idea for the installer

Veli-Pekka Tätilä vtatila at
Wed Sep 27 07:38:01 BST 2006

mike coulombe wrote:
> but if there is a real problem getting orca to work with the install
> program. How about a automatic installer. <snip>
I think that's a great idea especially for newbies who do want to go with 
the defaults. About the only setting I changed myself was the locale FInland 
that is. Based on that a smart installer should be able to figure out my 
time zone and keyboard, although there might not be a 1to1 mapping for all 
the other countries.

I've heard there might already be an automated deployment system for Debian, 
which is called I believe automated install (kickstart in Redhat). I've 
never used the thing, though.

It would  be even better if the user could customize the setup. HACking some 
well commented config file to do that might be an acceptable alternative 
similarly to apps like doxygen for C plus plus programmers or the HTML Tidy 
manual and config file for Web authors.

Personally, you guessed it, I would rather do this via some GUI preferably 
mirroring that of the installer as much as is practical. The only OS in 
which I've done that myself and really liked it was Win98, though.

For Windows users, and I guess most people are switching from windows due to 
the dominance and long-term development of apps like Jaws, Eloquence and 
Zoom Text, there's another catch. That is you cannot generally make a good 
accessible Windows GUI with Linux GUis like TK or GTK, or at least I've 
never seen any. Maybe a cross platform solution with ports to various OSes 
and GUI libs, if the users would like to do this customization before they 
boot to the OS. Or some console affair written with a GUI screen readre 
friendly text mode and ANSI C. AS to what's GUI reader friendly, little or 
no ASCII graphics and using the standard cursor or something that's at least 
shaped like a vertical bar for easy tracking.

Or if the live CD approach is prevalent, one could do this customization in 
some specialty distro. Maybe it would fit on most USB sticks and you could 
at the very least easily write out the changes on some removable media. On 
the other hand, if the live CD could be made to speak the installer, most 
people who don't have to deploy Linux on multiple machines, could just as 
well use the speaking installer directly.

Regarding the defaults, if this is specific to folks needing accessibility, 
I think the settings should reflect that. For ages I've been wishing for a 
LInux distro that just worked in terms of accessibility. SOmething with as 
many CLI and GUI readers, multi-lingual speech synths and accessible 
versions (GTK2 or self-voicing) as is practical. Too bad the Oralux project 
hasn't advanced all that much.

I think it would be great if Gnome had the assistive technology support 
enabled by default. I cannot see why it already doesn't, in fact, unless 
accessibility is a major performance or stability hit. OS X has the right 
attitude in this, in that a user can just start using Voice Over, and when 
he or she does that, speech, full keyboard access and the accessibility API 
just works. In other words, no need  to configure anything. Besides, 
configuring is difficult for many if you don't have speech or at least good 
full-screen magnification preferrably with font smoothing (for truetype 

With kind regards Veli-Pekka Tätilä (vtatila at
Accessibility, game music, synthesizers and programming: 

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