader is available, guess what, we're probably stuck
with that solution because it provides the "needed" accessibility to
get on in that office setting. But I digressed.
I think where integration is less a need and we can work pretty much
on our own or use our systems at home for our own needs, then use
whatever works for us.
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