Fwd: Desktops other than gnome

Mackenzie Morgan macoafi at gmail.com
Mon May 9 14:31:03 UTC 2011

He raises good points.  I don't know about his 6 things he listed and
directed him to KDE-Accessibility, but adding a shortcut (and the
required QT_ACCESSIBILITY=1) to the Kubuntu Defaults stuff seems like
a good idea.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Alex Midence <alex.midence at gmail.com>
Date: Mon, May 9, 2011 at 9:31 AM
Subject: Re: Desktops other than gnome
To: ubuntu-accessibility at lists.ubuntu.com

Hi, Mackenzie,

If you plan to include KAccessible in the 11.10 release of Kubuntu, do
you think there is a way to create a hotkey that would launch it?  For
instance, in Vinux, we have either alt-control o or shift control o
which runs Orca no matter where you are in Gnome including the gdm
login screen.  This way, if something ever breaks speech or, hangs it
up, you can always restart the screen reader without having to worry
about being in the right place to type in its name.  I was thinking
that such an option would let somebody start hearing their system talk
from the very outset.  Also, I'm a bit startled by what appears to be
a statement that KAccessibility is a screen reader.  I thought it was
an accessibility api.  Does this mean that it is a full-fledged screen
reading solution that lets you read the screen in a controled manner
like speakup, orca and CO.?  I was under the impression that this
wasn't the case in KDE which is why no blind people that I know of use
it right now.  If it reads only a few things, I wonder what would need
to be done to it to flesh it out.  To have a proper screne reader, you
need a few things:

1.  Ways to read selective parts of the screen without moving the
focus point.  This lets you explore without activate anything or
losing your place.  This is done wither with modifiers that change
behavior of movement keys, or in some cases by changing the mode in
which the screen reader operates.  If you are familiar with Vi, this
concept is well known to you in the way Vi lets you have an input and
a command mode.  The closest and, I'd say most uncanny paralel is in
the way windows screen readers treat the browsing of webpages.

2.  Granularity of what you are reading and how you move focus around.
 Read or move forward and backward by window, paragraph, block of
code, line, sentence, word, and character and, even use phonetic
values for character.  Like this:  hotel echo lima lima oscar

3.  Attribute indicators.  Ways to set speech to change voice for
things like bold, italic or underline characters or, failing that,
words to indicate it.

4.  A way to set it so it announces changes in important regions of
the screen and ignores others.  You may want to know when the webpage
you are waiting for has loaded but you don't really care about each
and every time the system's clock changes minutes or seconds.  You may
want a hotkey thaqt lets you access the time though.  To make it
easier on the poor overwhelmed sap who's got to code all this stuff,
you want a nice, complete, configuration dialog so that people can set
up their own preferences about this and not put al that burden on
developers who may never use a screen reader and can't be expected to
guess what you are going to want to know and when.

5.  Application awareness.  Some applications require different
functionality than others and what works amazingly in one may cause
inconvenient results in others so, you ned a way for
application-specific customizations to be loaded whe that application

6.  Widget agnosticism.  You need something that lets the user inform
the screen reader that a what to do and how to react with a
non-standard widget.  This is something Orca has thusfar not been able
to do but is something those of us with years of using Windows screen
readers take for granted.  If something isn't quite accessible yet,
you at least get some numeric graphics number and some information
instead of an "inaccessible" message and the thing flopping belly up
and refusing to give you anything whatsoever.  I do believe that if it
had this feature, people would've been able to use qt widgets to some
extent long ago.  The way it is now, you are locked into at-spi and
much too much burden is placed on the developers of other software to
modify their code to fit the screen reader.  In windows, people can
and often do render applications which are not released with
out-of-the-box accessibility-friendly features into something that
works so well, you'd never even suspect it.  I've done it myself a
time or two.

There's more.  I feel rather guilty for not coming up with four more
things just to round this out to 10 but, I'm sure you get the picture.
 Bakc to my original question, do you happen to know if KAccessibility
actualy offers this sort of thing?  If not, do you know or can you
point me to docs that would tell me just how much or how little of it
can be done with KAccessibility?

Best regards,
Alex M

> Date: Sun, 8 May 2011 21:46:25 -0400
> From: Mackenzie Morgan <macoafi at gmail.com>
> To: ubuntu-accessibility at lists.ubuntu.com
> Subject:
> Message-ID: <BANLkTi=1oarF4ri8Ws1AkKFmKLDnVX341g at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> On Sun, May 8, 2011 at 3:27 PM, Alex Midence <alex.midence at gmail.com> wrote:
>> ?I guess, with
>> Ubuntu, there is Xubuntu and Kubuntu. ?I may be in a position to find
>> out for myself how KDE is coming along but the others are a mystery to
>> me.
> Kubuntu 11.04 does not include KAccessible (screenreader for Qt-based
> apps) but it is available in the archive.  I intend to make it part of
> the default install for 11.10.  The Qt AT-SPI2 bridge is incomplete at
> the moment, so for now it is necessary to use Orca for GTK apps and
> KAccessible for Qt ones.
> --
> Mackenzie Morgan
> ------------------------------
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> Ubuntu-accessibility mailing list
> Ubuntu-accessibility at lists.ubuntu.com
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-accessibility
> End of Ubuntu-accessibility Digest, Vol 66, Issue 7
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