@devinprater and a great read. Sorry that there was a need for you to write it, though.

@devinprater Very good article. I'm blind. Started using Debian in 1996, redirecting the raw output of the terminal to the serial port and plugging in a hardware voice synthesizer. It was not good, but I hoped it would get better. Then we got Gnopernicus, and Orca, and every time GTK changed, like when they started using dbus instead of CORBA, it was a complete mess. Things stopped working, or got unbearably slow. It's 2022 and we're still here and I only use linux via ssh now.


So, related, but _so_ not related at all:

Stem Derk.

Great hardware. There are things that it can do, and do pretty well, that "just work" in a way I didn't expect.

And then there's the things that don't, which MAINLY deal with plugging in an external USBC dongle and trying to use HDMI (or displayport, which I haven't yet but I got a good one and will at some point.)
This breaks - not just games (which does happen, with the 'external' controller, but also things as basic as "making a damned purchase." And, seriously, they didn't test making a purchase with an external HDMI?
- except
They may HAVE. That may be why they haven't released their own dock yet.

They didn't say "go get a HDMI adapter and use an external monitor." So they could get away with this.

But that's a BIT like saying "get other eyeballs."

A _load_ of the complaints that are going to come from entitled gamers over the external display are gonna be _accessability-like_ and ...

@devinprater (continued)

It is going to be U G L Y

And it is going to set _actual accessability issues_ back if it's not handled properly (which it won't be by Steam, or the Toxic gamers.)

I have a feeling you and I are gonna have to mess with this a bit, in our "copious spare time."

- and it's taken a month for me to get my network thing working and I'm _really gonna do that today_ so yeah "we" aren't going to get anywhere on this for a bit.

But ...

I'm sort of offering to talk about what we should do to start this project. What issues are there, how should we tackle them, how do we test, how do we do 'quality control' and ... so on.

And we're gonna need patience and "spoons" and LIKELY a big bucket to plonk the haters in.

(I'm betting the first huge plonk is when we say Gnome is a disaster and we can't fix it, so it's off the table. I'd love to be EXTREMELY SURPRIZED but I'll BET that's gonna happen.)

Anyway. What say you?

Someday. Not today.

@devinprater oh and to be clear, that's tackling ACTUAL accessability issues, NOT the Stem Derk.

Valve has people that they could pay to fix those things.

@modulux desgraciadamente subscribo punto por punto este artículo. Y se olvida de hablar de la inestabilidad de orca, de las traducciones mal hechas que él tiene la suerte de no sufrir, de las roturas de accesibilidad en cada actualización de muchas distros, del desastre de las síntesis de voz, de los problemas con los sistemas de audio... Fui evangelizador de este sistema operativo y sigo creyendo que es necesario, pero es un puto desastre en muchas cosas y sobre todo en la accesibilidad.

@quetzatl Me jode reconocerlo, pero es así. Lo utilizo en remoto por ssh, pero no le recomendaría a un ciego que usase linux como sistema local en su máquina, y de momento no se ven avances significativos.

@modulux yo lo tengo instalado para trastear con él y tratar de no perderle el uso, pero las cosas son tal cual como las cuenta el hombre este. Puedes hacer cosillas incluso en local pero teniendo en cuenta que más temprano que tarde, el sistema te la ba a jugar.

@modulux y es cierto, la mejor época para los ciegos fueron las últimas versiones de GNOME 2. Cuando oracle compró Sun Microsystems ya supimos todos que la cosa se iba a joder pero bien. Si hubiese seguido ahí Sun otro gallo nos hubiera cantado en cuanto a accesibilidad.

@devinprater My advice: Dive into Windows and don't look back. You can use all the Linux-only developer stuff through WSL. Ignore people who moralize about free software. We disabled folks got dealt a lousy hand. You have to choose easy mode wherever you can, for your own productivity and sanity.

@matt @devinprater yeah I have to admit, NVDA is a lot more powerful than Orca + AT-SPI. Orca is perfect for web content built with accessibility in mind, but it’s really inextensible. Hopefully Odilia improves the situation in the coming years.

@Seirdy @devinprater Odilia looks interesting. I'm glad they started by doing a throw-away prototype. I worry that their planned async, event-driven design is over-complicated though. I guess I should contact the developers. I'm no longer under any non-compete, so I can participate in this stuff as time permits.

@matt @Seirdy It would be nice. But a good screen reader is nothing without good accessibility interfaces supporting it.

@devinprater @Seirdy Agreed, and while the efforts to keep AT-SPI limping along are admirable, I believe the design of that interface is fatally flawed. I have some ideas for a replacement, but would need to be careful in how I go about proposing them.

