New developer

Francesco Fumanti francesco.fumanti at
Tue Oct 28 11:09:37 GMT 2008

Hello Tom,

There is another accessibility area that lags behind what is already
available for years on Windows and Macs: a good accessibility tool for
people that can only use the pointer.

- There is the gnome onscreen keyboard gok, but it is more geared
towards switch users. Several modifications would be necessary to
improve it for pointer only users. Other improvements have been noted on
this page:
The current maintainer of gok only has very little time to devote to it,
so that only the most urgent problems have been looked after.

- There is the onscreen keyboard onboard: onboard, which has been mostly
programed in python, is probably the most usable onscreen keyboard
available on GNOME for pointer only users. However, it is still a basic
onscreen keyboard that lacks efficiency features like word prediction
and autoponctuation. Moreover, it does not support switch input yet. I 
suppose that not only the accessibility users, but also the tabletpc 
users would appropriate having somebody that takes onboard to the next 

- Another starting point to build an efficient onscreen keyboard could 
be the matchbox-keyboard, but as it is not originally geared towards 

- There is kvkbd for KDE, that I have not really look into yet.

- There is dasher with its unusual input method that looks more like a 
game than an accessibility (this is not intended in a negative way). 
dasher is said to have a good word prediction, but it completely lacks 
desktop control and the written text goes into a pane in dasher instead 
of going into the front window. I don't know whether the word prediction 
of dasher can be used in a "classic" onscreen keyboard.

As you see, there is also much left to do for pointer only users. It is 
not the area that you talked about in your mail, but one can never know; 
therefore this reply.

Anyway, if you are going to pick up one of these to take it to the next 
level, please contact me and I will help with what I can (ideas, 
testing, documentation,...).



Luke Yelavich wrote:
> On Tue, Oct 28, 2008 at 10:23:43AM EST, Tom Lloyd wrote:
>> Hello All,
>> Just wanted to say Hi and to get myself known. I have been using
>> Ubuntu for= three or so years. I am a 26 year old developer from
>> the UK trained in Emb= edded / Realtime systems. As a side project
>> I am intergrating SAPI into Ubu= ntu to gives access to the MS
>> speech engines using speech dispatcher.
> This is awesome news, and depending on how far along your work is,
> may be enough of a reason to push for using speech-dispatcher as the
> speech backend for orca in the next Ubuntu release.
>> I use compiz for zoon, so i could be intrested in working to
>> improve speech= and magnification under ubuntu, suggestions for
>> projects welcome.=20
> We certainly need help in improving the state of magnification in
> Ubuntu. It works, but badly. What really needs doing is integrating
> the eZoom compiz plugin with Orca, as well as cleaning up Orca's
> speech-dispatcher support to be of similar quality to its support for
> gnome-speech. I plan to more tightly integrate speech-dispatcher for
> Ubuntu next cycle, due to its more flexible nature compared to
> gnome-speech.
> In short, integration is what we lack for accessibility in Ubuntu.
> The tools are there, but they need to be tied to gether in a way that
> makes them work seemlessly with each other, i.e eZoom/gnome-mag and
> orca, speech-dispatcher and orca, etc.
> Thanks for your offer of assistance, it would be much appreciated.
> Luke -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- Version: GnuPG v1.4.9 (GNU/Linux)
> Mn8AoK7NxudfeWOk9B/uAnIq8NBJ0p2o =t73s -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----

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