Edgy Accessibility features

Luke Yelavich themuso at themuso.com
Sat Apr 22 15:01:08 BST 2006

On Sat, Apr 22, 2006 at 11:15:22PM EST, Henrik wrote:
> Luke Yelavich wrote:
> >>Orca User Interface --     
> >
> >Agreed. I also don't like the idea of using a separate program, i.e 
> >orca-setup just to get orca configured for the user. IMO that should 
> >be done when orca first runs, and not in a terminal.
> >  
> Right, but it can still be separate binary that orca just calls the 
> first time you start or each time you want to change the settings.

Yep, fair enough.

> >>General AT config UI --     
> >
> >Yes, and standardize back-ends for things, such as speech-dispatcher 
> >rather than gnome-speech, etc.
> >  
> I think you are right about the SD back-end, though I was actually 
> thinking of a standardized _front end_ for configuring the apps. The 
> point is that the user would only have to go to one place to configure 
> all the assistive technology for the whole OS. New screen readers, 
> keyboards, magnifiers, SD settings, etc. would all be done there. You 
> could add custom scripts to Orca or select a synth for SD to use all in 
> the same place.

I love this idea. That would be great. I think it would also be good to 
integrate one of the console screen readers into this control panel in 
some way, at least for keeping the same speech config for console/GNOME.

> >>XGL-based screen magnifier     
> >
> >Is there anything that can be played with at the moment along these 
> >lines?
> >  
> Just the basic XGL zoom feature. I guess the easiest way to test is 
> still with http://kororaa.org

Hmm. I must admit I haven't looked into XGL at all, as it doesn't really 
interest me at this point in time.

> >>Speech dispatcher --     
> >
> >KDE are planning to use speech-dispatcher for their back-end. IMO Sun 
> >were stupid in creating gnome-speech, although I am pretty sure they 
> >did it at a time when there wasn't really anything else. There was a 
> >post on one of the GNOME lists recently about having two back-end 
> >systems, one chained to the other, being pointless. IMO we rip the 
> >gnome-speech support out of orca, and use speech-dispatcher directly. 
> >I am pretty sure SD has python bindings, and speech-dispatcher as far 
> >as I have seen is a ittle easier to program for.
> >  
> Yes, this is exactly the sort of focus on future technology I'm thinking 
> about. I wonder if someone has tried this already? This would be an 
> important step forward.

Yeah. I haven't looked into it yet, but I wouldn't think it is too 
difficult. I think SD has either a TCP/localhost access, or via 
libspeechd, but not sure.

I would also like to see some hardware synthesizer drivers written for 
SD. I use a hardware synth with the console, and as far as I am 
concerned, they are still a little more responsive than any software 
sollution, and I would like to use it with GNOME.

> On a related note, I just emailed the Festival devs to ask how Festival 
> 2.0 is coming along. They released a beta back in 2004 ... If it's just 
> a question of tweak and polish perhaps we can get it into edgy.

I have given up on festival, as it is big, and the speech is poor. There 
is actually a new speech synthesizer being developed called espeak 
http://espeak.sourceforge.net. We should get it packaged, and try and 
help development along, as already a few blind people who use Linux are 
using it. I haven't tried it myself however, but intend to soon.

> >>KDE --     
> >
> >The GNOME and KDE accessibility teams are still trying to standardize 
> >the at-spi stuff, but I don't know when that is going to happen. 
> Sounds like we need to nudge them a bit  ;) 
> >I suggest those who are interested at least join the kde-accessibility 
> >mailing list to get an idea of what is happening. You can subscribe 
> >here: https://mail.kde.org/mailman/listinfo/kde-accessibility
> >  
> Done.
> >I think there is also a FSG accsessibility mailing list, although I 
> >haven't looked for it yet. I will probably look into that sometime soon.
> >  
> There is, but it's very low traffic AFAIR.
> >    ... and help push some standards on many fronts, standards which 
> >shouldn't really have to be changed for the long term. 
> Yep, I think this is the right time to start pushing those standards, 
> even if they may still be a bit shaky.

Ok cool. I also invite anybody else who is reading this discussion to 
please pipe up and say something. Sometimes it feels like there is only 
three of us in the team, even though their isn't. :)
Luke Yelavich
GPG key: 0xD06320CE 
Email & MSN: themuso at themuso.com
ICQ: 18444344
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