Desktops other than gnome

Mackenzie Morgan macoafi at
Mon May 9 13:53:56 UTC 2011

On Mon, May 9, 2011 at 9:31 AM, Alex Midence <alex.midence at> wrote:
> Hi, Mackenzie,
> If you plan to include KAccessible in the 11.10 release of Kubuntu, do
> you think there is a way to create a hotkey that would launch it?  For
> instance, in Vinux, we have either alt-control o or shift control o
> which runs Orca no matter where you are in Gnome including the gdm
> login screen.  This way, if something ever breaks speech or, hangs it
> up, you can always restart the screen reader without having to worry
> about being in the right place to type in its name.

Oh, thanks! I'll put that on the list of adjustments to Kubuntu
defaults.  A default shortcut would be great!  The plan so far was to
mimic the Ubuntu installer:  if the system is installed with the
screenreader on, enable it by default.  However, I have no idea
whether it can run during KDM.  I haven't tried it yet. When running
on the desktop it has a tray icon (which...well...) and you can choose
to make it speak.  Having a keyboard shortcut to start it would
necessitate that QT_ACCESSIBILTY=1 be set by default on all sessions.

> I was thinking
> that such an option would let somebody start hearing their system talk
> from the very outset.  Also, I'm a bit startled by what appears to be
> a statement that KAccessibility is a screen reader.  I thought it was
> an accessibility api.

QAccessible is the API.  KAccessible is the screenreader that
interacts with QAccessible.

Does this mean that it is a full-fledged screen
> reading solution that lets you read the screen in a controled manner
> like speakup, orca and CO.?  I was under the impression that this
> wasn't the case in KDE which is why no blind people that I know of use
> it right now.

KAccessible was written in the last year.  KDE 4.6 is the first to
have it, so Natty is our first release where it could possibly work.

> If it reads only a few things, I wonder what would need
> to be done to it to flesh it out.  To have a proper screne reader, you
> need a few things:

It can read any Qt or KDE widget that is based on a base-Qt widget.
Custom KDE widgets that are "from scratch" are still in the lurch.
This would include the terminal portion of Konsole and also KHTML.
Terminals have their own screenreaders though, right?

< snip list >

> There's more.  I feel rather guilty for not coming up with four more
> things just to round this out to 10 but, I'm sure you get the picture.
>  Bakc to my original question, do you happen to know if KAccessibility
> actualy offers this sort of thing?  If not, do you know or can you
> point me to docs that would tell me just how much or how little of it
> can be done with KAccessibility?

I've only played with it a little bit, so I'm not really sure about
all that.  I'd suggest asking on the KDE-Accessibility mailing list.
Seb Sauer is the main (only?) developer on KAccessible.

Mackenzie Morgan

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