Desktops other than gnome

Alex Midence alex.midence at
Mon May 9 12:07:07 UTC 2011

Hi, Burt,

I've never used Knopix.  I've used Debian and Ubuntu but both through
the Vinux mods.  My last attempt to use an unmodified Ubuntu died
a-borning.  I hear Knopix uses an accessified version of LXDe whom
noone seems to know how to duplicate.

Now, I've not had the chance to use Unity but, I wonder since it's
heading towards the tablet pc market according to what I've read, I
wonder, I say, if some of the rather innovative ideas Android and
I-Phone have put in place might not be implemented in it.  For that
matter, I might say the smae of Gnome shell since it, too, is heavily
mouse dependent and making it accessible requires quite a bit of work
to make keyboard access possible.  I-Phone and, to a lesser extent
Android, both use gestures to really give someone a feel for the
layout of the screen.  I don't know why this couldn't be done with a
mouse.  Configure the mouse so that it only activates if buttons are
presed in conjunction with a keyboard press.  Control mouse click
activates something, regular mouse click reads something in more
detail.  Window boundaries could be indicated by special sounds like
buzzes, tones or beeps.  Mouse pointer could be made somewhat less
responsive so that it moves 1/3 the amount of pixels it normally would
giving you a chance to explore.  Widgets and buttons and things could
be indicated by special sounds too, tones for available ones and
buzzes for grayed out ones.  In the tablets or on laptops with gesture
pads, Android's brilliant a"haptic" feedback feature could be
duplicated to give tactile feedback as the user moves his finger
around on it.  To take a page from I-Phone, 1 finger lets you explore,
3 fingers lets you select.  I have no idea how much coding this would
take to implement but I don't understand why something like this
hasn't been considered or brought up.  It's as if thinking on how to
make something accessible has stagnated to an extent in non-mobile

Does anyone have any thoughts on this matter,

Alex M

On 5/8/11, Burt Henry <burt1iband at> wrote:
> I finally got a CD and burned Knopix Adriane 6.44 to it, put that on a
> usb-key, and did get the main menu to come up in the graphical session.
> I need to try my old knopix 6.22 disk and see if maybe it will as well
> since 6.44 had me scared/seems to have a delay built in, i.e. I had to
> hold alt+f1 down for around a second , maybe more before the menu came up.
> As Tony said system aps were not accessible, and I had libre office
> crashes, but I am assuming that's because of "stable release Orca"
> The menu was sparse and I still can't get on-line to install more to see
> how they perform.
> Anyone know if there is an accessible way to read sys-tray icons? Knopix
> showed 2.6.37 for the kernel when I ran uname, nice in theory, but if
> synaptic and gpartit are not accessible I wonder if there is not more
> work to do with lode, (that is what Knopix Adrian runs isn't it?) than
> with Gnome3 and unity.
> I haven't read much good about the gnome shell though, (and that's not
> even taking accessibility in to account).
> I have read at least one blog suggesting that there's enough support to
> keep some version of gnome 2.x alive for some time to come as Unity is
> just too mackish, or newbish, or something for the average Linux user.
> Unity is probably a good deal for first time Linux users, but I still
> worry that much of its friendlyness will be lost on screen-reader useres.
> All of this to say that it is not just us blind folk who are feeling a
> bit like their Linux is up in the air these days.
> but
> El 05/08/2011 02:27 PM, Alex Midence escribió:
>> Hi, all,
>> Based on all the trouble that has been going on with gnome and unity
>> and so forth and accessibility, I think that it is a very very good
>> idea for everyone to start exploring other desktops in case one ever
>> goes completely to pot.  In recent weeks, I have experimented with Ice
>> WM, Sawfish  and Fluxbox.  Of them all, Ice WM worked sort of but only
>> as a window manager in Gnome.  I never did get Fluxbox to work with
>> Orca and the same goes for Sawfish.  Has anyone had any success using
>> any other desktop other than Gnome successfully with Orca?  I've heard
>> very promising things about XFCE and LXDE but I'm not sure what I
>> would need to do to try these out since I hear you have to set certain
>> environment variables in some of the files that control them in order
>> for Orca to work.  Has anyone done this successfully?  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.
>> Thanks.
>> Alex M
> --
> 	*the above was probably written by-
> Burt Henry
> (registered Linux-user 521,886)
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