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Re: Extending accessibility support in D-I for Lenny

Frans Pop <elendil@planet.nl> writes:

> On Thursday 15 February 2007 22:41, Mario Lang wrote:
>> For speech and braille output, I ask myself why
>> a blind user would want to run the Graphical Installer instead
>> of the text interface.  What features does the
>> graphical installer add (except eye-candy) that is
>> not provided by the text interface(s)?
> The textual installer does not provide the base that ORCA needs, namely 
> the GTK libs...

Yes, but in text mode, you do not need Orca, there are existing soltuions.
Orca, as I understand it, is a screen reader for graphical environments only.
So the question stands, why would a blind user want to add the overhead that a
graphical environment brings with it, if they can't even see the graphics?
I'd find such a solution extremely inefficient.

>> I agree that it would be useful to get the GTK
>> magnification features (and some way to control them)
>> into the graphical installer so that people with low
>> vision could use d-i more easily.
> I guess you are aware that we already have the "dark" theme for both 
> textual and graphical installer that offer larger default fontsize and 
> more contrasting colors. Not the same as real magnification, but still a 
> nice start.

I did not know this, and yes, thats nice.  However,
for some types of low vision, large font support is not enough.
There are people that require about factor 8 (or more) magnification,
but who still can work with graphical systems if given
the ability to scroll...

> Extending this to real graphical magnification would be nice.


>> A side project of this indeavor would be far more
>> interesting for the masses, namely getting software
>> speech synthesis into Debian Installer.  Currently, people
>> without braille display hardware can not really
>> use d-i directly.  It would be desireable for Lenny
>> to get something like espeak into d-i, and all the necessary
>> sound-card auto-setup that is required to make this actually usable.
> If you have a solution for speech that can be integrated in either the 
> textual or graphical installer that would a lot lighter than basing 
> things on ORCA, feel free to propose it.

Well, there are several posibilities.
* We could start the textual installer inside of yasr (which
  is a terminal emulator providing speech review capabilities).
* We could use speakup and speech-dispatcher
  to privde virtual terminal review for hardware and software speech
  synthesis.  speakup is a kernel patch however,
  which brings certain maintainance problems with it.
* We could probably also write some extensions for cdebconf to
  provide speech output directly.  Simply speak dialog boxes,
  and menu choices if the cursor is moved.  Thats
  not particularily complicated I'd think...
* There are also discussions in the BRLTTY developer community
  to extend brltty to provide speech output and keyboard controlled
  review functionality so that brltty could also be used
  if there is no braille display hardware present.
  Working on this would give as basically all for free,
  only leaving the sound setup to be done.

All of these solutions would be far more efficient
than trying to get orca into d-i.

> The easy part is adding sound modules and basic alsa support. The 
> difficult part is the actual conversion from display to speech and 
> optionally from speech to input.

Orca is definitely the most heavy-weight soltuion on the
map currently.  It is probably far more easier to
configure something like yasr in the textual installer.

However, all soltuions would need to have the
sound modules setup right in the first place to work.
And that is not as easy as you might initially think,
since it has to work unattended in all cases.
Requiring a user to fiddle with mixer volume settings for instance
is not acceptable.

> But basically that _is_ the goal of the ORCA approach that Willie and I 
> talked about.

I am still not convinced that Orca is the right thing for d-i.
It is a good screen reader for a full-blown desktop system, true.

  Mario | Debian Developer <URL:http://debian.org/>
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