parting pleasantries

Alex Midence alex.midence at
Tue Jan 10 23:19:27 UTC 2012

Hi, List,

Just wanted to drop in and say goodbye before unsubscribing.  I need
to reduce the amount of e-mail that comes into my inbox.  I'm on quite
a few lists these days and I need to pear down those which I don't
frequent much or that don't really do much for me.  I initially joined
this list to help others with information as much as I could (like
anyone else) and provide feedback on accessibility issues with Ubuntu
and to stay informed on what was going on in this area with Ubuntu
proper.  I use Vinux which is based on this distribution when I'm not
using Debian propper.  I'm selecting this list for elimination,
however, because my energies and attention seem better focused on the
Vinux project since it's a lot more likely to have matters I
specifically care about addressed more quickly there than here.  For

Emacspeak:  The Ubuntu repositories are still stuck at version 29 but
the thing's up to 35 now.  I don't know how many years out of date it
is and response to suggestions to update it have been ignored or

QT accessibility:   A new release of the qt-at-spi bridge has been
announced which, while I'm sure does work optimally with qt 4.8, will
undoubtedly have *some* improvements with the current version of QT.
There are users interested in having it in Ubuntu to improve the
accessible experience to apps they wish to use and they are being made
to wait a full quarter to do so.  The developers of the bridge and
those of QT are working hard to fix a long standing issue, have asked
for people to try out their software and the user of Ubuntu itself
will be unable to help in this endeavor because packages will not be
made available for months in which people could be using it and
providing them with feedback.

Infrequent updates to at-spi2:  Lots of work is being done on this
package and (I could be wrong) but, it doesn't appear that the latest
accessibility fixes are being brought in as they come about.  This is
unfortunate since this impacts the very ability to use the system for
those who use technologies that rely on at-spi and who would like to
benefit from the improved user experience they might enjoy with more
recent copies of it made easily available.

Speech in the console:  Many applications are not yet usable with Orca
in an efficient manner causing one to turn to Speakup,  something
Linus torvalds himself saw fit to put into the kernel itself but which
cannot be accessed easily in Ubuntu due to the way in which sound is
configured to work in Ubuntu propper and will probably be configured
in it for the foreseeable future in spite of the expertise being
available to make things happen to fix this situation.  I'm sure there
are others like musicians and such who might like to have sound work
in the console in a secure fashion but who will also not be able to
get this to happen unless they are prepared to run Pulse system wide
or are versed in complex procedures to bring this about.  This is
unfortunate since Ubuntu prides itself on ease of use.

All of these issues have been or are being addressed with vinux so
thither shall I go and thither shall I stay.  I definitely respect
that a distribution has to address the needs of everyone equally and
can't cater to those of a small group of people every time.  However,
I think that some of these issues, the at-spi2 and the qt-at-spi in
particular, are fundamentally important because they impact the very
ability to use the system for someone.  I firmly believe those should
be made available as soon as they can be to the current distribution
and even backported as far as possible for the benefit of users who
are still making use of prior versions of Ubuntu but who would like
these enhancements to improve their user experience without the need
to expend the time-consuming effort of updating their entire system.
The packages in question are few and they are not very big.  Why not
improve their availaibility?  I was under the impression that
addressing this sort of thing was what this list would do but, I fear
I misinterpreted its purpose.  I wrote this rather lengthy e-mail in
hopes that I did not mistake its reason for being and that it would
serve as a reason to those who are in charge of it to reassess what
direction it's heading and the value it provides to some of us.

Thanks and apologies for the length of the e-mail.
Alex M

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