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Re: Iggdrasil, a new amazing screenreader

Most of the issues with graphical user interface accessibility under Linux are in the desktop environments and applications, not in the screen reader.

Most of the issues are too much choice.

Which desktop are you talking about?

Accessibility is excellent under both Windows and Mac, compared to Linux.

This is in the biggest part because the GUI is baked right into the OS. And there are not a hundred different desktops to choose from. Many of which are developed by people who don't give a damn about accessibility, or even don't know what it is.

Orca is never going to adequately cover any application that is not a GTK application.

One of the worst things abut Orca is the dependence on speech-dispatcher.

Two things need to happen IMHO:

1. Somebody needs to fix the bug in the sd_espeak module of speech-dispatcher so that it does not unload itself randomly. This will make it possible to choose espeak and not pulse, and still get reliable stability.

2. There need to be alternative "factories" chooseable under the Orca settings. Currently speech-dispatcher is it.

But accessibility on the Linux desktop will never be a patch on Windows or Mac, just because there are loads of desktops to choose from.

And IMHO accessibility starts with the installer.

I will only use distros I can install unassisted, and I am 100% blind.

Why do so many distros based on Debian or Ubuntu rip out the accessibility bits from the installer?

Another reason Windows and Mac are so accessible, is that they are commercial products. They don't really have much choice but work on accessibility, and doing so makes sound commercial sense.

Many Open Source projects, including various GUI desktops in Linux, pay scant, or no attention whatsoever to accessibility.


Orca is well maintained, but my impression is that some other, necessary components aren't. If someone wants to devote resources to working on graphical desktop accessibility, screen reader development isn't where I would suggest starting.

Michael A. Ray
Witley, Surrey, South-east UK


"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." -- A. de Saint-Exupery

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