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Re: [Kenny Hitt] Re: Is Debian appropriate for accessibility?

2006/12/18, Mario Lang <mlang@debian.org>:
Hi everyone.

This is how Ubuntu users see Debian.

I am very sad about such postings.

I've read the posts, please cheer up, we end users need you, Debian developers.

Maybe my case can shed some light on end-users experience. I've been a
Debian user for 8 years now, I use Testing. My interest on
accessibility has to do with with my position as a teacher trainer in
Andalucia (suppose you know that in our schools the Ubuntu-derivative
Guadalinex distribution is used): from the point of view of education
accessibility is by no means a secondary aspect. And TTS, screen
readers etc. can be very useful as well in language teaching.

I write documentation. Lately I decided to write a survey of the state
of the art as regards a11y. Unfortunately I had to add the Oralux
lines (thanks Gilles Casse; by the way thank you you both for the
espeak packages) in my sources.list to be able to check cicero,
freephone, txt2pho, or some mbrola voices (well English is not the
only language in the world, I need voices for Spanish, French, Italian
and German as they are taught in our schools)... yes, I know some of
these are DFSG non-free, but what is non-free for?

As regards festival, we only have 1.4.3-17.2 in Debian, but Alan W
Black has had 1.96-beta around for a long time now (check

To be able to run Orca on my Etch I had to use the gnome cvs and
compile and install my own versions of pyorbit, gnome-speech,
java-access-bridge and of course orca. Not very end-user friendly, is

I aliened the lsr rpm, but the application doesn't work (I guess it's
a configuration problem, but anyway I have enough with Orca).

I also made up my mind to uninstall esound and uncheck arts (I use
both gnome and kde for my tests) and I still have problems with
different applications fighting to block the audio output (yes, I've
also read that alsa's dmix is the solution, but tell the applications,
not me).

What I want to come to is that my heart and my sympathy is with
Debian, but we have to recognise first that the field is not mature
and secondly that the speed of progression in Ubuntu is ashtonishing.
I would never suggest a user with accessibility problems to use
Testing (or Sid) and Sarge is geological ages old. Ubuntu's EE or FF
are state of the art milestones.

My conclusion: I agree with you that a11y needs much work, and hard
work needs support. And I also believe that free software in general
needs an accessible Debian distribution. How, I couldn't tell.

Un saludo
Juan Rafael Fernández

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