Vibuntu Development Blog

Anthony Sales tony.sales at rncb.ac.uk
Sun Dec 14 23:12:38 GMT 2008


Hi Darragh,

I am in the process of writing up detailed notes on how I have made Vibuntu
to go on the development blog ASAP. But I have spent quite a bit of time in
the last week or so having to justify why I feel that there is a need for
vibuntu, and whether it does offer anything new over other distros. I think
you are correct about the difference between accessibility and usability, but
one of my biggest bugbears is that when people claim something is accessible,
and what they really mean is someone who really knows what they are doing can
access it. If it requires a high level of technical competence to access it,
then in my books it is not accessible at all to the vast majority of people.
For me usability is a prerequisite of accessibility, if it is not usable then
it is not accessible. Now I may be wrong, but I have been looking very hard
for at least five years and I have not found a single distro that offers what
Vibuntu offers at present. I am not claiming that Vibuntu is perfect, in fact
there are a lot of flaws which I still need to try and iron out before I will
really be comfortable with people trying it. I have also made it very clear
in my blog and other posts that it is not really aimed at the existing Linux
community per se, although many existing users seem to like it. I work in the
British education sector, and my main motivation for creating Vibuntu is to
try and get British Schools and institutions to try and use Linux, with both
sighted and VI users. If I can offer them a simple free alternative to
Microsoft and Jaws etc then I am going to try to get this to happen, even if
I have to blow my own trumpet or talk like a second-hand car salesman! I am
not at all egotistical,as anyone who knows me will tell you, and I would
absolutely be over the moon if someone else produced an accessible Linux for
beginners, because I would much rather be sitting on my fat arse eating a
kebab and watching the telly than spending hours trying to solve other
peoples problems, as I am not blind or partially sighted myself. I see
Vibuntu primarily as a charitable project for the benefit of the wider VI
community and I am very surprised at the amount of criticism I have received
for trying to do this! Finally as I stated in my blog, I realise that 99% of
the credit for Vibuntu lies with Gnome, Orca, Compiz and Ubuntu etc. I have
just made a few small but significant changes by standing on the shoulders of
giants! My goal is an accessible Linux distro that even a beginner can use
and if I have to upset a few people along the way then so be it. 

Have a good xmas,

drbongo


-----Original Message-----
From: Darragh [mailto:lists at digitaldarragh.com]
Sent: Sun 14/12/2008 22:42
To: Anthony Sales; ubuntu-accessibility at lists.ubuntu.com;
gnome-accessibility-list at gnome.org; orca-list at gnome.org
Cc: Matthew Horspool (Learner); Mobeen Iqbal (Learner); Arthur Turner
(Learner)
Subject: RE: Vibuntu Development Blog
 
Anthony, 

Firstly, again well done. 

I'd personally like to see some posts on your development blog related to how
you got so many administrative apps working with Orca as I see this as the
most significant reason to use your version. 

I also have to echo the points raised by a few here, You really do need to be
very careful in your wording.  Your version of Ubuntu is really not the most
accessible distribution out there.  There is a major difference to accessible
and usable.  To say something is inaccessible means it cannot be made to work
no matter what configuration is used.  Usable on the other hand means it is
available to the user with a minimum of knowledge and tweeking.  This is not
of course to belittle the work you hav done.  I just really hate to see the
work of so many diminished in stature due to some bad wording in a press
release. Let's be honest.  If it wasn't for the work of people in the
Speakup, BRLTTY, EmacsSpeak, SBL, Yasr, and other projects, none of us would
have had the opportunities in Linux we have today.  

Keep up the good work. 



Darragh

-----Original Message-----
From: gnome-accessibility-list-bounces at gnome.org
[mailto:gnome-accessibility-list-bounces at gnome.org] On Behalf Of Anthony
Sales
Sent: 14 December 2008 20:16
To: ubuntu-accessibility at lists.ubuntu.com;
gnome-accessibility-list at gnome.org; orca-list at gnome.org
Cc: Matthew Horspool (Learner); Mobeen Iqbal (Learner); Arthur Turner
(Learner)
Subject: Vibuntu Development Blog


I have set up a Vibuntu Development Blog at http://www.vibuntu.blogspot.com/
for anyone who is interested! I will use this to document the development of
Vibuntu and any relevant issues so that anyone who wants to create their own
accessible remix of Ubuntu, or just modify their existing installation can do
so easily. There is an RSS feed available if anyone wants to be automatically
notified of new posts. I will still post any significant announcements such
as the release of new versions and/or notable improvements on the mailing
lists and forums, as well as continuing to asking for help, advice and
suggestions and providing them when I can. I am planning to have a well
deserved rest over the xmas break so it is unlikely there will be any major
developments until the new year!

Thanks again for everyone's support, advice, suggestions and criticisms!

drbongo
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