@devinprater I think you would be fine with bitlbee-libpurple and running Emacs with Emacspeak and ERC (Emacs’ default IRC client) against that. Bitlbee it’s an IRC daemon with proxies your accounts made in that server to another services. The “-libpurple” option (available on most GNU/Linuxes and BSD’s) add any plugin Pidgin would support, for example, the ones for Telegram or Slack. Once you install bitlbee-libpurple and, for example, connect with Emacs’ ERC to localhost and the usual IRC port, 6667, join the “&bitlbee” channel (it’s not a typo) channel on the Bitlbee server and type in “help” to follow the instructions. It’s cumbersome at first, but once you create some accounts and save them, the further connections from ERC will autoconnect to anything. I can help you with that in no time.

@anthk I'm back to Windows now, I'm done with Linux for a very long time. But thanks for the offer.


At least you can install Emacs on Windows too. I don’t know if the installer comes with the GNU coreutils and OpenSSL, I may have to ask.

This look like a perfect task for a distro like Guix System, where there exist a setup to use Emacs as your whole window manager and environment.

I think that would be better than any other distro because once you set a declarative configuration for Guix, all the accesibility settings (and everything else) are configured in the spot with a single command. And of course Emacspeak controlling the whole environment with emacs-exwm (the window manager) up to the point to describe the GTK/QT inputs and everything it would make the most accesible environment ever.

@anthk Wouldn't that be nice lol. All that has to be hooked together, especially Emacspeak reading GTK.

@devinprater Exwm makes your windows get managed by Emacs as if they were Emacs buffers. I see the Emacspeak author did a module for Stump window manager, but obviously integrating it with Exwm would make an all powerful interface, because of obvious reasons. Managing all your windows and input dialogs from within Emacs would be peace of cake to be handled by Emacspeak. Exwm-xim exports any input method from Emacs to any QT/GTK/X application. On reading the content, that would be more difficult, but I guess some module compatible with AT-Spi will be written. By the way, the Guix System distro I notices has an integrated “graphical” package manager on Emacs, so anything can be installed from within. Configuring it it’s a different issue, as the system configuration and the packages are defined on a Scheme file (/etc/config.scm), but I guess it’s just a matter of time that someone writtes a Guix config manager in Elisp to set the most common options on “creating” a system configuration, such as the running services, default users and such. I mean, you define your system packages as inmutable, for example a desktop environment, network services and such and everything else can be installed as an user without privileges). As Guix it’s a system defined by LISP files, setting up that blind-integrated “desktop” environment with exwm+emacspeak would make a huge boost for accesibility, as they are LISP hackers used to Scheme and Elisp like nothing. And for Emacs modules themselves, of course. Emacs’ Org-mode with spreadsheets with org-table, todo, Libreoffice imports and exports, caldav/calendar support with org-agenda and everything managable from Emacspeak? It must be done. Emacs should make that much more accesible by design. There are Emacspeak modes for Emms, for Telegram, and for a lot off environments. Everything it’s text mode and composable. If not, Emacs’ OCR modules should work anywhere. But first, Emacs-exwm and Emacspeak should be integrated as a minimum.

@devinprater @daniel

@Jill_linuxgirl and @MichaelTunnell I think this topic is essential to be discussed frequently and should be brought up especially when you are discussing with Fedora, Manjaro, and OpenSuse people.

Linux community is know to be "inclusive" and "welcoming", but we are closing our eyes to accessibility (no pun intended).

@erikdubois I wonder if Arco has a screen reader enabled during the installation.

We should all read this article @devinprater wrote.

Thank you @MichaelTunnell for remembering to discuss this in the episode 278 when discussing the new #Fedora release with @mattdm . I kinda agree that there should be an organization and funding entity to push this harder, but I think Fedora **is** in the position to push Gnome people to allocate more man-hour to Orca. At the moment Joanmarie Diggs is the only dev who kindly and actively working on this with average commit/day: 1.1



@Mehrad @MichaelTunnell @mattdm @Jill_linuxgirl I did get in contact with the Fedora project manager, and he has put me in contact with someone that works on the diversity team there so hopefully things will improve.

@Mehrad @MichaelTunnell @mattdm @Jill_linuxgirl Also I'm just starting listening to that episode of DLN. Thank goodness for Pocket cast.

@Mehrad @MichaelTunnell @mattdm @Jill_linuxgirl Wow, it's been three weeks already? Yeah, not much seems to have come from that.


Three weeks is a very short amount of time regarding development of something so complex

@Mehrad @mattdm @Jill_linuxgirl

@MichaelTunnell @Mehrad @mattdm @Jill_linuxgirl I just kind of thought I'd be kept in the loop about next steps. I guess I should just reach out again.

@Mehrad It's important to know that GNOME as an organization / project doesn't have _any_ developer-hours allocated ... all developers are volunteers or paid by a company to work on the project. (Or both!) So, we can't really _push_ in a meaningful way, but we can advocate.

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Light space

A home where one can be themselves.