Devin Prater (@devinprater@dragonscave.space)
dragonscave.space
external-link
Thread: About Windows 11's high system requirements. You know, a lot of blind people, who don't have jobs, live on social security and disability money, and who definitely don't have the newest computers, won't get Windows 11. This could have been a great chance for Linux to step up and say loud and proud "Because we support every person's ability to choose their system, and use and learn about computers, we will never force upon users what system they must run. And because we stand proudly with people with disabilities, all blind people are welcome in the world of free and open source software, where they can learn and create just like everyone else." But no. Gnome, one of the most popular desktops on Linux, is trash with accessibility. KDE is working on it, but that'll take years. Who's ever heard of Mate? And who makes current software for the command line, for users and not other developers?
@DonutVeteran
link
113M

Well, honestly a lot of FOSS software has been lacking in usability in general, not even accessibility. It’s to be expected, as lots of software has basically been born from hobby projects and there is no unifying entity creating everything or defining human interface guidelines, besides perhaps GNOME and KDE.

The thing is that there is a big emphasis in FOSS software to “implement yourself” the features needed because most work is volunteer driven. So unless someone or some organization were to fund a developer or two to implement accessibility features, they don’t magically come into being.

Ephera
link
8
edit-2
3M

Yeah, I think, it’s also underestimated how difficult accessibility is, because e.g. as a seeing programmer you’re pretty much blind to the way a blind person perceives the world.

I try to make my software accessible, but beyond basic keyboard accessibility and fixing the warnings that for example Firefox tells me, it becomes really hard to know what I’m doing. I have no idea what a good UI in a screen reader feels like.

I presume, companies can bring in outside experts or send their developers on trainings. I have none of that and get 0 feedback on how good it is what I tried to do.

@Echedenyan
link
3
edit-2
3M

Human Interface Guidelines should solve that. GNOME has their own ones, for example.

Edited: In GNOME, accesibility guidelines seems to be separated in https://developer.gnome.org/accessibility-devel-guide/stable/

Ephera
link
23M

Right, yeah, if you’re working with a mature UI framework, a lot of things may already have a solution.

Unfortunately, that very quickly becomes a luxury when you want to work with new, interesting technologies, as tends to happen when it’s your hobby.

I was also specifically thinking of:

  • a webpage that I’m maintaining. I use semantic, simple HTML and try to fix all the accessibility warnings, but for all I know, it could be completely unusable for blind people.
  • a game that I’m dabbling with. This one is really hard. It feels like I’d have to build a different game to make it playable with a screen reader or with e.g. just a pointing device.
@Echedenyan
link
13M

I am studying WebDev right now.

Next year I have a subject for design guidelines and accesibility is a topic.

Kromonos
link
33M

I heard this “implement yourself” argument way too often. I really can’t understand such a thinking. It’s like selling a car and say, that everyone could change tires, including the mounting on new rims. 🤦 As if everybody is a software developer.

@ree
link
73M

But here the car is free…

Kromonos
link
03M

😂

@DBGamer
link
-23M

Doesn’t matter it’s still a product at the end of the day. Just because it doesn’t costs anything doesn’t means you shouldn’t get much/anything in return beyond the software.

Additionally think of it as a developer, don’t you want to keep the lights on? Food on the table and etc? Well how you gonna dope the donations? By becoming committed to your “consumers” and having them return the favors.

You know what they says, what goes around comes back around. :)

@federico3
link
63M

product

“something (such as a service) that is marketed or sold as a commodity” (Merriam Webster)

“object or system made available for consumer use; it is anything that can be offered to a market to satisfy the desire or need of a customer” (Wikipedia)

In short: paid software is a product. A volunteering effort is not a product, it’s a gift.

Complaining about a gift not being good enough is quite entitled.

Ephera
link
53M

The vast majority of open-source devs don’t get donations or paid for it. We keep the lights on by having a day job, with the open-source work being only a hobby…

@DBGamer
link
13M

Well it may partially has to do with lacking servicetudes. I am personally more likely to donate to something if “batteries are included” and that it reliable. Takes this forum community I was at, they GAVE me accessible theming, adjustments, one and one assistance, etc. So I ordered up their privileged account as contributions to their favors and to support their community. :)

@nutomic
admin
link
53M

Most open source devs are far from making any serious money from their projects. When I maintained syncthing-android, I received a total of like 100€ in donations over multiple years. There is no way that could pay for food, let alone rent.

