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Re: free/not free proprietary

From: Martin McCormick <martin@dc.cis.okstate.edu>
Date: Fri, 03 May 2002 10:29:34 -0500
Message-Id: <200205031529.g43FTYl89854@dc.cis.okstate.edu>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
	Computer users who are blind don't use a GUI.  They may
use The operating system which most people recognize as a GUI,
but the access software's job is to beat the interface in to a
form that at least resembles a full-screen application if not a
command line.  I want to be very emphatic in that there is no
magic out there that understands graphics and does something
useful with them for blind folks.  Graphics are silently ignored
and may as well not even exist.  That is why images that do
anything such as links, etc, need alt tags that contain a clue.

	The only thing we actually use out of the whole interface
are alphanumerics.  Screen readers can look for certain colors or
other attributes in text, but it has still got to be text.

	Jim is correct about standard functions.  They make
access easier because everyone knows what to expect.  This is
nothing more than the mark of a good operating system and design
practices and actually has nothing to do with whether it is a GUI
or not.

	All I want is to be able to read useful information, play
audio when it is there, be able to type data in to forms, and
actually use the content of various web sites.

	Most of the problems I know of are more brutally
technical than conceptual.  The darn thing just doesn't work at
all.  The javascript support we want is simply to actually
get something useful when selecting a link.

	The occasional garbled table or confusing form is
nothing compared to a blank screen or no links at all in a page
that should be full.  If there is any confusion at all about what
computer users who are blind find frustrating, that kind of mas
malfunction is it.  All the big Dollars spent on screen readers
and commercial software represent attempts to get more plain old
text to appear in the path to the speech or Braille device.  It
may also be that the computer user wants to use a certain media
player or some similar piece of software, but the most important
goal is to read that text.  That is what it is all about right now.

Martin McCormick

"Jim Thatcher" writes:
>Far from pointless, the GUI offers standardized application controls,
>leaving the problem of access to the "client area" of applications to the
>ingenuity of screen reader developers. With text based applications every
>application had to be specifically "scripted" or "profiled" in order to work
>at all.
>It is not a done deal for screen readers today because applications use
>non-standard controls without appropriately taking care of that. And of
>course the work areas of applications can be a disaster, but it is a lot
>better than the text based world as we knew it when OS/2 and Windows came
>onto the scene.
>Accessibility Consulting
>Constructing Accessible Web Sites, is now available at Amazon:
>I recommend it. It's a good book!
>-----Original Message-----
>From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org]On
>Behalf Of Nick Kew
>Sent: Thursday, May 02, 2002 4:49 PM
>To: Martin McCormick
>Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
>Subject: Re: free/not free proprietary
>On Thu, 2 May 2002, Martin McCormick wrote:
>> 	I agree.  Put simply, there is not presently a browser
>> that works with script for UNIX users who do not use X windows.
>> Making X windows accessible is a huge order.
>> 	The minimum functionality should be a browser engine that
>> can at least follow all links and call auxiliary programs to
>> handle content that the browser can not display as text.
>For blind users, any kind of GUI would seem particularly pointless
>(correct me if I'm wrong:-).  So a commandline-based system with,
>for example, Lynx+Pine+Speech would be an ideal way of getting
>online.  That is to say, subject to accessibility considerations.
>One of the goals of my accessibility proxy proposal is a javascript
>engine that will deal with scripting-based links on behalf of users,
>whether of Lynx or of any other browser without scripting, or
>anyone in a security-conscious environment.
>Nick Kew
Received on Friday, 3 May 2002 11:29:35 UTC

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