[Kenny Hitt] Re: Is Debian appropriate for accessibility?
This is how Ubuntu users see Debian.
I am very sad about such postings. However, to get something positive out
of it, we should at least use it to reflect on the past.
1. Ubuntu would not exist without Debian. I guess even some of
the "Ubuntu Accessibility" packages are taken from Debian.
BRLTTY at least comes to mind.
2. The Ubuntu Accessiblity project launched after the Debian accessiblity
project. Still, they seem to have acquired much more publicity.
3. Still, we seem to be much less effective than the Ubuntu people.
At least the impression is generated in some users.
This even went as far as some AT developers recommending to users to
switch from Debian to Ubuntu, since Ubuntu is supposed to work better
Why is that?
I am not entirely familiar with the Ubuntu developer model, but
could this be related to the fact that Ubuntu (Cannonical) is
paying its developers?
It might be that Accessibility is exactly one of these areas that
*would* need payment to get the necessary work done, since
the user group that benefits from accessibility improvments
is so small, and therefore, no many developers work on that
area in their spare time...
Or is this a communication issue? Are we failing to communicate
with our users? Originally, the plan was to create a mailing list
so that accessibility specific topics could be discussed there. We
have that now since 3 years or so, and it has helped IMO. Should
we be doing more? What can we do to close the gap between the user
experience and the developers? Maybe we should update
with some more user-centric info? What could be useful to be added
to this page? Anything else we are missing? Would a
"accessibility" pseudo-package for the BTS be useful, so that users with
problems can assign their bug reports to this pseudo-package in orrder
to have it reassigned to the apropriate package by someone with more
insight later on?
Oh, and the for me right now most important question: What did
we do to leave the impression that "Debian is a distribution that
does not consider accessibility important."
Any comments are really welcome.
--- Begin Message ---
Debian can be accessible, but I found I had to build packages from source
to get things working. What I found was either badly out dated packages
for some things needed for accessibility, or main stream Debian
simply doesn't have a package for a needed lib or app.
I've had problems getting Orca to work in Main stream Debian, but it
just works in Debian based distros like Ubuntu.
Also, due to Debian's long release cycles, you end up with outdated
software even if you run Debian unstable. Unstable is still at Gnome
2.14. Unfortunately, there are accessibility bugs that make Gnome 2.14
not very usable. The bugs are fixed in Gnome 2.16.
Probably the most important reason I don't spend much time lately trying
to get my main stream Debian box running the latest Gnome and orca is
that attitude I noticed from the main stream Debian developers. They
don't seem to consider accessibility bugs as important as the Ubuntu
Since access to my system requires a screen reader, I prefer to spend my
time and effort on a Linux distro that considers accessibility
On Mon, Dec 18, 2006 at 08:39:16AM +0100, Jan Buchal wrote:
> I would like briefly reply to frequent notice about Debian and
> The core idea in these notes was that most problems with Accessibility
> (orca, gnomespeech...) is in Debian and that will be better if users
> will use another Linux distribution.
> That's sure not true. :-) Debian and other distribution not response for
> quality of separate application. That gnomespeech has not any effective
> log mechanism for example or that orca not works and shows some python
> traceback only. It is nothing opposite to orca but I would like show
> that problems are elsewhere.
> On Debian works many developers who works in their free time for others.
> Sure all is not perfect in Debian as well as in another distributions.
> Additional, many distributions are based on Debian.
> I would like please all for understanding and accuracy.
> Have you nice day
> Jan Buchal
> Tel: (00420) 24 24 86 008
> Mob: (00420) 608023021
> gnome-accessibility-list mailing list
gnome-accessibility-list mailing list
--- End Message ---
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