@DBGamer
link
-13M

Some probably do though and I believe it’s to do how well you do it, market it, provides, etc. You probably won’t make “big bucks” as they says but can you contribute and makes enough then some to lives off of it you set your minds to it? Absolutely.

@freely
link
33M

Don’t all GTK interfaces get screen-reader compatibility automatically from the built-in features of GTK? At least I thought they did based on what I read while I was working with it.

poVoq
link
103M

As a non-blind person, I wonder why blind people even use a GUI? Isn’t that kind of useless for them? Wouldn’t a terminal-first interface (which is actually well supported under Linux) be much better anyways?

@fruechtchen
creator
link
63M

probably not, imagine how it feels to just hear the output of “ls”. where every special character like underscores and such are spelled out. it probably works, but: a) i think its harder to grasp the bigger picture b) it is harder to for instance “jump” around. imagine visually jumping to the first directory that starts with “h” and then jumping to the word “heart” or something.

when you can see with your eyes you can see both in a precise and not-so-precise mode basically. The not so precise reading is for instance looking for specific patterns or something. but listening to some output is always precise. it is harder to ignore stuff which you don’t need

poVoq
link
63M

You are right, I somehow assumed blind persons would primarily use something like this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refreshable_braille_display

But in fact is seems text to speech audio interfaces are also common as explained here: https://accessibe.com/blog/knowledgebase/what-are-screen-readers-and-how-they-enable-blind-people-to-surf-the-internet

Helix
link
33M

There are many kinds of blind. You could have 95% reduced eyesight and make out windows and maybe blobs of colour but not be able to read anything. If you’re 100% blind, you can still rely on mouse movements instead of doing everything with a keyboard.

poVoq
link
63M

True, but it still seems to be rather counter-productive to use a GUI then. But I obviously don’t know :)

Helix
link
23M

But I obviously don’t know :)

Here’s a small report by a blind person using a MBP: How A Blind Person Uses A Computer – The Tommy Edison Experience

Tommy Edison, who has been blind since birth, shows how he uses the computer to send an email. The MacBookPro has an Accessibility preference called Voice Over which reads the screen to him.

@ajz
link
43M

Just mentioning for FYI reasons, for installation there is : https://wiki.parabola.nu/Installation_Guide#Blind_and_visually_impaired_users

I think the problem is somewhat comparable with what one can see with LineageOS. If you have or buy a phone which is not so popular and there is only one developer of LOS for your device it can happen that one day the developer will buy a new phone or start a different life and drops development. With Linux and related software project it is still pretty often hobby or community projects (See the development of Thunderbird going from Mozilla umbrella to community, and Ubuntu Touch being dropped by Canonical but picked up by ubports community). For example, if you are an open source developer and you live with housemates who are into Matrix and Signal for communication, it would be no surprise that you would want to work on that as well. Of course there are bigger projects like KDE (Gnome looks big but seems to suffer lately with a few projects, e.g. Evolution and Geary seem currently basically one person driven projects) which are not so much “hobby projects” anymore and could focus on this.

A possibly solution ? Reach out to blind people and work with them. For example : Start a new house community project with a few KDE projects living with a few blind people and a few motivated open source contributors for say one year. I am sure that things can be accomplished.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Linux is a family of open source Unix-like operating systems based on the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released on September 17, 1991 by Linus Torvalds. Linux is typically packaged in a Linux distribution (or distro for short).

Distributions include the Linux kernel and supporting system software and libraries, many of which are provided by the GNU Project. Many Linux distributions use the word “Linux” in their name, but the Free Software Foundation uses the name GNU/Linux to emphasize the importance of GNU software, causing some controversy.

Community icon by Alpár-Etele Méder, licensed under CC BY 3.0

  • 0 users online
  • 49 users / day
  • 73 users / week
  • 136 users / month
  • 431 users / 6 months
  • 4000 subscribers
  • 1302 Posts
  • 3892 Comments
  • Modlog